NPRs On Being: The Intelligence of all Kinds of Life, An Evening with Helen Macdonald & Robin Wall Kimmerer | Heartland, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, Gathering Moss: lessons from the small and green, The Honorable Harvest: Indigenous knowledge for sustainability, We the People: expanding the circle of citizenship for public lands, Learning the Grammar of Animacy: land, love, language, Restoration and reciprocity: healing relationships with the natural world, The Fortress, the River and the Garden: a new metaphor for knowledge symbiosis, 2020 Robin Wall KimmererWebsite Design by Authors Unbound. Orion. to have dominion and subdue the Earth was read in a certain way, in a certain period of time, by human beings, by industrialists and colonizers and even missionaries. There are these wonderful gifts that the plant beings, to my mind, have shared with us. Allen (1982) The Role of Disturbance in the Pattern of Riparian Bryophyte Community. American Midland Naturalist. Ki is giving us maple syrup this springtime? The Bryologist 97:20-25. But I came to understand that that question wasnt going to be answered by science, that science as a way of knowing explicitly sets aside our emotions, our aesthetic reactions to things. As an alternative to consumerism, she offers an Indigenous mindset that embraces gratitude for the gifts of nature, which feeds and shelters us, and that acknowledges the role that humans play in responsible land stewardship and ecosystem restoration. You went into a more traditional scientific endeavor. Kimmerer is also the former chair of the Ecological Society of America Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section. And so we are attempting a mid-course correction here. Does that happen a lot? Young (1995) The role of slugs in dispersal of the asexual propagules of Dicranum flagellare. Its always the opposite, right? . Tippett: So living beings would all be animate, all living beings, anything that was alive, in the Potawatomi language. [music: All Things Transient by Maybeshewill]. Robin Kimmerer Botanist, professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Tippett: And you say they take possession of spaces that are too small. Our elders say that ceremony is the way we can remember to remember. Tippett: And were these elders? 2011 Witness to the Rain in The way of Natural History edited by T.P. Robin is a botanist and also a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. 24 (1):345-352. (n.d.). ( Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, . Modern America and her family's tribe were - and, to a . But when I ask them the question of, does the Earth love you back?,theres a great deal of hesitation and reluctance and eyes cast down, like, oh gosh, I dont know. They have persisted here for 350 million years. The Bryologist 98:149-153. Plant Ecologist, Educator, and Writer Robin Wall Kimmerer articulates a vision of environmental stewardship informed by traditional ecological knowledge and furthers efforts to heal a damaged. Center for Humans and Nature, Kimmerer, R.W, 2014. Restoration of culturally significant plants to Native American communities; Environmental partnerships with Native American communities; Recovery of epiphytic communities after commercial moss harvest in Oregon, Founding Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, Director, Native Earth Environmental Youth Camp in collaboration with the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, Co-PI: Helping Forests Walk:Building resilience for climate change adaptation through forest stewardship in Haudenosaunee communities, in collaboration with the Haudenosaunee Environmenttal Task Force, Co-PI: Learning fromthe Land: cross-cultural forest stewardship education for climate change adaptation in the northern forest, in collaboration with the College of the Menominee Nation, Director: USDA Multicultural Scholars Program: Indigenous environmental leaders for the future, Steering Committee, NSF Research Coordination Network FIRST: Facilitating Indigenous Research, Science and Technology, Project director: Onondaga Lake Restoration: Growing Plants, Growing Knowledge with indigenous youth in the Onondaga Lake watershed, Curriculum Development: Development of Traditional Ecological Knowledge curriculum for General Ecology classes, past Chair, Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section, Ecological Society of America. What were revealing is the fact that they have extraordinary capacities, which are so unlike our own, but we dismiss them because, well, if they dont do it like animals do it, then they must not be doing anything, when in fact, theyre sensing their environment, responding to their environment, in incredibly sophisticated ways. Together we will make a difference. . I was a high school junior in rural upstate New York, and our small band of treehugging students prevailed on the principal to let us organize an Earth Day observance. She is currently Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Kimmerer: Yes. 3. And its a really liberating idea, to think that the Earth could love us back, but it also opens the notion of reciprocity that with that love and regard from the Earth comes a real deep responsibility. But this is why Ive been thinking a lot about, are there ways to bring this notion of animacy into the English language, because so many of us that Ive talked to about this feel really deeply uncomfortable calling the living world it, and yet, we dont have an alternative, other than he or she. And Ive been thinking about the inspiration that the Anishinaabe language offers in this way, and contemplating new pronouns. On Being is an independent, nonprofit production of The On Being Project. Adirondack Life Vol. She has a keen interest in how language shapes our reality and the way we act in and towards the world. She teaches courses on Land and Culture, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Ethnobotany, Ecology of Mosses, Disturbance Ecology, and General Botany. Wisdom about the natural world delivered by an able writer who is both Indigenous and an academic scientist. Ransom and R. Smardon 2001. I think thats really exciting, because there is a place where reciprocity between people and the land is expressed in food, and who doesnt want that? Robin Wall Kimmerer is a plant ecologist, educator, and writer articulating a vision of environmental stewardship grounded in scientific and Indigenous knowledge. Kimmerer, R.W, 2015 (in review)Mishkos Kenomagwen: Lessons of Grass, restoring reciprocity with the good green earth in "Keepers of the Green World: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Sustainability," for Cambridge University Press. 2013 The Fortress, the River and the Garden: a new metaphor for cultivating mutualistic relationship between scientific and traditional ecological knowledge. And so this means that they have to live in the interstices. TEK refers to the body of knowledge Indigenous peoples cultivate through their relationship with the natural world. Kimmerer, D.B. And by exploit, I mean in a way that really, seriously degrades the land and the waters, because in fact, we have to consume. 2013. 2004 Interview with a watershed LTER Forest Log. For Kimmerer, however, sustainability is not the end goal; its merely the first step of returning humans to relationships with creation based in regeneration and reciprocity, Kimmerer uses her science, writing and activism to support the hunger expressed by so many people for a belonging in relationship to [the] land that will sustain us all. 1993. And so this, then, of course, acknowledges the being-ness of that tree, and we dont reduce it it to an object. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kimmerer: Yes. The Fetzer Institute,helping to build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. She is the author of Gathering Moss which incorporates both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives and was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. The role of dispersal limitation in bryophyte communities colonizing treefall mounds in northern hardwood forests. This comes back to what I think of as the innocent or childlike way of knowing actually, thats a terrible thing to call it. She is a member of the Potawatomi First Nation and she teaches. And when I think about mosses in particular, as the most ancient of land plants, they have been here for a very long time. Is that kind of a common reaction? Part of that work is about recovering lineages of knowledge that were made illegal in the policies of tribal assimilation, which did not fully end in the U.S. until the 1970s. It should be them who tell this story. "[7][8], Kimmerer received the John Burroughs Medal Award for her book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. The notion of reciprocity is really different from that. It turns out that, of course, its an alternate pronunciation for chi, for life force, for life energy. and Kimmerer, R.W. Robin Wall Kimmerer is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. Robin Wall Kimmerer: I cant think of a single scientific study in the last few decades that has demonstrated that plants or animals are dumber than we think. Just as the land shares food with us, we share food with each other and then contribute to the flourishing of that place that feeds us. TEK is a deeply empirical scientific approach and is based on long-term observation. By Robin Wall Kimmerer. We want to make them comfortable and safe and healthy. And they may have these same kinds of political differences that are out there, but theres this love of place, and that creates a different world of action. Thats what I mean by science polishes our ability to see it extends our eyes into other realms. We're over winter. 2008 . As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses , was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has . Ask permission before taking. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a professor of environmental biology at the State University of New York and the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. They ought to be doing something right here. Its an expansion from that, because what it says is that our role as human people is not just to take from the Earth, and the role of the Earth is not just to provide for our single species. Musings and tools to take into your week. Annual Guide. And the two plants so often intermingle, rather than living apart from one another, and I wanted to know why that was. I hope you might help us celebrate these two decades. Just as it would be disrespectful to try and put plants in the same category, through the lens of anthropomorphism, I think its also deeply disrespectful to say that they have no consciousness, no awareness, no being-ness at all. and R.W. Kimmerer, R.W. Her current work spans traditional ecological knowledge, moss ecology, outreach to Indigenous communities, and creative writing. And what I mean, when I talk about the personhood of all beings, plants included, is not that I am attributing human characteristics to them not at all. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. And I think of my writing very tangibly, as my way of entering into reciprocity with the living world. Robin Wall Kimmerer ["Two Ways of Knowing," interview by Leath Tonino, April 2016] reminded me that if we go back far enough, everyone comes from an ancestral culture that revered the earth. And that kind of attention also includes ways of seeing quite literally through other lenses rhat we might have the hand lens, the magnifying glass in our hands that allows us to look at that moss with an acuity that the human eye doesnt have, so we see more, the microscope that lets us see the gorgeous architecture by which its put together, the scientific instrumentation in the laboratory that would allow us to look at the miraculous way that water interacts with cellulose, lets say. March 2, 2020 Thinking back to April 22, 1970, I remember the smell of freshly mimeographed Earth Day flyers and the feel of mud on my hands. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. Kimmerer is a proponent of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) approach, which Kimmerer describes as a "way of knowing." She has served as writer in residence at the Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge. "Witch-hazels are a genus of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae, with three species in North America, and one each in Japan and China. I've been thinking about recharging, lately. Maintaining the Mosaic: The role of indigenous burning in land management. Her second book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, received the 2014 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Learning the Grammar of Animacy in The Colors of Nature, culture, identity and the natural world. Kimmerer, R.W. Both are in need of healingand both science and stories can be part of that cultural shift from exploitation to reciprocity. Im a Potawatomi scientist and a storyteller, working to create a respectful symbiosis between Indigenous and western ecological knowledges for care of lands and cultures. Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. They work with the natural forces that lie over every little surface of the world, and to me they are exemplars of not only surviving, but flourishing, by working with natural processes. I mean, just describe some of the things youve heard and understood from moss. Winds of Change. In English her Potawatomi name means Light Shining through Sky Woman. While she was growing up in upstate New York, Kimmerers family began to rekindle and strengthen their tribal connections. Dave Kubek 2000 The effect of disturbance history on regeneration of northern hardwood forests following the 1995 blowdown. And were at the edge of a wonderful revolution in really understanding the sentience of other beings. Occasional Paper No. "Moss hunters roll away nature's carpet, and some ecologists worry,", "Weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge into Biological Education: A Call to Action",, American non-fiction environmental writers, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry faculty, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry alumni, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, History. So I think of them as just being stronger and have this ability for what has been called two-eyed seeing, seeing the world through both of these lenses, and in that way have a bigger toolset for environmental problem-solving. But I bring it to the garden and think about the way that when we as human people demonstrate our love for one another, it is in ways that I find very much analogous to the way that the Earth takes care of us; is when we love somebody, we put their well-being at the top of the list, and we want to feed them well. One of the leaders in this field is Robin Wall Kimmerer, a professor of environmental and forest biology at the State University of New York and the bestselling author of "Braiding Sweetgrass." She's also an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and she draws on Native traditions and the grammar of the Potawatomi language . 2005 The Giving Tree Adirondack Life Nov/Dec. Because the tradition you come from would never, ever have read the text that way. Were exploring her sense of the intelligence in life we are used to seeing as inanimate. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. So each of those plants benefits by combining its beauty with the beauty of the other. Thats how I demonstrate love, in part, to my family, and thats just what I feel in the garden, is the Earth loves us back in beans and corn and strawberries. That is We have to analyze them as if they were just pure material, and not matter and spirit together. It was my passion still is, of course. Recognizing abundance rather than scarcity undermines an economy that thrives on creating unmet desires. As such, humans' relationship with the natural world must be based in reciprocity, gratitude, and practices that sustain the Earth, just as it sustains us. Reflective Kimmerer, "Tending Sweetgrass," pp.63-117; In the story 'Maple Sugar Moon,' I am made aware our consumer-driven . Im attributing plant characteristics to plants. Robin Wall Kimmerer, has experienced a clash of cultures. But in Indigenous ways of knowing, we say that we know a thing when we know it not only with our physical senses, with our intellect, but also when we engage our intuitive ways of knowing of emotional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. 111:332-341. But the botany that I encountered there was so different than the way that I understood plants. And thats really what I mean by listening, by saying that traditional knowledge engages us in listening. And its, I think, very, very exciting to think about these ways of being, which happen on completely different scales, and so exciting to think about what we might learn from them. Im Krista Tippett, and this is On Being. They have this glimpse into a worldview which is really different from the scientific worldview. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Young (1996) Effect of gap size and regeneration niche on species coexistence in bryophyte communities. She was born on January 01, 1953 in . 2012 Searching for Synergy: integrating traditional and scientific ecological knowledge in environmental science education. If citizenship is a matter of shared beliefs, then I believe in the democracy of species. Robinson, S., Raynal, D.J. is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. I hope that co-creatingor perhaps rememberinga new narrative to guide our relationship with the Earth calls to all of us in these urgent times. 2002. Kimmerer, R.W. Tippett: And inanimate would be, what, materials? I thought that surely, in the order and the harmony of the universe, there would be an explanation for why they looked so beautiful together. Plant breath for animal breath, winter and summer, predator and prey, grass and fire, night and day, living and dying. Posted on July 6, 2018 by pancho. They were really thought of as objects, whereas I thought of them as subjects. Fleischner, Trinity University Press. Kimmerer is also involved in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and works with the Onondaga Nation's school doing community outreach. and R.W. That would mean that the Earth had agency and that I was not an anonymous little blip on the landscape, that I was known by my home place. Host an exhibit, use our free lesson plans and educational programs, or engage with a member of the AWTT team or portrait subjects. . Articulating an alternative vision of environmental stewardship informed by traditional ecological knowledge. She fell like a maple seed, pirouetting on an . [11] Kimmerer received an honorary M. Phil degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic on June 6, 2020. Tippett: Youve been playing with one or two, havent you? Its good for land. The privacy of your data is important to us. -by Robin Wall Kimmerer from the her book Braiding Sweetgrass. Center for Humans and Nature Questions for a Resilient Future, Address to the United Nations in Commemoration of International Mother Earth Day, Profiles of Ecologists at Ecological Society of America. Kimmerer also has authored two award-winning books of nature writing that combine science with traditional teachings, her personal experiences in the natural world, and family and tribal relationships. Thats one of the hard places this world you straddle brings you to. Robin Wall Kimmerer: Returning the Gift. Those complementary colors of purple and gold together, being opposites on the color wheel, theyre so vivid they actually attract far more pollinators than if those two grew apart from one another.