Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Chi-Ning Gerrard

Climate Action Preston

It is clear that protecting biodiversity is of equal importance to reducing carbon emissions when it comes to avoiding the worst consequences of climate change. Sadly, modern society has been exploiting and destroying the natural world, especially over the last few decades. If this worries you, this book provides an alternative way to think and act which may bring some hope.

Braiding Sweetgrass is an inspirational and quite unique book, taking the teachings from ancient stories and the philosophies of indigenous North American peoples, and weaving them with modern scientific knowledge of botany and ecology.

Through the book, the wondrous beauty of life on earth and appreciation of the balance and mutual give and take between all living beings in the natural world is portrayed. It also reminds us how we, humans, are not separate or superior to other species but part of the ecosystem. We also need to recognise that the air, water and soil of this planet are crucial to sustain us but can only do this if they are kept healthy. We are both dependent on this planet and have a responsibility to look after it.

Braiding Sweetgrass shows how, in a world now largely driven by consumerism and greed to the point of exhausting the planet’s finite resources and irreversibly damaging the climate, we would do well to reflect and learn from the peoples who lived in partnership with the land for many thousands of years, and from plants themselves.

The book is available to borrow from Lancashire Libraries.