Turning Pages Book Club: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Join Museum volunteer docents for a discussion that connects the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer with work on view in the Museum. Following a group discussion, participants can enjoy a guided tour exploring correlations between the book and the exhibitions. Complete the book prior to meeting. Arrive early to place a lunch order with the Café! Space is limited and advance registration is recommended. Book available for purchase through the Museum Store.
Questions for discussion:
1. Why do you think the author was presenting scientific and Indigenous teaching side by side for us to examine?
2. The author explains how things in nature can be animate (living) and inanimate (not living). What was your reaction to this viewpoint that everything is alive? Does it change your opinion on the role of plants in our everyday lives?
3. “Skywoman Falling” is an Indigenous story of Creation. How would you compare or contrast this story to the account of Creation told in Genesis? Do you agree with the author that Eve “got the short end of the stick?”
4. A major theme throughout the book is reciprocity – that people, the land and environment depend on each other – and this relationship is sacred. Do you think Kimmerer was successful in explaining this to the reader? What do you wish she had explained further? What aspects of your life embrace this theme?
5. According to the author, what is the purpose of “ceremony?” How could you apply Kimmerer’s definition of “ceremony” to ceremonies you have witnessed or participated in during your own life?
6. As a follow up to the above, in “Allegiance to Gratitude,” Kimmerer talks about the Thanksgiving Address. Describe who and/or what your Ceremony of Greeting would give thanks to?
7. Was there anything you learned from Braiding Sweetgrass about Native/Indigenous cultures that you found surprising? Please share an example.
8. What was your favorite chapter or quote from the book?