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NYU Reads

A selection of resources for engaging with the NYU Reads books.

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Allegiance to Gratitude

Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycle of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one

- Braiding Sweetgrass, Allegiance to Gratitude (p.107)

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

About The Book

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants is a nonfiction book written by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Published in 2013, Braiding Sweetgrass explores how both scientific and Indigenous knowledge can shape the ways we perceive the environment. In an effort to bring awareness of themes such as sustainability, climate change and Native American history, Kimmerer recounts her experiences and knowledge from the lens of an Indigenous woman and Botanist. 

About The Author

Robin Wall Kimmerer 

Robin Wall Kimmerer Image

Robin Wall Kimmerer is an American author, scientist, mother, professor, and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants. She has BS in Botany from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry as well as a MS and PhD from the University of Wisconsin.  A distinguished professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Kimmerer serves as the founding Director for the Center of Native Peoples and the Environment. Her mission employs Indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge with a goal of sustainability, land restoration and restoring the relationship between land and people.

Also by Robin Wall Kimmerer


About Sweetgrass

Sweetgrass or Hierochloe Odorata is an aromatic herb native to North America and Eurasia. Used by the Indigenous tribes of the Northeast and Great Lakes, sweetgrass is regarded as a sacred used in prayer and ceremonies. In Potawatomi legend, sweetgrass represents Skywoman's daughter's hair as a gift to the earth. This gift can be braided, dried and burned for healing, purification and protection. The sweet scent of sweetgrass endows one with a sense of peace and harmony, eliminating negative thoughts and attracting positive spirits.  Sweetgrass is also used for basket and craft making and can be brewed as a tea to soothe ailments. 


  • This guide includes quotes from the book Braiding Sweetgrass, the page numbers corresponding to each reflect the paperback version of the book. Hardcover and ebook versions will have contrasting page numbers to the paperback version and are thus not reflected in this guide.
  • In addition, special consideration has been taken in using the word "Indigenous" throughout the guide to capture all Indigenous cultures and diversity. Use of the word Native American will reflect information solely on Indigenous tribes of North America.