November BOTM Meeting Recap
Discussion topics, relevant themes & media recommendations to wrap up (or kickstart) your reading of Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass!
We are thankful to our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send thanksgiving, love, and respect. Now our minds are one. (Allegiance to Gratitude, 108)
Thank you to everyone who attended this month’s meeting in-person and online, to those of you who read along with us remotely and to the knowledgeable folks of Ohio State’s Student Farm for providing a fun seeding activity and a beautiful space for discussion. Robin Wall Kimmerer and her words in Braiding Sweetgrass are a gift – melding conventional Western sciences with Indigenous wisdom, offering important perspectives on our philosophies of naturalism and social ecology, and forcing its readers to reflect on their own relationship to the environment, indigeneity and advocacy.
Feel free to use this meeting recap if you wanted a refresher on some of the exciting things that we discusses, or if you are planning on starting to read Braiding Sweetgrass. You'll find below a summary of the discussion topics and relevant themes that were brought up during discussion, as well as relevant media recommendations.
Discussion Topics & Relevant Themes
In shifting away from the transactional nature of relationships, how can we cultivate Gift Economies?
What does it mean to receive gratefully?
The Potawatomi language does not have a word for “please.”
Gratitude as a gift
What responsibilities come with gift-giving & gift-receiving?
“A gift comes to you through no action of your own, free, having moved toward you without your beckoning. It is not a reward; you cannot earn it, or call it to you, or even deserve it. And yet it appears. Your only role is to be open-eyed and present. Gifts exist in a realm of humility and mystery -- as with random acts of kindness, we do not know their source.” (The Gift of Strawberries, 23-24)
The Grammar of Animacy
Combating climate doom
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson’s How to Find Joy in Climate Action TEDtalk
Here are some Instagram posts that may cultivate climate joy for you:
My holiday gratitude letter to Earth (@greengirlleah)
A Love Letter to Indigenous Knowledge (@intersectionalenvironmentalist & @charitieropati)
Solarpunk: What can we accomplish when we dare to dream? (@circularitycommunity)
Birdwatching is a kind of therapy (@intersectionalenvironmentalist & @ikesbirdinghikes)
Positive climate news of the week (@earthlyeducation & @jessicakleczka)
THE SUBTLE PROMPTER (@bergggggggggggggg)
What is in your hope toolbox? (@chiara.acu)
Challenging Heuristics for Environmentalism & Environmental Activism
The healing power of nature should be accessible and welcoming.
What are the widely accessible ways that one can experience the natural world?
The commodification of environmentalism
Classism & racism in climate justice communities
Where do many of our environmental practices come from? In what ways have indigenous practices been co-opted?
Think, too, of indigenous practices in Latin America
Horror as reflections of guilt and fear
In Communion with the Land
There are many benefits to eating produce that is in-season: reduces the need for out-of-season and outsourced produce, encourages support of local growers and cultivates an intentional relationship with the food we buy and consume.
Here is a guide to eating in-season
What does the environment teach us about the power of community?
Book connection: Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
Can we consider humans a part of nature?
In many ways, humans are nature. Our natural world creates life, sustains it and absorbs its lasting particles for a never-ending cycle of birth and rebirth.
What would it be like to be in a state of mutual taming with the land?
Book connection: The Little Prince by Saint-Exupèry
TV & Film
The Good Place (2016-2020)
How is one to live an ethical life under current capitalist and imperialist systems?
Fantastic Fungi (dir. Louie Schwartzberg, 2019)
I Dream in Another Language (dir. Ernesto Contreras, 2017)
Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest
Elissa Washuta, White Magic
Herbert Marcuse and Environmentalism
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence
Adrienne Buller, The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism
Vine Deloria Jr., God is Red: A Native View of Religion
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Alexis Nikole (@blackforager)
Did we miss anything?
This is not an exhaustive list -- don't hesitate to reach out via email at email@example.com or via Instagram @hardcoverhotties if you have any ideas.❣❣❣