ESCI 302

Braiding to become eco-literate

When thinking of what it means to be eco-literate there are various ways we can go about it, to describe it, and how to live it or who lives it.  Two pieces that I found very interesting when readings them were Kaylee’s and Rebecca’s.  Both pieces took a different role at describing how people/animals are eco-literate and what it means to be eco-literate.  Kimmerer (2013) says “It is an intertwining of science, spirit, and story – old stories and new ones …  that allow us to imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other.” (pg.X), these different relationships that I read about opened my eyes to noticing that various ways it means to be eco-literate and who all can be eco-literate.

I really enjoyed the impact that Kaylee and I found in people mine definition of eco-literacy being found in the lives of indigenous people and Kaylee’s being found in her parents.  The people who have shaped who we are and who have taught us many things also have taught us how and what it means to be eco-literate.  One crucial question that I thought of was “Eco literate or Indigenous?” – I feel like the definition of being eco-literate is living in the indigenous way of life before the settlers came and interrupted their ways of life and traditions.  I also found it interesting how Kaylee learnt how to be eco-literate from her parents who have taught her appreciation for the land and its beauty, “The snow, the wind, the rain and the sun; All apart of everything all in unison to one an ever changing and intertwined environment It’s no wonder how you embrace and love this beautiful planet.” (Kaylee).  I also really enjoy how she mentions that everything is in unison and intertwined with the environment.  That although many weather patterns are taken for granted there is beauty behind them and they offer our plant so many possibilities.

Another perspective that I enjoyed was the one through the eyes of Rebecca’s dog, Tucker.  I really found this interesting on how a dog can offer ways to be eco-literate and through the eyes of a dog you can learn these ways.  Dogs offer advice more then people realize and like many other things people miss from the animals of the earth we can learn from all living things.  I really found it interesting when Rebecca said “You never take more than they give and only once it had fallen to the ground as if to not let it go to waste.” (Rebecca), this quote made me think of the circle of life and how the earth offers things to our animals and they can only take so much.  That although there are ways for these animals to eat they still rely on mother earth to live, breathe, and eat from.  I think it is so important to remember not to take more then what you need because in today’s world the resources are becoming limited and what mother earth had to offered has been ripped from her and the human population has taken all she can give from her.


Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions


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