The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science is partnering with six regional nonprofit organizations to host a virtual event with Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the acclaimed book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
Kimmerer’s speech will be available through Facebook Live and YouTube Live from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Nov. 17. All are welcome to attend this free event, which has no audience size restrictions. The event partners include the Confluence Project, Friends of Tryon Creek, Columbia Land Trust, Metro, Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.
Registration is required via the Confluence Project website: https://www.confluenceproject.org/event-post/braiding-sweetgrass-author-robin-wall-kimmerer/
A team of teachers at the Cottonwood School has created a community reads program featuring Braiding Sweetgrass, and the Nov. 17 event is the culmination of that group experience. Fifteen copies of the book were purchased to share with students, staff, and families thanks to grant funding from the Gray Family Foundation.
“The author is a botanist and Indigenous woman whose beautifully written book has the potential to change the way we think about our relationship to the Earth,” said Sarah Anderson, Fieldwork and Place-based Education Coordinator at Cottonwood. “Her insights inspire joy, grief, humility, appreciation, and ultimately, love for the world. Her words also offer us concrete ways to decolonize our minds and hearts and move towards a more just and sustainable future. We are thrilled to share this text with the extended community as a catalyst for discussion and deeper thought on the transformation of education.”
Anderson said hundreds of individuals have already registered for the event. Several Cottonwood students will have the opportunity to submit questions directly to Kimmerer.
The Cottonwood School, based in the South Waterfront area of Portland, is a charter school that offers place-based education. In this time of pandemic and distance learning, teachers and staff have continued to build lessons around neighborhoods with an eye toward fostering understanding of the natural world and civic responsibility.