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(Jane Goodall Hopecast S2 EP14) – Robin Wall Kimmerer

Jane Goodall

Robin Wall Kimmerer: Hope is the Power of Plants and Indigenous Knowledge

This special bonus episode of the Jane Goodall Hopecast premiered at On Air Fest 2022. Join Dr. Goodall as she speaks with author, botanist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer. Dr. Kimmerer is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants and the founder of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. In this thoughtful conversation, Jane and Robin consider how much more there is to not only learn about plants, but to learn from them as well. They each share the ways their mothers encouraged their love of nature and their journeys through academia. They express their appreciation for science and the value of viewing the world through an analytical lens, but emphasize the totality of the “ways of knowing,” including millennia of wisdom shared from indigenous cultures. Robin reflects on how she merges her Indigenous knowledge and scientific curiosity to create a more holistic viewpoint. Jane recalls how her own imagination was sparked through stories and a desire to observe, which enabled her to push traditional scientific boundaries. The pair also focus on the urgent need to encourage a reconnection with the natural world through stories, in order to prevent the ills facing our world. As Robin succinctly puts it, “in my own evolution I have gone from scientist to storyteller because it feels like that’s what we need right now.”

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