Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science

Sam Mickey

A wonderful new book came out this year on Indigenous science, Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science (Penguin, 2022), by Jessica Hernandez, PhD. It is a deeply informative and inspiring book, weaving together historical, personal, and ecological perspectives in a way that is philosophically brilliant as well as practically applicable.

From the publisher's description:

Jessica Hernandez–Maya Ch’orti’ and Zapotec environmental scientist and founder of environmental agency Piña Soul–introduces and contextualizes Indigenous environmental knowledge and proposes a vision of land stewardship that heals rather than displaces, that generates rather than destroys. She breaks down the failures of western-defined conservatism and shares alternatives, citing the restoration work of urban Indigenous people in Seattle; her family’s fight against ecoterrorism in Latin America; and holistic land management approaches of Indigenous groups across the continent.

Through case studies, historical overviews, and stories that center the voices and lived experiences of Indigenous Latin American women and land protectors, Hernandez makes the case that if we’re to recover the health of our planet–for everyone–we need to stop the eco-colonialism ravaging Indigenous lands and restore our relationship with Earth to one of harmony and respect.

More information about Dr. Hernandez and her book is available on her website here.