Re-Indigenize your faith by recognizing sweetgrass, all things as kin

By Damian Costello
February 5, 2022

Few things are more arresting than the smell of burning sweetgrass, the sacred plant that some Indigenous peoples call the hair of Mother Earth. Our Catholic ancestors called it Mary's Grass. Re-connecting with this relative can help us re-Indigenize our faith and heal wounds that riddle Turtle Island and the whole planet.

One of the most important books of the last decade — for me, maybe this century — is Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants (Milkweed Editions). Kimmerer, a botanist and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Band of Oklahoma, started a new conversation between Western science and Indigenous wisdom.

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