The T&R Learning Circle (alumni book club) is designed to create an accessible space for CapU alumni and staff to increase their knowledge of issues related to Truth and Reconciliation.
Participants in The Learning Circle will read chapters from an assigned book and meet weekly to discuss themes and topics. Discussions are moderated by a facilitator(s).
We invite all CapU alumni and staff to join regardless of where they are in their personal journey. Participants are asked to complete the assigned readings, commit to attending the weekly discussions, as well as help the organizers create a safe space for learning, asking questions, and being a little uncomfortable.
"For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it.”
— Robin Wall Kimmerer
Date: Nov. 7 — Dec. 5, 2023
Time: Tuesday evenings 8 — 9 p.m. PST (The time may change depending on preference of confirmed participants)
Location: Virtual on Zoom
Robin Wall Kimmerer
About the book
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, Kimmerer shows how other living beings — asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae and sweetgrass — offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices.
In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
Schedule of readings:
- Nov. 7 — Part 1: Planting Sweetgrass
- Nov. 14 — Part 2: Tending Sweetgrass
- Nov. 21 — Part 3: Picking Sweetgrass
- Nov. 28 — Part 4: Braiding Sweetgrass
- Dec. 5 — Part 5: Burning Sweetgrass and final reflections
About the author
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling collection of essays Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants as well as Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses.
Kimmerer is a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
The CUAA Truth and Reconciliation Learning Circle will begin on Nov. 7, 2023, from 8–9 p.m. (PST) and continue weekly on Tuesday evenings until Dec. 5, 2023.
No fee to participate, but you will need to find your own copy of the book.
Copies are available at the CapU library, otherwise you should be able to obtain a copy at the local bookstore or online. If you are in the greater Vancouver area, we recommend visiting Massy Books, a local and Indigenous-owned and operated book store.
To get the most out of this experience we prefer participation at our weekly online meetings. However, we understand you may not be available to attend every session. If you need to miss a session, continue the assigned readings and attend the next one.
If you would like to participate but the day and time do not work, you are still welcome to join our private group to post your questions and participate in the group discussions. Please send us an email after you sign up to let us know.