Join all health sciences students in reading this year’s common book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.   

Each year, an open group from within the UW Health Sciences selects a Common Book that serves as a platform for students from across health professions to learn together on topics of common importance. Throughout the school year students have the opportunity to participate in a series of lectures, interactive discussions, advocacy efforts, and seminars focused on the major topic(s) of the book.

This year, we hope that our selection, Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, will engage the community in exploration of the interconnectedness of our world, through the lens of an Indigenous scientist and spark rich conversations and learning experiences. 

We will be updating this page with information on common book-related programming for the 2021-22 academic year. 

Live Discussion with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer

On Thursday November 18, from 7:30-8:30pm, the King County Library System hosted a talk with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass, and University of Washington Professor Dr. Charlotte Coté. View the recording HERE.

Common Book Indigenous Speaker Series

Health sciences students, faculty and staff are invited to partake in our upcoming Indigenous Speaker Series, a new program dedicated to bringing Indigenous University of Washington faculty members into the spotlight to share their important work in our communities and beyond. Check back here throughout winter and spring quarter!!!

Winter 2022 Elective Course: Issues in Indian Health

The course, UCONJ 530: Issues in Indian Health, is a 2-credit course offered through the UW Office of Healthcare Equity.   The course is designed to heighten understanding of historical and contemporary issues in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) healthcare, while developing any health sciences/health professional student interested in AI/AN.  Traditional Indian Medicine, tribal history, and major legislation is introduced; community service component required. Course will be offered Thursday evenings from 5:30-6:50pm.


Additional Resources & Community Events 

There are so many opportunities to learn about indigenous perspectives around our campus and in the community beyond.  We encourage you to take a look at the resources page, which will be updated throughout the year.  If you have an event or resource you would like to share, please email rlazzar@uw.ed.  


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 Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. 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. ( 

Accessing the Book

The UW Library has an e-book of Braiding Sweetgrass (2013 edition) with unlimited users.

For purchase, e-copies cost roughly $10 and paperback volumes cost about $20. E-copies are readily available for purchase online and we encourage you to utilize independent booksellers as much as possible. The book was re-released in Summer 2020 with a new introduction and doesn’t differ substantially from the original release.

Questions? Contact Rachel Lazzar at