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. 

Book Club Style Discussion Groups

Health sciences students, faculty and staff are invited to join in community for lunch-time book style discussion groups. Conversations will guide participants towards deeper reflection, and will encourage discussion of how to meaningfully incorporate themes of the book in our practices in academic and healthcare spaces.

We will meet three times per quarter, and will cover the same topics each quarter. Registration is now open for Fall quarter discussion groups.  

  • Decolonization of Knowledge & Epistemology
    • Wednesday October 6, 12:30-1:30pm via Zoom
  • The Gift Economy & Professional Codes of Ethics
    • Tuesday October 12, 12:30-1:30pm via Zoom
  • Interconnectedness & Health
    • Monday October 18, 12:30-1:30pm in person near Health Sciences Building


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