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What Is It?

This is our messiest foundation! “Ecosocial Co-liberation, as in both environmental and social ecosystems. As in action that moves from a place of understanding the interconnectedness of livingness on this planet, and understanding that human and ecological relational repair are entwined with one another and provide essential energy and clarity for that repair.

We cannot heal ourselves without healing the earth, we cannot heal the earth without healing ourselves. We must unravel notions of human body supremacy that manifest as cisheteronormativity, patriarchy, white supremacist racism, extractivism, and unchecked consumption in order to liberate our home (eco) and ourselves (social) from systemic oppression and destruction. This is liberation as earthling relational praxis.”


- Bronte Velez, Weaving Earth

“The Three Sisters offer us a new metaphor for an emerging relationship between Indigenous knowledge and Western science, both of which are rooted in the earth. I think of the corn as traditional ecological knowledge, the physical and spiritual framework that can guide the curious bean of science, which twines like a double helix. The squash creates the ethical habitat for coexistence and mutual flourishing. I envision a time when the intellectual monoculture of science will be replaced with a polyculture of complementary knowledges. And so all may be fed…

They’ve all brought their gifts to this table, but they’ve not done it alone. They remind us that there is another partner in this symbiosis. She is sitting here at the table and across the valley in the farmhouse, too. She’s the one who noticed the ways of each species and imagined how they might live together. Perhaps we should consider this a Four Sisters garden, for the planter is also an essential partner. It is she who turns up the soil, she who scares away the crows, and she who pushes seeds into the soil.

We are the planters, the ones who clear the land, pull the weeds, and pick the bugs; we save the seeds over winter and plant them again next spring. We are midwives to their gifts. We cannot live without them, but it’s also true that they cannot live without us. Corn, beans, and squash are fully domesticated; they rely on us to create the conditions under which they can grow. We too are part of the reciprocity. They can’t meet their responsibilities unless we meet ours.”

-Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

Invitations for reflection:

  • What does a culture of care look like to you?

  • Who is your work in service of? What changes about the way you approach your work when you know that it will outlive you?

  • Who do you apprentice yourself to to help you grow and evolve in this work? Which human and more-than-human kin are you drawn to. 


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