Tree in front of my house hugged by passers-by

This tree in front of my house is featured in “Tree Huggers in the City

I have been learning and teaching at the college level for the past four decades– since I received my Ph.D. in philosophical anthropology in 1974. I am grateful to the indigenous elders of many traditions and the ongoing dialogue with my students for what they continue to teach me.  The purpose of this website is to pass on something of what has been shared with me at this point in human history when knowledge and deep thinking–and acting accordingly– is essential to our survival.

You will never see ads on this site, which would be out of place on a site devoted– as this one is– to community dialogue. I look forward to continuing to see your own ideas and responses to this public conversation.

My own ancestors have influenced me greatly in developing the ideas here.  My ancestors not only in scholarship but in my family, in which my mother’s Czech ancestors kept alive vital oral traditions including that of my grandfather’s grandmother, a healer who obtained her power from “speaking with the earth”. I thus had the gift of growing up within what I term an eco-spiritual tradition. It was from my grandfather that I first learned how the map of a man’s mind might reflect the map of a particular landscape. It was through my parents that I met Lower Chehalis elder Henry Cultee, whose words appear in a number of posts and pages on this site.

On this website, I combine scholarly information with the ancient wisdoms of oral tradition–stories and personal thoughts that highlight our ancient belonging to the land–and the environmental challenges currently facing us.

I am also a backyard beekeeper working with untreated bees and supporting the survival of native pollinators and their habitat.


Some of you have met me at conferences where I gave papers and presentations that you have requested. I have placed some of these here as “pages”.  Feel free to email me about research you are interested in– or information you don’t see here.

You will also find a few of my publications posted and linked here as well. Most recently, I have been focusing on my poetry.

Reproducing material from this site:

I ask that you treat the words of indigenous elders quoted here with respect, for this knowledge reflects the enduring heart of these peoples.  You can easily separate such knowledge from my own opinions and speculations.

I retain the copyright of  all text and photos on this site (except for comments of course).  In some cases (as indicated in the texts) copyright is shared with journals where particular essays have been published. You are welcome to link to this material freely and/or to cite portions of it with standard attribution of its source.

Fell free to contact me with questions about access or reproduction or other general questions about material this site.

Thank you again for visiting. Come back again!

Madronna Holden



Just a note:  Our Earth, Ourselves is also the title of Ruth Caplan’s book– which is not connected to this site, but check out their Alliance for Democracy, which works to end corporate rule here.

Most recently, I have been focusing on my poetry. See “poetry” widget here for what I have been writing.

10 Responses

  1. Hi Madronna,
    This is a great site, and I will share this with my students at Stony Brook University and my readers. You might enjoy my blog, Ecofeminist Ruminations: http://ecofeminism-mothering.blogspot.com/. I’d love to reproduce your “what not to buy” at both my blog and at TerraSpheres: http://www.terraspheres.com/planet, where I am the environmental editor… Let me know. Thanks for your great work! –Heidi Hutner (hjhutner@gmail.com)

    • Thank you for the kind feedback, Heidi. You may certainly have permission to reproduce those pieces– just give this url/source. I will take a look at your site when I get a chance.

  2. Professor Holden.

    This site is so involved! I love all the information you offer to the public and all in such an easy read format.

    I look forward to learning a lot from you this term. As a native Oregonian and young American Indian girl I am hoping to connect a lot of life lessons through this course; and my goal is to turn those lessons in to teachings for those I touch with my energy and passion every day.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Thank you for the kind response, Danielle. What a wonderful personal goal you have! I am sure your passion and energy will be a gift to your future students. I very much look forward to working with you this quarter.

  3. Hi Madronna, I received your email but when I tried to reply, i got an error message. Anyways, just get a new gmail address…it only takes two minutes. There’s an Instant Message inside Kerika so you can say hi there once you get in.

  4. Hi Madronna – What a beautiful gift. I stumbled upon your site and feel as if I opened a box of treasures. Much love & blessings to you.

  5. hi Madronna thanks for sharing all this .This will help me in writing my paper .Need your permission to cite some portion from your work.

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