This website and associated curriculum report were developed as part of a study supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant led by Dr. Greg Lowan-Trudeau, Associate Professor with the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education, into the experiences of Canadian educators who are interested, but at times challenged, in incorporating consideration of Indigenous environmental knowledge, rights, issues, and activism into their teaching practice.
During the fall of 2015 and winter of 2016, interviews were conducted with educators from across Canada. Participants were both Indigenous and non-Indigenous and came from a range of personal and professional backgrounds; they included those with extensive K-12 experience, university professors, collaborative community-based artists, and land-based educators. One message that was communicated by several participants was that they lacked confidence in introducing Indigenous environmental knowledge and issues for discussion with their students due to limited foundational knowledge and curricular support in this area. They also expressed difficulty in staying up to date with contemporary events in a manner that would allow them to incorporate discussion in their classrooms and other educational settings. As such, this website and the associated report were produced in response to such concerns to provide increased access to foundational knowledge and curricular links for interested educators from both within and beyond their own regions.
A review of provincial and territorial curricula was conducted by Teresa Fowler, Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant, in the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017 with a view to understanding each province and territory’s approach to explicitly or implicitly supporting educators in engaging with Indigenous environmental knowledge and issues in various subject areas including, but not limited to, science, social studies, math, and English. This was a significant task and, while we recognize that it is inevitably imperfect, we hope that we have provided a starting point for further inquiry, discussion, and refinement. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or clarifications.
This inquiry was made possible through funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Insight Development program.