Learning From Place

The article [Learning From Place] suggests that a “critical pedagogy of place” aims to: a) identify, recover, and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (reinhabitation); and (b) identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (decolonization) (p.74). List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative. How might you adapt these ideas / consider place in your own subject areas and teaching?

Reinhabitation: There are many examples of how we see this being played out throughout the article. The main one being that the youth are learning about the land and the important connections to the river through the elders. Passing down knowledge orally is a huge aspect of First Nations culture, so connecting with the elders, creating mentorship programs and creating the audio documentary are great ways of educating the youths on how to live well on the land, and making sure that knowledge isn’t lost for future generations.

Photo Credit: FotoFloridian Flickr via Compfight cc

Decolonization:  One of the main lines that stuck out to me in the article was that “reinhabitation and decolonization depend on each other” (p. 74). We see this also through the sharing of knowledge with one another along the river. This allowed for each student to find their own unique meaning and personal connection to the land, that they may have never had before. Another example of this is when the article talked about the advances to change the English names around the river to Cree. These are both examples of the attempts to break down some of the walls that colonization has built up for so many years, and helping educate youths on the history of the land they walk on.

Being a Physical Education minor, there are many ways that I could incorporate and adapt these ideas of place into my lessons. First Nations History and Culture is very connected to the earth and nature, so getting students outdoors and finding their own connection to the land could be a great start.

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