1. List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
Reinhabitation – identify, recover and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (Restoule et al, 2013).
- inhabit a place again (Webster Dictionary)
- In this article, the participants went on a 10-day river trip of the traditional waters and lands to learn about traditional ways of life of Mushkegowuk people. They went back into the natural habitat of the First Nations people (away from communities and people). By participating in the canoe trip, the participants learned about the Mushkegowuk relationship to nature, water, and land.
Decolonization – “identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (Restoule et al, 2013).
- describes ongoing theoretical and political processes used to contest and reframe narratives about indigenous community histories and the effects of colonial expansion, genocide, and cultural assimilation.
- This project brought people together to support learning more about the Mushkegowuk knowledge and culture that was lost when the Europeans forces First Nations off their lands. This re-introduction to the land to transfer knowledge to younger generations were part of the process. This process brought together youth and Elders to learn from each other which is very important to pass on history in the First Nations culture as there are not books to learn from (oral storytelling is important). Reconnecting youth to the land is very important to continue and preserve the culture and history of First Nations people. The teaching of traditional words were part of the project to ensure that youth did not lose the meaning from the Cree culture.
2. How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
- Many of the issues that were discussed during the research phase would be important to consider as I begin my teaching career. I believe our traditional textbooks have a view of history and events that does not teach us the history of Canada. Teachers need to be aware of the history of our province and not rely on old sources of information. I will need to ensure that I learn First Nations perspectives and ways of knowing to be able to share these with my students.
- I would definitely need to be aware and research, the Treaty Territory that the school is located on. It is very important to acknowledge Treaty land. The curriculum areas that would be relevant would be learning outcomes that have to do with culture and community. It would be important to build relationships with the First Nations in the community and hopefully they would support learning within the classroom. I also think place would be able to be considered as there are many historical landmarks that would be relevant to student learning (if I was teaching in Saskatoon or area, my class could visit Wanaskawun). There would be learning to occur with First nations celebrations and powwos and these cultural pieces would fit within various curriculum (social studies and the arts).
- I think that bringing nature into my classroom would support place. I would be able to bring natural objects – branches, leaves and rocks to support learning of the environment. I would be able to bring in an Elder or people for the First Nations to build a tipi with the class. I could have language introduced by someone who speaks a First Nations language. We could look at community maps as explained in the article about the Cree names on the map and the Mushkegowuk words that were alongside to share the stories of what was on the map.