Place-Based Learning!

The article Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing by Jean-Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner, and Edmund Metatawabin shows reinhabitation and decolonization by bringing youth and elders together participating in place-based education by going outdoors and incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into teachings. The group take a 10-day river trip where the elders share their relations to the land, youth and waters to understand the Mushkegowuk knowledge and culture. There is one part in the article that states “connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual development”. The point of the trip was to show youth traditional ways of knowing by showing them a decolonizing way of education outside the walls of an institution and typical colonized education. By doing so it gives youth a sense of history, a sense of belonging and connection to the earth.

Although place-based education can be incorporated in many classes, my major in social studies, I could take the students outside of the school to a reserve, or bringing them to the treaty 4 ceremonies held in September in Fort Qu’apple to learn about treaty 4 which is the land we are on. One could even go to the First Nations University on a field trip and have the elders there talk and sit down with our students in the teepees they have outside. I am an educational assistant for Regina Public and last year we took our grade 7 and 8 students on a camping trip and we stopped in Lebret, SK. to learn about the history of the residential school that is there and what it was like before the Residential school was put into place. The students loved it and were so interested in it. With some planning and research, there are many ways to incorporate place-based learning into the classroom.

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