Learning from place

In the article, the author talks about how the youth, as well as elders, were reintroduced to an area, in this case, a river. In doing this it introduced the idea that the term reinhabitation has to do with taking a place in which individuals have knowledge of and reintroducing them into the environment to ensure they will have the best quality of life living her after this step is taken. In the article, the author goes on to states how important nature aspects are in relation to knowing your surroundings, this is especially important when you look at how it relates to the indigenous community. The connection of land and nature is one, if not the most important aspects in Indigenous culture so by taking this ten-day trip down the river with both youth and elders they are further building this connection and deepening their previous understanding with the earth. 

The article talks about decolonization by saying that “decolonization as an act of resistance must not be limited to rejecting and transforming dominant ideas; it also depends on recovering and renewing traditional, non-commodified cultural patterns such as mentoring and intergenerational relationships.” ( Gruenewald, 2003, paraphrasing Bowers, 2001). Again we can relate this to the ten-day trip taken to the river, through this act they can be seen to be rejecting these dominant ideas which were once pushed upon them by settlers. They are going back to their true beliefs and growing back their connection to the land by deepening this understanding and knowledge of the environment in which they are living.

In a classroom setting, this is a very important topic to address, especially coming from someone who is hoping to teach in Saskatchewan where the Indigenous community is very large as well as the need to be more educated on these topics. Personally, I went to school from grades 1-12 in Calgary Alberta where there isn’t a push towards furthering knowledge on Indigenous culture, therefore, I wasn’t exposed to lots of this information until my first year of university. As a future teacher, I believe in order to work this into a classroom you first need to break down the walls and assumptions some may carry that one idea or way of life is better than the other. As a white person, I feel like one of the best methods in order to teach these things to a higher extent in my classroom would be through bringing an Elder into my classroom to share their experiences and stories. This way my students will be getting the correct information from someone who has gone through much more than I have and can teach their culture in a way in which I cannot.

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