Land-Based Education Philsophy
I believe that land-based education provides a connection to our history and to our identities as Indigenous peoples. It is about relationship to the lands, waters and animals as well as to our communities. Language is an intricate part of land-based education. Within our language lies elements of our beliefs and values such as wahkotowin, nanaskomowin and kise-watisiwin. It also provides a pathway back to our egalitarian societies because our language does not recognize hierarchy; a man, a tree and an animal are all referred to as "awa" or this living being. Dr. Stan Wilson
Finally, and most importantly, it is about sovereignty and protection; without our lands, cultures and languages "We cease to become a Nation" Sylvia McAdam. The health and wealth of the land is the health and wealth of a Nation.
A big part of land-based education is incorporating elders and knowledge keepers who have Pd.D. level knowledges about the lands, animals, values, beliefs and practices. A successful land-based education practice incorporates the elders in the community to influence the children they teach because they are the experts.
In this video, you will see one of the activities that I created at Sturgeon Lake School. Although, I was the Cree Language teacher I took some time and worked with the elder Leonard Ermine to integrate some land-based education for the young nehiyaw students who hadn't experienced this type of education before.