Mushkegowuk Connections to the Land

A Response to “Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing”

Reading Response Six

           In this article reinhabitation and decolonization is happening throughout. Youth, adults, and Elders are experiencing and discuss the issues of land and water rights. This excursion is the link that ties having a connection to nature to the importance to children’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wella4 being. Language is one topic that comes up nearing the end of the article as it is notes that the youth suffer from intergenerational loss of language due to the effects of residential schools. However, by bringing the generations together there is intergenerational growth that occurs. Overall, this project and the learning that occurred is reigniting youth with the connection to land, culture, and overall life.

In my classroom I plan to incorporate activities such as the blanket exercise, have students participate in outdoor learning experiences, bring in the treaty ed game, or have elders come in a talk to further classroom discussion around land and Indigenous history that some students might not have even known about. It is easy it relate these exercises because the results of those issues are present today with their own set of issues, it is not however, an easy topic to discuss with your students, it is a hard topic and brings up a lot of strong emotions, but it is essential to their learning. In my future teaching career I plan on getting to know my community and then bring in everyday examples into my teaching practice. For example, currently in politics there is uproar between some Reserves and governments about the placement of a pipeline. And why shouldn’t there be? It is the same issue that is discussed early on in this article. With the arrival of mining and hydro development companies came concerns over proposals about potential roads and mining projects on the land. To companies such as these, the land is viewed as a resource. To the Mushkegowuk the land sustains their ‘way of life’ and on page seventy-one the article mentions the land is a relative, not a utility; meaning that the land is not a resource. But there is so much more we as teachers can do, there is so much history to unfold inside the classroom, so much knowledge for our students to gain. As teachers, it is of the most importance for us to teach our students about what is going on in the world so that they can be not only aware but can formulate their own educated opinions on the matter.


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