“A critical pedagogy of place aims to (a) identify, recover, and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (rehabilitation), and (b) identify and change the ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (decolonization)” – Jean-Paul Restoule
List some of the ways that you see rehabilitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
In the narrative Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing, youth, adults and elders participated in a learning and teaching experience that included a 10-day river trip where the participants were able to travel on the traditional waters and lands of the area. Additionally, the experience included an audio documentary that was completed by the youth who had the opportunity to interview various community members. With their traveling experience, the youth were able to learn about the relationships between the people and the land. According to the author, for the People of Fort Albany First Nation, the land is very important to their cultural identity. Another part of the project that I believe contributes to rehabilitation and decolonisation is the community mapping that was completed in the Inninowuk language. Additionally, the experience brought together different generations which helped with their connection and reclamation to their traditional knowledge and culture. Through this, the younger generations were reintroduced to traditional ways of knowing.
How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
As my field of education is health, identity is something that will be an area of focus for my class. When learning about identify, place will be something that will be important to bring into the conversation. An example of something I would do for this would be to ask the students to reflect on their own identity, and how the places they come from, were raised, or somewhere that is important to them, ties into their identity.