This article shows many examples of how we can use the outdoors to decolonize our classrooms and schools if we simply put in the effort to do so. One quote by Restoule, Gruner & Metatawabin that really resonated with me goes as follows; “connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development.” Throughout working to obtain my degree, I have participated in outdoor education classes that have showed me exactly how this quote can come true. Using the outdoors is an excellent was to decolonize our school programs, and this is shown in Fort Qu’appelle, SK. If you look at the land-based program that they provide for their grade 10 students. This program shows how Indigenous ways of knowing and culture can be taught through an outdoor education program. The learnings that students have during land-based education provides them with many life skills; skills that may be necessary later in life.
Place-based education opens many doors for teaching about reinhabitation and decolonization. Teaching in the outdoors can be cross curricular in many ways. You can teach about the history of the land, Indigenous traditions, language, and ways of life. The opportunities are truly endless. There is a way in which you can teach for every subject in the outdoors, allowing your students to create greater bonds and relationships with the environment that they live in, while still educating them.
Reference: Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing by Jean-Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner, and Edmund Metatawabin