I decided to focus this blog post on Morgan’s grade 1 class. The concept of the class we attended was extremely meaningful. I was shocked to see how each child used the land as resources and respected the land. I did not expect a grade 1 student to understand as much as they did. They might not understand the full concept, but they at least have a start when it comes to Treaty Education.
When it comes to the mandalas the students only used abiotic parts of the park to create their mandalas. “We experience nature mostly as sight, sounds, smell, touch, and tastes – as a medley of sensation that play upon us in complex ways. But we do not organize education the way we sense the world” (pg. 95, The Problem of Disciplines and the Discipline of Problems). This quote from The Problem of Disciplines and the Discipline of Problems connects to Morgan’s class because she is challenging that idea. She is bringing up the concept of interdisciplinary by connecting her students to the land and to their emotions.
I decided to create my own mandala from what I learned from my opportunity in Morgan’s class. First I wanted to create it by thinking about the environment. The environment is starting to play a key role in my life just from taking this class and by listening to other people’s viewpoints. I made my mandala about things I thought were important. I wanted to add words but I realized a picture could represent a 1000 words. Doing this mandala made me think about my family back home and how much I miss them. It also made me think about peace and positive aspects in our environment. I once again want to thank Morgan and her class for introducing this new idea to me.
When I was a child, my cousins, siblings and I would always go to my grandparent’s house down the street. From there we would walk to the park that was a few blocks away from their house. When we got there we never really stayed at the park because there was a huge forest (to us) that had many different paths. We would then play a hunting and gathering game that we made up. A couple of us would be hunters, while the rest would be animals. The hunters would make their weapons out of sticks and then gave the “animals” about 10 minutes to go hide or create shelter.
Looking back on this child hood game I would play with my family makes me realize how much we connected with the environment without even knowing. Now that I learn about the environment, I see importance in things I would never notice before. I have now learned to acknowledge my ignorance to the land. Even when I was a little girl, I would use the land for resources in games. When I go back to this place, the land is now destroyed from houses. The forest that my family would always play at is now gone.
I drew my picture of the forest spread out over the province of Alberta and pin pointed where I lived. I wanted to do this to show where my home is and where my memories lay.
I believe that the wilderness is all around us. The view of wilderness is changing every generation and is becoming worse is some areas, areas like the city. Since there are people living in these areas now, the land needs to meet people’s needs. The land needs to have businesses, shops, vehicles for people to get around and a refinery, which leads to destruction of the land. When First Nations came to be, they used the land for resources. I believe we need to learn from them to figure out how we can positively impact the land.
As one of the Elders were saying at Treaty Ed camp was that we are oblivious to the First Nations culture. He mentioned a lot about respect. The example he told us was when he went to a High School to do a presentation about First Nation culture, there were boys that were not paying attention to anything he was saying. As soon as he acknowledged the fact that they were not paying attention he called them out and told them to stay or leave. The students decided to stay and actually paid attention, this shows ignorance when it comes to students learning about First Nations.
As states in the Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education reading, students have to challenge themselves with new experiences and understandings. We need to have an open mind when it comes to Treaty Walks and learning about our history. My Treaty Walk started at Treaty Ed camp and is going to continue every day from then on. Its time we start to acknowledge our ignorance, learn more about the wilderness and also respect our elders.