Common Place Blog Post #3

What is my eco-identity? My eco-identity is something I question ever day. It is difficult for me to consider myself as something. When I talked about my eco-identity in my blog post #3, I related it to a memory I had when I was back home. Now I do not know what or where “home” is. I was born and raised in Alberta. The environment there is beautiful in some areas because of the hills, forests and especially the mountains. Coming to Saskatchewan is a little bit different. I drove home to Camrose, AB last weekend and for once I focused on the landscape throughout my drive. I did not realize how different Alberta and Saskatchewan were until I crossed over the Alberta border. I then drove through many areas, which were surrounded, by trees and hills unlike in Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan bond, all I have seen is flat fields around the highway. I believe there are places in Saskatchewan that are just as beautiful as some of the places I’ve been in Alberta, but that is something that I still have to experience. It makes me sad to see what I left in Alberta. It seems crazy to me that so much can change between provinces. From living in Alberta my whole life, it assures me I want to go back after my schooling.

Being in Regina has opened up new ideas and perspectives to me. It allows to me become more aware of the environment and Treaty Education. I am gaining new knowledge every day when it comes to Treaty Education. From having the opportunity to create a lesson plan for Morgan’s class, it allowed me to look into Treaty Education curriculum. It is easy to connect the Treaty Education outcomes into activities and lesson plans if you take time to do so. Before I did not think Treaty Education was important, but now being in Regina for almost 2 years and learning about Treaty Education in almost all my classes, it makes me more aware to the importance. It is important because we are all Treaty people, whether we want to acknowledge that or not. David Orr statement that “all education is Environmental Education,”(Orr, 12) leads to the idea the Treaty Education connects to Environmental Education. I believe that Environmental Education allows teachers and students to be more mindful. In the reading “Leave No Child Inside,” it mentions a situation where parents are afraid to let their children play outside. No one should be afraid to go outside, being outside is a way to express yourself in a new way.

From tracing my roots back to my home and my blog post 3, being outside was one of the best parts of my childhood. I loved to be outside no matter what the weather was like. If I was outside making snowmen or swimming in lakes, I enjoyed being outside. Environmental education is a part of me and will be apart of my future. I realized from a poststructuralist and eco-feminist perspective that I can be who ever I want in nature and can work towards things I believe in.img_7783


In the Middle of Things

As I am looking back on my reflections, I am bringing forwards another perspective. This is my new perspective of understanding when it comes to Environmental Education. I remember for the first few blog posted I had made, I was so confused on why we were doing this and did not find any meaning to it. Now looking back at my posts and reading them over, I realize how meaningful my own ideas are becoming and also how meaningful my ignorance to ideas are becoming. Looking at my posts I realize that I am trying to sound eco-literate when I still do not know if I can fully think of myself as that. I am slowly starting to acknowledge my ignorance when it comes to the Treaty Education. I did not start to introduce anything about Treaties in any of my posts until we went to Treaty Ed camp. When I wrote my post about my Eco identity, I never included myself as a Treaty Person. I know now that everyone that is living on Treaty land is a Treaty Person, but it does not feel right saying I am a Treaty Person. In my blog post I said, “The forest my family would play at is now gone,”(blog 5) when I look back at my last sentence while talking about my eco-identity, I focused more on my family and the environment. I did not think about the destruction of Treaty land, which would have been extremely important to consider. I only have certain memories in my life where I felt part of the environment. While looking back at my posts, I pulled out key words like “change” (blog 1), “aware” (blog 2), “each other” (blog 3), “mindful” (blog 4), “reality” (blog 5), and “life” (blog 6). I think all of these words are important to consider when it comes to looking back and moving forward.

The aspect of change and being mindful is part of all my blog posts. I had to step out of what I think is “normal” to compose each of these blog posts. I was not sure exactly what was expected, so I personally had to change my way of understanding and become more mindful. Stated in the Sustainable Living, Ecological Literacy, and the Breath of Life article, “Sustainability always involves a whole community” (14). You cannot make change alone, this is why I believe the words “each other” is important when reflection on my blog posts. We need each other to make change in our life. We have to be able to recognize reality and need to be aware of situations that are going on in the world to move forward. Personally in my future teaching career, I need to be more aware of Treaty Education.

On one of my recent blog posts about my Eco-Identity I included a story from my past that connected with us using the land and resources as a game. As stated in my last blog post, “I was shocked to see how each child used the land as resources and respected the land.” (blog 6) From reading that quote and looking back to the game we played, I realized I left out an important factor. While playing this game we did not respect the land like Morgan’s Grade 1 class did. We would pick and pull branches off trees and fight over who had the biggest stick. At the time, I would not have thought of that as harming the land but looking back at it now, it was probably not good for the trees to rip branches off them. From the Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education reading, it stated that, “One very basic approach is simply to be more mindful of the places where we paddle and hike, to acknowledge with students that we are in traditional Aboriginal territories and on land with long and sometimes difficult histories” which would be a basic idea that I never thought of as a child (39). Growing up in Camrose, Alberta, I never thought about Indigenous land, we were never introduced to it in school. I took many Outdoor Education classes and not once was Indigenous knowledge mentioned. I would like to say that my knowledge about Indigenous Peoples lack because I was never introduced to it at school. By coming to University in Regina, I feel like I just starting my new perspective on things because Indigenous life and knowledge is becoming more and more important. Going back to my Alberta school system, there was no class called Indigenous Studies, we only had Social Studies, which focused on the world. Therefore coming into this class being told that I am a Treaty Person is very hard to accept at this time, but is something I want to be able to recognize in the future.img_7753



Work Cited:

Fritjof Capra. Sustainable Living, Ecological Literacy, and the Breath of Life. Centre for Ecoliteracy, United States

Liz Newbery. Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education, University of Toronto