This course will provide students from diverse backgrounds with a robust conceptual framework to understand and participate effectively and respectfully in the study and practice of environmental science and practice grounded in Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, values and aspirations.
This course gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of Indigenous knowledge systems and their importance for environmental science and practice. Indigenous world views, ecological knowledge, environmental philosophies, and cultural values will be explored through exposure to the teaching and perspectives of Indigenous knowledge holders, community members, political leaders, academics, activists, and scholars.
Through land-based and experiential educational practices, appropriate to the patterns of the fall cycle students will further develop their knowledge, motivation, and skills toward facilitating the transmission of an Indigenous environmental consciousness in the field of environmental science and practice. In this course students will examine the role of language and world views in thinking and communicating about relationships to the land. They will practice the skills necessary to cultivate relationships and enact reciprocity with Indigenous peoples and communities and within Indigenous lands.
This course will examine how colonial and neo-colonial governments have interacted with Indigenous societies in Canada. Particularly, the effects of colonialism on Indigenous cultural and economic autonomy and self-determination. The impact of colonialism, treaties and land claims on environmental stewardship is highlighted.
The course provides a broad survey of research methodologies including documentary, observational, qualitative, and quantitative approaches, exploring their key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses and ethical implications of producing and applying knowledge for Indigenous environmental science and practice. It provides the student with the skills and background necessary for project development, execution, report writing and presentation. It prepares students to undertake a practical project in environmental science and practice engaging Indigenous communities. In consultation with the faculty supervisor, students will develop a project proposal that sets out the parameters of the winter semester project and includes an annotated bibliography of relevant background materials.
The course links and integrates the practical and theoretical learning of the previous seven semesters of the program. Students will be required to apply their understanding of Indigenous Knowledge and western science to situations in which both perspectives need to be considered and braided together to generate sound and appropriate solutions. Students will complete group projects engaging with Indigenous communities. The selected projects will examine the relationships between the practice of Indigenous environmental science and the larger ecological and cultural networks in which it is embedded. The course incorporates a field component that occurs during reading week.
This course provides an opportunity for students to build, using multiple methodological approaches and perspectives, an integrated synthesis of the knowledge and skills gained during the program. Students will explore their own positionality with respect to environmental science and practice and engagement with Indigenous communities by reflecting on their personal journey. The course will challenge students to address the question, "How do I take all that I have learned about Indigenous environmental science and practice and put this into a comprehensive whole that I can use my future life, employment or study?"