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Protest as Pedagogy

Teaching, Learning, and Indigenous Environmental Movements


Gregory Lowan-Trudeau

Written during a time characterized by catalyzing Indigenous environmental movements such as Idle No More, political upheaval, and the final years of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Protest as Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning, and Indigenous Environmental Movements was motivated by Gregory Lowan-Trudeau’s personal experiences as an activist, educator, and researcher. Insights from interviews with activists and educators in a variety of school, community, and post-secondary contexts are presented in relation to teaching and learning during, and in response to, Indigenous environmental movements. Looking toward future possibilities, the rise of renewable energy development by Indigenous communities across Canada is also considered. Throughout Protest as Pedagogy, these inquiries are guided by a theoretical framework built on concepts such as decolonization, Herbert Marcuse’s repressive tolerance, Elliot Eisner’s three curricula, and broader fields of study such as social movement learning, critical media literacy, Indigenous media studies, and environmental communication.

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Chapter 8. Conclusions, Implications, and Future Possibilities


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The latter stages of writing this book have proven to be a very interesting time period here in Turtle Island/North America. After the dramatic political shifts in the province of Alberta and federally in Canada in 2015 as described in Chapter Three, we now find ourselves with elections looming on the horizon for both jurisdictions.

In the meantime, our neighbours to the south have been grappling with the dramatic shift in the United States’ political landscape since the presidential election of late 2016. As described in several sections of this book, due to the interconnected nature of our two countries, such dynamics have also impacted us on the Canadian side of the border; unsettling calls to make individual provinces and Canada as a whole ‘great again’ and both the verified spread and dubious accusations of ‘fake news’ have crept north (Garber, 2018; Libin, 2016). The impacts of America First trade policies and general disregard for international environmental agreements (Milman, Smith, & Carrington, 2017), along with the repealing of protections for culturally and environmentally sensitive areas (Popovich, 2017), and dramatic changes to a wide range of social, immigration, and educational programs can all be felt here in Canada and, increasingly, around the world.

In this heated sociopolitical context on both sides of the border, inspiring examples of youth leadership and activism have emerged. From Anishnaabe ← 147 | 148 → water activist Autumn Peltier’s passionate speech to...

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