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From Bricolage to Métissage

Rethinking Intercultural Approaches to Indigenous Environmental Education and Research


Gregory Lowan-Trudeau

Rethinking Intercultural Approaches to Indigenous Environmental Education and Research arose from a physical and philosophical journey that critically considered the relationship between Western, Indigenous, and other culturally rooted ecological knowledge systems and philosophies. This book shares two related studies that explored the life histories, cultural, and ecological identities and pedagogical experiences of Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and recently arrived educators and learners from across Canada. A variety of socio-ecological concepts including bricolage, métissage, Two-Eyed Seeing, and the Third Space are employed to (re-) frame discussions of historical and contemporary understandings of interpretive and Indigenous research methodologies, Métis cultures and identities, Canadian ecological identity, intercultural science and environmental education, «wicked problems», contemporary disputes over land and natural resource management, and related activism.


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Chapter 6: Three-Eyed Seeing?


. 6 . three-eyed seeing? As previously discussed, Canada is a culturally complex country composed of Indigenous peoples and settler populations from Europe and, increasingly, other parts of the world. In general, but with some important exceptions, the first waves of Canadian colonizers and settlers were from Europe, bringing with them predominantly Western perspectives on science, ecology, and land use (Saul, 2008). For the first few centuries of post-contact Canadian history, these Western perspectives interacted and often clashed with Indigenous un- derstandings of the natural world based on thousands of years of geographical- ly rooted experience (Cajete, 1994). More recently, immigration from other parts of the world has increased (Malenfant, Lebel, & Martel, 2010). As Sky- walker suggested, people arriving from non-European cultures might have an understanding of Western science and philosophy, but they also often carry rich ecological understandings linked to their home nations. Statistics Cana- da projects that immigration from non-European countries will continue at a high rate over the next several decades (Malenfant, Lebel, & Martel, 2010). Simultaneously, Indigenous history, perspectives, and contemporary issues are increasingly emphasized in many Canadian provinces and territories as prior- ity areas in education for all students. 102 rethinking intercultural approaches As discussed in the previous chapter, such trends have created and re- vealed rich and wonderful pedagogical complexity for Canadian educators and students alike. While there is extensive literature available pertaining to multicultural science and environmental education (e.g., Agyeman, 2003; Blanchet-Cohen & Reilly, 2013; Roth, 2008) and a growing body of work on Indigenous science and...

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