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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 7. Implications for Environmental Education in Canada and Beyond


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Throughout both my doctoral and the subsequent pilot study I questioned how approaches such as ecological métissage, Two- and Three-Eyed Seeing, Integrative Science, and other similar concepts might reshape environmental education in Canada and beyond. My initial response is that it has already begun. For example, along with the growth of intercultural environmental education programs such as those described in Chapter Four, a number of conferences and journal issues (e.g., Korteweg & Russell, 2012; Tuck, McKenzie, & McCoy, 2014; Wildcat, McDonald, Irlbacher-Fox, & Coulthard, 2014) over the past few years have focused on the concepts examined in this study. These kinds of developments provide me with great hope for the future.

So, based on this growth and the experiences and perspectives shared by the participants in these two related studies, how might we be re-shaping environmental education in Canada? Also, what effect might our efforts have on Canadian society in general? In the following I address these questions through discussion of key findings from these two studies. Topics discussed include moving from abstract notions of Aboriginal peoples to authentic engagement and partnerships, re-imagining student-teacher relationships, Canadian cultural and ecological identity, and the role of educators in addressing ← 111 | 112 → “wicked” contemporary socio-ecological problems (Vink, Dewulf, & Termeer, 2013).

From Abstract Notions to Authentic Engagement

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