Decolonization of Place

Being a product of the Environmental Systems and Societies IB program, I have found a deep rooted passion for the outdoors and I subscribe to this traditionally indigenous way of thinking – that we are all connected by the land we live on and by many other things. This article describes curriculum as place as aiming to: (a) identify, recover, and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (reinhabitation); and (b) identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (decolonization) (p.74). I love this idea of reinhabitation. Identifying and recovering these spaces that help teach us how to live well. The river and traditional lands of the story were the most major examples of this, but I also think that reinhabitation could be a mental thing as well. Reclaiming your perspective and clearing your mind of the shallows and bogginess of day to day life. The decolonization is something I had always struggled with more. I am able to reclaim places for myself that have significance to my learning and I can identify the systematic issues but I fault in changing my ways of thinking. The article reclaims this way of thinking through language and use of traditional words. As a white settler, I struggle to decolonize and unlearn these oppressive ideals. I would adapt these ideas of curriculum as place through getting outdoors. No matter who you are, you should feel connected through the land we live on as Treaty People. I haven’t come up with a way to change my way of thinking. I can critically analyse my thoughts but I struggle to change my frame of mind. I know that I am wrong to assume and be uncomfortable but how do I break through this wall that I’ve been taught to build? This has always been an issue for me in education. If anyone has a step by step guide on how to decolonize and change oppressive thinking and mindset, feel free to send it on my way!

Restoule, J., Gruner, S. & Metatawabin, E. (2013). Learning from place: A Return to traditional Mushkegowuk ways of knowing.Canadian Journal of Education, 36(2).

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