- List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
One thing in particular that really stood out to me was when the elders were discussing the lives of previous family members who were buried along the river. This is a way for their lives to continue through the flowing of the river and was also a marker to remember different points within the river and land of the area; a map if you will. Furthermore, the land is not simply meant to be lived off of. This was experienced through community by way of intergenerational means. The elders of the community were able to share and show the youth and young people how they can live with the land. For example, that the Moose knows when the people need food, so it will provide itself to the people of the land. In Mushkegowuk culture, when the frog sings, it is a sign that the water is safe to drink.
There was also a lot of use of Cree scribbled over the English map as a way to decolonize the map. Because of the crown and treaties made, along with residential schools, there had been a loss of language which is largely tied to the land which is also tied to the identity of the people. So the continuous use of Cree throughout their research with the intergenerational participants was also a form of decolonization. The young people were taught that it is not about accumulating all the resources of the land for their own gain, rather to work with the land socially and economically so both the people and the land grow and flourish together.
- How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
Allowing my students to learn from others is a huge way I could adapt. By bringing in different generations to engage with my students is a way of also building community. Whether it is an Indigenous elder or parent of an Indigenous student in the classroom. Because my primary study of focus is middle years education, I think it is very feasible to access the outdoors as a means of learning as well. This also arranges the opportunity for each student to find ways they can identify with the land surrounding them. Within the classroom, a way of considering space is that bring on Treaty 4 Land, each day the entire class could learn a new word in Cree. Perhaps each subject that we learn, we can tie in a cree word or words. Also when thinking about land and social studies, it is important that we learn the Canadian map prior to colonization, and one way of doing this could be through learning about the treaty map of Canada.
This answer to this question has a plethora of opportunities to consider space within each subject that will be taught. I have never thought about it from this perspective until this required reading. It opens up a world to me that is not a new world at all, but a rich history of those who have been been here before me, and there is a lot I can learn from them.