Muskrat theories, tobacco in the streets, and living Chicago as Indigenous land

TitleMuskrat theories, tobacco in the streets, and living Chicago as Indigenous land
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBang, M, Curley, L, Kessel, A, Marin, A, III, ESSuzukov, Strack, G
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Pagination37 - 55
Date Published2014/01/02/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsland education, place, place-based education, settler colonialism, urban Indigenous youth
AbstractIn this paper, we aim to contribute to ongoing work to uncover the ways in which settler colonialism is entrenched and reified in educational environments and explore lessons learned from an urban Indigenous land-based education project. In this project, we worked to re-center our perceptual habits in Indigenous cosmologies, or land-based perspectives, and came to see land re-becoming itself. Through this recentering, we unearthed some ways in which settler colonialism quietly operates in teaching and learning environments and implicitly and explicitly undermines Indigenous agency and futurity by maintaining and reifying core dimensions of settler colonial relations to land. We describe examples in which teachers and community members explicitly re-engaged land-based perspectives in the design and implementation of a land-based environmental science education that enabled epistemological and ontological centering that significantly impacted learning, agency, and resilience for urban Indigenous youth and families. In this paper, we explore the significance of naming and the ways in which knowledge systems are mobilized in teaching and learning environments in the service of settler futurity. However, we suggest working through these layers of teaching and learning by engaging in land-based pedagogies is necessary to extend and transform the possibilities and impacts of environmental education.