Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: A Resource for Educators on the Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry

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The second edition of Natural Curiosity supports a stronger basic awareness of Indigenous perspectives and their importance to environmental education. The driving motivation for a second edition was the burning need, in the wake of strong and unequivocal recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to situate Indigenous perspectives into the heart of Canadian educational settings and curricula, most notably in connection with environmental issues.

The Indigenous lens in this edition represents a cross-cultural encounter supporting what can become an ongoing dialogue and evolution of practice in environmental inquiry. Some important questions are raised that challenge us to think in very different ways about things as fundamental as the meaning of knowledge.

New in the Second Edition

  • Revision of the four branches of environmental inquiry (Lorraine Chiarotto) by Julie Comay
  • An Indigenous lens on environmental inquiry by Doug Anderson
  • 15 new educator stories

Words of Support

"Natural Curiosity is a great gift not only to North American educators, but to people around the world. As this good book makes clear, the often-Eurocentric deconstruction of reality does not represent reality. The point of natural curiosity is not to study a thing, but to inquire into the connections and relationships of all things and spirit, seen and unseen. This book is an inspiration, a doorway into a web of life and truth."
Richard Louv, Author of “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle”

"I must admit to having a case of Canadian envy, and the second edition of Natural Curiosity is a good example of why I feel this way. There aren't any education resources like Natural Curiosity in the United States. The wedding of theory and practice, the case studies of real live classroom curriculum, the vibrancy of childrens' and teachers' voices about their environmental work—it's compelling and exciting.  And the integration of Indigenous perspectives as part of the warp of the fabric of environmental inquiry makes the whole endeavor deeply equitable and just. If I teach my Place-based Education course again, this book will play a leading role."
David Sobel, Senior Faculty, Education Department, Antioch University New England

"Perhaps the greatest strength of this edition is the care taken to ensure that Indigenous peoples, along with their knowledges and pedagogies, are understood as contemporary, and that they have important contributions to make to environmental education … This text is remarkable in that it takes theory, including Indigenous knowledge, and applies it through storytelling from both an educator’s and child’s perspective ... Natural Curiosity takes the important step of highlighting broader societal obligations such as those laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission … The pedagogy employed offers a sensitive and respectful way to present challenging topics. I much enjoyed the stories by educators and children alike and how art and creative expressions were used to convey profound teachings."

Deborah McGregor, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law, School & Faculty of Environmental Studies, Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Environmental Justice, York University

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