CJ3: Whiteness in Education

blog-post-3-drawingI have had few experiences through my education to be in a physical setting to discuss the land. Most of my discussions on the land happen in the classroom but even than it is not very thorough. When speaking of the land and the past, my educators focused primarily on the fur trade and that is brought up in the Canoe Pedagogy reading. In the Newbery reading it states that “the details of the fur trade and the daily lives of voyageurs are what educators tend to focus on” (pg.32).  When discussing the land, it is the white side of things teachers focus on but that is not the whole story. While it is a shame that the education leaves out parts of origin I am unsure if it is because of the curriculum or the teachers choosing. Some of the biggest experiences I have had with environment are through this class with our brief experiences we have outside.

The most outdoor education related trip I have experienced was a sweat through my Indigenous Studies class. I do acknowledge the sweat is not outside but it is in a ‘hut-like’ structure within wilderness and was quite educational. The man who put it on was an elder and he did not speak much but when he did and was about the people here before us. He talked about how the First Nations used sweats to communicate and pray for past ancestors as well as other things they wanted to give thanks for. One of the things he prayed for was the land and he spoke of the life it gave us and the medicine it provides. It was things like these that I remember because he was so passionate but we do not discuss these stories or experiences in outdoor related classes. Is it only the whiteness that is deemed as important through the eyes of the curriculum? I do understand that it is changing, but it is sad to see that it has taken this long to understand it.


2 thoughts on “CJ3: Whiteness in Education

  1. It’s interesting that you, and myself, don’t have many experiences in the environment on our own time. Our limited environmental experiences are limited to an environmental class. This reinforces the binary of humans and nature because we engage with nature seldomly, which we’ve talked about in ESCI 302.

    To clarify, was your experience through Indigenous Studies a sweat lodge? For Indigenous Studies I also was able to experience a similar experience, a pipe ceremony. Although it did not take place outside, I felt more connected to the environment, as the Aboriginal peoples traditionally are. Associating Aboriginal peoples with nature, and not white peoples, is also the whiteness of environment.


  2. Pingback: Meta-Reflection: In the Middle of Things | Brody Brown

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s