K-2 Inquiry Guide

Chapter 5. Indigenous ways of knowing

This chapter consists of three guided inquiries that start with a provocation and culminate with ideas to take action.

Contributor Deborah Miller

Reviewed by Daniel Sylvestre

Earth Law photo from slideshow
Illustration by Joanne Robertson, water protection activist, author & illustrator of The Water Walker.

This inquiry looks at how Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge, skills and practices, passed down from generation to generation, play a vital role in understanding climate action. Indigenous peoples have been, and are leaders, of climate action; their roles in monitoring climate change impacts and the environmental effects on their traditional lands and waters play a critical part in our fight against climate change.

The background information in this chapter explores how Indigenous peoples have lived sustainably with the Land for countless generations. We need to listen carefully to better understand how Traditional knowledge, and its application, contribute to environmental sustainability and planning for the future.

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Students learn the importance of observing and living in relationship with the natural world through the wonders of the seasons.  Relationship to the seasons and seasonal cycles are foundational to many Indigenous People. Indigenous knowledge passed from generation to generation is continuously shifting because of the changes in the seasons caused by climate change. 

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Explore Inquiry 1 

This inquiry will introduce students to environmental sustainability and present the Indigenous people’s way of life and respect for the land. Students will learn how Indigenous knowledge teaches us about sustainable harvesting and how Mother Earth provides. This knowledge is passed from generation to generation and continues to change as time passes, and new learning occurs. 

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Explore Inquiry 2 

This inquiry examines Indigenous people’s way of life and respect for the land. The activities explore the role of Elders and Knowledge Keepers and the importance of caring for Mother Earth. 

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Explore Inquiry 3 

Chapter 5 Curricular Connections

Curricular connections

Concepts

Science

Sustainability

Stewardship

Ecosystems

Interdependence

Changes

Cycles

Climate

Conservation

Action

Innovation 

Characteristics

Protection

Living things

Energy

Environment

Language

Media form

Retelling

Restating

Communication

Critical Literacy

Social Studies

Location

Physical features

Community

Interactions

Physical Education and Health

Participation

Outdoor education

Energy

Vitality

Relationships

Self-awareness

Appreciation

Motivation

The Arts ( Visual Arts, Drama, Dance)

Composition

Interpretation

Symbolism

Form

Line

Colour

Space

Mathematics 

Data literacy

Quantity

Number sense