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Connecting Aboriginal Heritage, Native Plants and Sustainability in Saskatchewan

Elementary

Description

This outdoor activity uses traditional ecological knowledge to involve students in active exploration of  a local habitat to identify and describe native plants.  An emphasis on learning about the medical and food values of these plants provides an authentic experience that develops understanding of the close relationship between First Nations peoples and the natural world.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource supports aboriginal studies and science outcomes that focus on sustainability and ecosystem health.   Involving a local First Nations spiritual leader in the outdoor exploration would strengthen student awareness of the worldviews that define the relationship of indigenous people with their surrounding environment.  A key action project could also involve students in planting native grasses and wildflowers in abandoned spaces within the community.

This resource also supports Social Studies curriculum related to acceptance and understanding.  An interesting extension to the lesson could involve students in organizing a community meal that features traditional foods, song and dance.  This event could also promote local green spaces and identify conservation actions that can be implemented through citizen engagement.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • TEK -- Traditional Ecological Knowledge