In our culture, the ultimate goal in a person's life is to be a good relative, not just to other humans, but to the plants, animals, and all elements of the natural world. Pretty well anything we do that is cultural or has to do with our language ties back to our environment.
Darlene Spiedel, Lakota
Director of Cultural Resource Development and Publications for the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre
In the traditional teachings of the First Nations and Metis people, there is no separate category for "environmental education." All around Saskatchewan young people are learning about how to develop good relations with the earth through the traditional teachings and cultural practices of indigenous peoples. On this web site we do not try to outline the teachings themselves, instead, we have listed a number of curriculum resources that have been developed by indigenous educators for the classroom. In addition we provide a listing of organizations who you can contact for more information, and interviews with educators to provide some context.
From the Brochure:
"Practicing the Law of Circular Interaction is the First Nations accompaniment to Project Wild written from the perspective of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota Nations of Saskatchewan. The materials are organized around six fundamental Principles, which are representative of the perspective of Saskatchewan's First Nations.To facilitate instruction of these Principles, a video and discussion guide is included for each Principle. Following each Principle are a number of activities designed to teach one or more of the sub-principles."
Rekindling Traditions is a project undertaken by the Ile la Cross School Division. Elders, teachers, and curriculum developers from different schools came together to develop the materials. They describe the goal of the curriculum as follows:
To make Western science and engineering accessible to Aboriginal students in ways that nurture their own cultural identities; that is, so students are not expected to set aside their culture's view of the material world when they study science at school.
The Treaty Information Kit was developed to assist teachers implement the topic of treaties in the classroom. This teacher resource was initiated by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in partnership with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Government of Canada, Saskatchewan Learning, Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre.
The individual units for Grades 7 to 12 are designed to complement the existing material in the subject areas of Social Studies, Native Studies and History. They were written to show both First Nations and European perspectives about the treaty relationship. The information provides general knowledge in the Grade 7 unit and, throughout the following units, endeavors to provide more detailed and specific information. Information on treaty topics range from the pre-contact history of First Nations people, first contact issues, the relevance of the past to the contemporary situation, and what is happening within the treaty relationship presently.