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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Learning to relate : an exploration of Indigenous Science Education Baker, Jeff Jordan


This dissertation shares the story of my research exploring the transformative possibilities of Indigenous Science Education for catalyzing the emergence of more equitable and sustainable ways of living. It is an educational response to humanitarian and ecological crises, and draws on the holistic frames of complexity and Indigenous knowledges to balance the dominance of the mechanistic worldview in which these crises are rooted, and that permeates school science. Weaving participatory action research and Indigenous research methodologies into an Indigenous Métissage, my research sought to decolonize and Indigenize school science, eventually focusing on sharing my own story of change and transformation. The research was conducted through four years of participation and relationship building in the local Indigenous education community in my hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, particularly through ceremony, and employed conversation and anecdotal narrative as primary methods. These experiences led me to suggest miskasowin, a Plains Cree term meaning “to find one’s centre,” as a goal of Indigenous Science Education, which I interpret as a process of “learning to relate,” fostering more relational worldviews and identities that connect us in multiple ways with the dynamic, living, patterns of nature. I describe my process of miskasowin as shaped by complexity and Indigenous knowledges and occurring through a “slow pedagogy of relations” that involved ceremony, story, land, and language, and that fostered a deeper sense of humility and reverence for life.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada