UBC Theses and Dissertations
Growing connections : regenerative land-based education for Indigenous urban youth at xʷc̓ic̓əsəm garden “the place where we grow” Mendes, Wilson Pereira
This study investigates the role of Indigenous land-based pedagogies (ILBP) in land-based education in urban settings. The study draws on Indigenous knowledge epistemes and employs a qualitative interpretive approach to examine the experiences of 13 urban Indigenous youth with ILBP practices at xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden, located at the University of British Columbia Farm (UBC Farm). The research question focuses on how ILBP practices inform urban Indigenous youth's understanding of land connection, cultural identity, and health and healing practices. Four key research findings emerged: cultural identity reclamation, Indigenous ethics and epistemologies, land-based health and healing, and mobilization of intergenerational Indigenous knowledges. These findings contribute to a growing body of literature on the role of land-based learning in promoting Indigenous youth self-determination and social justice agendas. On the connecting role of land-based learning, the research demonstrates how ILBP strengthens relationships between Indigenous youth and land, culture, health, identity, and community. The study shows that culturally significant and safe spaces are crucial to supporting the development of Indigenous identities and healing practices for urban Indigenous youth communities. Furthermore, the findings highlight the importance of Indigenous Elders' wisdom and how the dissemination and mobilization of Indigenous knowledges are critical to youth empowerment and connection to learning. The study also provides new insights into the ways in which land-based research contributes to theoretical debates on transformative land-based education, food system sustainability, and cultural revitalization principles and values of Indigenous land-based pedagogies in a culturally-relevant way. Based on the knowledge and insights shared by the youth, the study proposes an ILBP framework for those interested in implementing land-based learning initiatives in an urban context. The framework emphasizes the need for culturally relevant and safe spaces that promote the reclamation of cultural identity, Indigenous ethics and epistemologies, land-based health and healing practices, and the mobilization of intergenerational Indigenous knowledges. The framework also emphasizes the importance of Indigenous Elders' wisdom and the need to incorporate this knowledge into land-based education initiatives. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of the important role of land-based learning in promoting Indigenous youth self-determination and social justice agendas in urban environments.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International