Environment and Relationship to the Land
First Nations peoples’ worldview includes a special spiritual connection to the earth and all living things based on their subsistence needs and values extending back thousands of years. The Inuit have also been intrinsically linked to the land historically, depending on it for their very survival. Metis societies were communal and therefore the concept of land ownership was not understood. Until recently, that meant they were disenfranchised from any land use rights, disrupting their traditional communities and unique way of life. These needs and values have been acknowledged in Treaties and land claim agreements that Indigenous peoples with land use rights and,in the case of First Nations and Inuit, authority over natural resources on their lands. Industrial development over the past century and a half has negatively impacted the quality of the environment through pollutants, contaminants, urbanization. Large scale industrial projects such as the construction of pipelines, forestry, and water waste management have often led to conflicts with Indigenous communities concerned over the potential long-term degradation to the natural resources and their traditional ways of life.
This unit will explore this important relationship, and Indigenous concepts of sustainability, and how industry and Indigenous communities can better work together on mutually beneficial economic projects.
In the sections below we have provided additional resources to support our live event and to further understanding of the path to meaningful Reconciliation. If you would like to continue discussing the themes for this unit, we invite you to join our Facebook group – A safe space where you can ask questions, share information and seek support.
Youth challenges help youth participants use the knowledge they have gained through the live event to become ambassadors for reconciliation in their communities. By gaining a better understanding of Reconciliation, they can move towards reconciliACTION.
Places to Protect
Step 1) Take a picture of a place/body of water/non-human being you wish to protect and explain the meaning of that place to you/your family/your culture
Step 2) Post to the Reconciliation Conversations Facebook Group
A series of lessons and activities for your class or group to develop strategies and ideas to further Reconciliation in your community
Continue the Conversation
Join us next week for the next installment in our Reconciliation Conversations series:
Monday June 22 – 1:00pm EST – Education and Economic Opportunity:
This unit will discuss the barriers many young Indigenous people have and continue to face to further their education along with some of the Indigenous-led education and training initiatives that are addressing these challenges.