Heartbeat of the Earth: Connecting Children to Nature through Indigenous Teachings

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A Handbook on Connecting Children to Nature through Indigenous Teachings

Author Launa Purcell is a member of the Xa’xtsa First Nation and a mother of two. Launa works as an Indigenous Educator and teaches Indigenous outdoor camps.

Nature is a place to both play and learn. The physical self is moving and active, the mental self is thinking and questioning, the emotional self is feeling and experiencing, and the spiritual self is connecting and thankful. We see what we have been taught to see. We love and respect our natural surroundings when we see ourselves as belonging to that community. This resource leads readers on a rich learning journey as they deepen their connections to nature and culture.

The activities inside instill traditional teachings of respect, honour, resourcefulness, and humility in children. This handbook is intended to inspire parents, caregivers, and educators to provide children with meaningful outdoor experiences interwoven with traditional Indigenous knowledge.

Pages: 84

Please Note: This handbook isn’t a replacement for ensuring that local Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are central to your teaching. Rather, this is a starting point, and an encouragement to learn more, and use these activities as an inspiration to adapt them and adopt new ones in a culturally appropriate and responsive way.

The activities outlined in this handbook were discussed extensively with Launa’s Elders and Knowledge keepers prior to publication.  Launa was very concerned about how to share traditions from various Indigenous Nations and perspectives in a respectful way. Together they arrived at the  solution to specifically honour the territory of origin for all activities when they were specific to a non St’at’imc nation.  In her my introduction she remind educators/ parents that the activities “draw upon the knowledge of many different Indigenous nations that are recognized and honoured…” throughout. She suggests that activities can be adapted to local Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and context while  “….still honour(ing) the core Indigenous values presented throughout. “

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