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Nature stories: Children experience the seasons with Indigenous knowledge keepers
Doctor of Social Sciences candidate Louise Zimanyi’s article about her research into early childhood education and connecting children with nature was recently published by The Conversation.
Here is an excerpt:
Canada has a history of making Indigenous words and languages disappear. I work both as faculty in the early childhood education program at the Humber Arboretum and as a researcher exploring how early childhood programs can develop relationships with Indigenous communities and knowledges.
With gratitude for the generosity of Indigenous Elders and colleagues who share with our children’s forest nature program, we are dedicated to ensuring nature — and an awareness of Indigenous people and knowledges — are part of children’s experiences. We are learning to understand the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and ecosystems.
We learn new words and how language is a key transmitter of Indigenous knowledge and culture. This is particularly timely in the International Year of Indigenous Languages, dedicated to preserving languages, cultures and knowledge systems.
A recent study of 1,000 children aged five to 16, living in the United Kingdom, found that more than 80 per cent of children could not identify a bumblebee, dandelions were unknown to 42 per cent and 23 per cent could not recognize a robin.
Read the full story at The Conversation.