Prairie and sky

Land-Based Learning

 Field Trip Series

Werklund School of Education is pleased to invite our final year pre-service teachers to participate in a land-based learning experience that is rooted in Indigenous knowledge and pedagogical practices. There will be a total of four learning experiences spread throughout the Fall semester. These learning experiences will focus on how land-based understandings, holistic understandings, and Indigenous pedagogical practices connect and can support and enhance diverse and rigorous learning experiences for all students. All 4 learning days will also explore language and story connections of the land and work to uncover program of study connections in this place. Participants will also have an opportunity to learn about Blackfoot value systems of aatsimmoiyihkanni – spirituality, kakyosin – be aware of your environment, be observant, kimmapiiypitsinni – kindness to others, ihkanaitapstiwa – everything that is given to a person to do what they want with, i.e., knowledge, and aksistoiypaittapiisinni – being able to take on tasks independently. We will also pair these understandings alongside the Cree wisdom tradition of miyo waskawewin or walking well in the world.

The four land-based learning experiences are designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Cultivate a balanced and respectful relationship between Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and belonging and societal educational knowledge systems in how we think about and do everything within schools
  • Build student understandings as they relate to Indigenous knowledge systems, languages and histories through experiential land-based learning opportunities
  • Participate in a land-based professional learning experience to listen to the language and story connections of the land and to uncover the math, literacy and science that live in this place. 
  • Participate in learning experiences that model Indigenous pedagogies through ceremony and story

The series is meant to support learning in EDUC 530: Indigenous Education. Students in this course will be given first access to registration, and if spaces remain, registration will be opened to more Bachelor of Education students. Sessions will occur rain or shine. The sessions are intended to build on each other but can also be attended individually.  

Nose Hill Park

Day 1: awakaasiiki'somm/nocihtowpisim

(deer moon)/(breeding moon)

When: September 10th, 9 am to 3 pm

Where: Nose Hill Park

Join us and Elder Clarence Wolf Leg as we begin our exploration and inquiry into the critical role land plays in building our understandings of the places in which we live and the human and more than human being we live amongst. This learning experience will explore how story, ceremony, and place connect and help us make meaning.


Day 2: iitao’tsstoyi/pinaskowipisim

(when the cold comes)/(leaves falling moon)

When: October 1st, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Where: Old Women’s Buffalo Jump

Join us during the first winter moon of the year to learn alongside Elder Duane Mistaken Chief at Old Women’s Buffalo Jump south of Calgary, near the hamlet of Cayley. This learning experience will explore how sacred places hold traditional knowledge systems and how this knowledge is critical in developing our understanding of what it means to live and learn holistically.  This opportunity will provide holistic accounts that constitute sacred insights that make up a living curriculum of which we are all part. 

Okotoks Erratic rock

Day 3: niitahtaistsi/iyokipiwipisim

(when the river freezes over)/(frost moon)

When: November 5th, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Where: Oohkotok – Okotoks Big Rock Erratic (45-minute drive from the University of Calgary)

Join us and Knowledge Keeper Laine Breaker as we explore the significance and educational relevance of holism to all people as an expression of human being-ness in relation to land and sacred ecology. This learning experience will provide diverse ways through which we can explore how Indigenous pedagogical practices enhance intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical understandings and their potential for application in contemporary educational contexts.

A pond with reeds

Day 4: misamiko’komiaato’s/ pawahcakinasispisim

(the long nights moon)/ (frost exploding trees moon)

When: Saturday, January 21, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Where: Fish Creek Park 

Join us and Métis Knowledge Keeper Jessie Fiddler-Kiss (to be confirmed) as we search the connects between place and knowledge. We will spend time connecting and expanding our consciousness of knowledge and how knowledge exists in places. We will discuss how a reciprocal relationship to place plays a critical role in both Indigenous ways of being but also in how it connects to classroom curricular content.