Including Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies in Science-based Environmental Education Programs


  • Dawn Sutherland
  • Natalie Swayze


In exploring ways to respectfully include Indigenous Knowledges and pedagogies within environmental education programs, the challenge is to ensure strategies used will meaningfully support learning while reflecting local cultural traditions, languages, beliefs, and perspectives. In this paper, key components for science-based environmental education programs that include Indigenous Knowledges and pedagogies are considered, along with a possible means to evaluate the effectiveness of attempts to make these programs more culturally responsive. Ininiwi-kiskÄnÄ«tamowin, a model for science and math programming in Indigenous settings, is applied to a culturally relevant environmental education program called Bridging the Gap (BTG). Evaluating BTG within the context of the Ininiwi-kiskÄnÄ«tamowin model generates an enlightening illustration of the nature of the model as a process of lifelong learning, and suggests the need to consider alternative pedagogies and educational frameworks when developing and evaluating culturally relevant environmental education programs.