A Search for Decolonizing Place-Based Pedagogies: An Exploration of Unheard Histories in Kitsilano Vancouver, B.C.

Elizabeth Ruth Henry


This paper explores the ways that place-based pedagogies can facilitate dialogue on colonization, or some of the “dark matters” of environmental education, specifically by engaging non-Indigenous adults in decolonizing dialogues. I share findings from an action research project with Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in Vancouver, British Columbia. Working with seven adults, I facilitated a series of three workshops, in which I invited participants to learn forgotten or unheard Aboriginal, immigrant, and settler histories in their neighbourhood. Participants primarily chose to research the histories of Euro-Canadian settlers; however, they were willing to talk about colonization, decolonization, and reconciliation. I suggest integrating practices from arts-based education, indigenizing and decolonizing pedagogies, and anti-racism education to further engage learners in decolonizing their place-based learning.

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