Witnessing Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug's Strength and Struggle: The Affective Education of Reconciliation in Environmental Education


  • Lisa Korteweg Lakehead University
  • Emily Root Cape Breton University


Escalating environmental controversies are placing Indigenous peoples and First Nation communities at the front lines of protests, opposing unjust government policies and corporate actions. Yet, many environmental educators are not actively engaged or affectively learning about Indigenous Land struggles against Canada's colonial oppressions. Environmental education has a strong record of research to promote ecological, place-conscious pedagogies that build socio-emotional connections to nature, but it can also perpetuate settler colonialism by avoiding or ignoring Indigenous (Land) title. This article calls on settler environmental educators to shift towards decolonizing and Land-based reconciliation, by bearing witness as support to Indigenous struggles for jurisdiction and protection of Land. We focus on our own settler affective processing towards decolonizing as we witnessed the strength of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation, whose Chief and Council were jailed for protecting their territory from mining in Ontario's Far North.

Author Biographies

Lisa Korteweg, Lakehead University

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education

Emily Root, Cape Breton University

Assistant Professor, Community Studies