The Slippery Bluff as a Barrier or a Summit of Possibility: Decolonizing Wild Pedagogies in Alaska Native Children's Experiences on the Land


  • Carie J. Green University of Alaska Fairbanks


The research presented in this article contributes to our understanding of wild pedagogies, put into practice through the exploration of a space where culture/Nature binaries are blurred and contrasted. The observations and findings challenge the way we "see," come to know, and position ourselves as part of or separate from the natural world. This qualitative study provides the insight of 14 children from an Alaska Native village, primarily of mixed Iñupiaq and Yup'ik heritage, into their lived, storied entanglements with the Land in order to explore Western and Indigenous ways of relating to the Land. It provides narratives of ways in which the children's emotional and behavioural interactions shape how they know and come to understand their place. This article also offers a decolonizing approach to rewilding environmental education by naming and questioning the colonial forces that inexplicitly teach our children to separate themselves from their place. Keywords: early childhood environmental education, wild pedagogies, decolonization, Alaska Native, children's agency

Author Biography

Carie J. Green, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Carie Green is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education, Graduate Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She teaches introductory research, place-based education and child development. Her research evolves around early childhood environmental education, methods of research by young children, and children’s place and environmental identity development.