Engaging Literacies Through Ecologically Minded Curriculum: Educating Teachers About Indigenous Education Through an Ecojustice Education Framework


  • Andrejs Kulnieks Nipissing University
  • Dan Longboat Trent University
  • Kelly Young Trent University




education, educational leadership, Indigenous Knowledges, environmental education


In this article, we conceptualize curricula through an EcoJustice Education (EJE) framework to educate teachers about Indigenous and environmental education. The primary tasks of EJE are to engage learners in a cultural analysis of the ecological crisis and in the identification of diverse cultural methods that can bring about eco-democratic reforms that emphasize sustainable ways of living. An important method to infuse Indigenous knowledge into curricula is to invite local Elders to share stories that are Indigenous to place. In this paper, however, we consider methods of developing literacies through an engagement with the places within which learners live. We highlight the importance of developing a relationship with food and place, and an understanding about language through an eco-hermeneutic lens (Kulnieks, Longboat, & Young, 2010; 2011). We demonstrate how an aesthetic teaching form, in this case a poem entitled "Remembering Your Work," can help to foster important connections with local places and the cultural origins of food. Asking students to engage with both oral and literary traditions can promote an important dialogue about intergenerational knowledge, and foster the development of their relationships with food and place.

    Keywords: EcoJustice Education; Indigenous teachings; intergenerational knowledge; curriculum; literacies

Author Biographies

Andrejs Kulnieks, Nipissing University

Assistant Professor, School of Education

Dan Longboat, Trent University

Associate Professor and Director, Indigenous Environmental Studies

Kelly Young, Trent University

Associate Professor, School of Education and Professional Learning