Land-based Learning Journey
Keywords:wiigwam, sweetgrass research methodology, Indigenous social work
Indigenous faculty and staff saw the need to prioritize Indigenous ways of learning within our university setting that brings us outside of classroom settings and on to the land. The creation of a regionally accurate land-based learning structure within our educational institution provides Indigenous pedagogy with students and holds space and place for the post-secondary education community to see and experience. The vision of this structure was provided by Art Petahtegoose from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek whose ancestral land is where the current educational institution is situated. Together we (faculty, staff, students, and Atikameksheng Anishnawbek) built a wiigwam which is culturally accurate within this region.
Through Wabie's (2017; 2019) sweetgrass story weaving methodology (Body, Mind, Spirit), staff and Indigenous Social Work students' voices were honored as they shared perspectives on the building of the wiigwam, the effect it has had on them (including counselling skills for students), and what they would like to see for it in the future. In the end, an Indigenous pedagogical structure for students, staff, and faculty was created surpassing a mainstream educational learning environment; we have, in spirit, created a living being.
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