Environmental Science

Indigenous peoples have a deep and spiritual relationship with the Earth and all living things. For hundreds and even thousands of years, Indigenous peoples have depended directly on the land and water to meet physical, cultural, spiritual and economic needs. At the same time, many Indigenous peoples feel a responsibility to care for the Earth and all living things.

Through this deep relationship with the Earth, Indigenous peoples have developed sophisticated and holistic knowledge about the natural world. This knowledge - often called traditional ecological knowledge -(TEK) - guides Indigenous peoples in their innumerable interactions with the natural environment, e.g.

  • Food production (agriculture, hunting, fishing, gathering...)
  • Struggles against disease and injury;
  • Naming and explanation of natural phenomena;
  • Strategies to cope with fluctuating environments.

Teaching Resources

Resources for Rethinking is a bilingual (English/French) database of sustainability teaching resources reviewed by teachers, for teachers. The database is searchable by grade, course, and theme. For TEK-related resources relevant to Cegep students, select "Indigenous knowledge" under theme and "Grade 12" under grade.

General background info

What is traditional ecological knowledge?

Why and how to incorporate TEK into science classes?

Contemporary issues that might be of interest:

  • Discussion of the Dakota Pipeline and other pipeline disputes

  • Alberta Oil Sands

  • Discussion of water issues in reserve communities due to pollution (see Grassy Narrows, Kenora, etc.)