Incorporating Aboriginal Wisdom to promote Ecoliteracy
by © 2017 ~ June Kaminski, MSN PhD(c)
Presented at Teaching & Learning Symposium, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, June 7, 2017
Ecological sustainability is a goal of many Canadian organizations and professionals, including educators and students. The most logical source of sustainability wisdom that promotes ecological wholeness is traditional Aboriginal teachings and philosophies. Nursing educational programs are beginning to incorporate Aboriginal wisdom into curriculum to promote holistic nursing care of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and to help evolve ecoliteracy. Nursing faculty follow a mandate to teach students to be active agents of advocacy for global issues including environmental health and ecology.
This presentation addressed how students create content to help nurses explore ecological issues and engage in the process of finding solutions to critical issues, and how Aboriginal wisdom supports this. It also explored how the Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment encourages all Canadian nurses to become involved in promoting ecological sustainability on a national level.
The presentation supports the notion that all human beings must develop ecoliteracy if we are to preserve our earthly home. This requires both thought and definitive action to avert planetary crises and to preserve our environment for future generations.
The session was presented as a brief workshop to share how Aboriginal wisdom is a central foundation in ecoliteracy development. Four worksheets are included at the end of the presentation Power Point to illustrate how interaction occurred.
In this session, students and faculty explored various tenets of Aboriginal wisdom and how they guide us to protect the earth, respect all those who live on the earth, and plan for a sustainable thriving future. They also explored concrete steps they can take to develop ecoliteracy and a deep relationship with the environment around them. This is based on various learning activities that nursing students do to better understand their Aboriginal wisdom and ecoliteracy in the context of health and well-being.