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Exploring Indigenous Understanding and Reconciliation Through Art

293

Ann Donald Roberta Ross Cornelia Liberte Linda Wason-Ellam

Summary:

The main goal of this participatory action research is to explore Indigenous understanding and Reconciliation through creating art. Land-based experiences will be guided by a M├ętis artist and Elders. Through art-making exercises, Gade 12 students and their teacher-researchers will learn to respect and honour our land and our first peoples in Saskatchewan. Cultural awareness and enrichment is essential in education.

The arts are a universal tool for communicating as they encourage students to participate actively in their learning environment, and it is through art that students can appreciate cultural heritage and Indigenous ways of knowing. High school students and teacher-researchers need to know more about the Indigenous world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Land-based art education teaches students how to experience, interpret, critique, and use visual information. The deeper the connection to their experiences of the land and Indigenous ways of knowing, the deeper their creation of art. Students who experience the arts learn to interpret symbols and understand abstract ideas and gain a deeper knowing as a pathway towards reconciliation.