Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: A Resource for Educators
The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry

The second edition of Natural Curiosity supports a stronger basic awareness of Indigenous perspectives and their importance to environmental education. The driving motivation for a second edition was the burning need, in the wake of strong and unequivocal recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to situate Indigenous perspectives into the heart of Canadian educational settings and curricula, most notably in connection with environmental issues.

The Indigenous lens in this edition represents a cross-cultural encounter supporting what can become an ongoing dialogue and evolution of practice in environmental inquiry. Some important questions are raised that challenge us to think in very different ways about things as fundamental as the meaning of knowledge.

 

New in the Second Edition

  • Revision of the four branches of environmental inquiry (Lorraine Chiarotto), by Julie Comay
  • Indigenous lenses on each of the branches by Doug Anderson
  • 16 new educator stories

 

Truth and Reconciliation

The second edition of Natural Curiosity is a response to pressing and unequivocal recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to situate Indigenous perspectives into the heart of Canadian educational settings. Natural Curiosity is committed to taking up the call to action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation commission, specifically addressing:

63. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:

iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.

Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition is an excellent resource for educators seeking to act as co-inquirers with their students and share the learning spirit while fostering relationship with our natural kin and relations. With a newly expanded lens on Indigenous perspectives and worldviews, this resource encourages teachers with philosophies, rationales, tools and activities to help them grow ecological and social justice citizens. A timely resource and highly recommended.- Jean-Paul Restoule, Professor and Chair, Department of Indigenous Education, University of Victoria
Natural Curiosity is a great gift not only to North American educators, but to people around the world. As this good book makes clear, the often-Eurocentric deconstruction of reality does not represent reality. The point of natural curiosity is not to study a thing, but to inquire into the connections and relationships of all things and spirit, seen and unseen. This book is an inspiration, a doorway into a web of life and truth.- Richard Louv, Author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
Perhaps the greatest strength of this edition is the care taken to ensure that Indigenous peoples, along with their knowledges and pedagogies, are understood as contemporary, and that they have important contributions to make to environmental education … This text is remarkable in that it takes theory, including Indigenous knowledge, and applies it through storytelling from both an educator’s and child’s perspective ... Natural Curiosity takes the important step of highlighting broader societal obligations such as those laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission … The pedagogy employed offers a sensitive and respectful way to present challenging topics. I much enjoyed the stories by educators and children alike and how art and creative expressions were used to convey profound teachings. - Deborah McGregor, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law, School & Faculty of Environmental Studies, Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Environmental Justice, York University
In Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition, Western ways of relating to nature intermingle with Indigenous ways. The book respects the integrity of both coexisting cultural perspectives. By understanding both, readers and their students will gain greater curiosity and deeper insights to make sense of the world around them or to solve problems.- Dr. Glen S. Aikenhead, Emeritus Professor, Aboriginal Education Research Centre, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan
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Natural Curiosity: A Resource for Teachers:
Building Children’s Understanding of the World through Environmental Inquiry

The first edition of Natural Curiosity was a teacher resource that was launched in 2011. It introduced a framework for environmental inquiry, providing elementary school teachers with clarity, reassurance, and options for bringing inquiry-based teaching practices into the classroom. One Anishinaabe Elder and elementary teacher, Wahgeh Giizhigo Migizi Kwe (Eileen “Sam” Conroy), said of the first edition, “I cried when I read it. I said to myself, they’re finally starting to get it!” David Suzuki echoed her sentiment when he affirmed “this is obviously the way that teaching and learning should happen.”

More than 20,000 copies of this resource has been given away or sold. Since the creation of the second edition, this edition is no longer available.