Mar 26

Bringing Indigenous Knowledge into Science Education through Reciprocity: A webinar with Erin Sperling and Amber Sandy

Teachers often wonder how to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into the elementary science curriculum. Can it be done in an authentic and non-appropriating way? Educators are concerned with creating safe, inclusive spaces for their Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.  

Educators Erin Sperling and Amber Sandy work in relationship to bring Indigenous ways of knowing to students in Ryerson University’s Early Childhood Studies program and OISE’s Master of Teaching program. In this webinar, Amber and Erin will exemplify how Indigenous ways of knowing can be integrated in the study of the scientific methods through storytelling. They will discuss the successes of their partnership, the role reciprocity plays as a foundational tool for collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators and communities, and share how they hold space for science issues using an anti-oppressive lens.

Amber Sandy

Amber Sandy is an artist, hide tanner and a coordinator for SciXchange’s outreach programmes with a focus on Indigenous knowledge-based science. She is a member of Neyaashiinigmiing, the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation living in Sudbury, Ontario. Amber has managed various community-based projects and programmes, where she gained skills in resource and programme development, community outreach and educator training. She also gained skills in capacity building projects that integrate traditional and western science in her approach to conservation and environmental science. She believes that Indigenous people are natural scientists as science is inherent in Indigenous languages, stories, and interactions with the environment. It is her passion and commitment to share these views with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through education.

IG: @ambsandy | TW: @ambersandy

Erin Sperling

Erin Sperling is a white settler and has the privilege of living, loving and learning on the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. She has a PhD in Education from OISE at the University of Toronto and is passionate about education, within and beyond the classroom. She is an OCT certified teacher with experience in Ontario, the UK and Tanzania. She has been a teacher educator in science and environmental education for almost a decade at various institutions in Ontario, and she is passionate about place-based, ecojustice-oriented and Indigenous ways of knowing the world. Erin is a mother, and a lover of nature and reading in the sunshine.

TW: @erinsperling | Linkedin: LinkedIn

Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Math and Science Webinar Series 

In February 2021, The Robertson Program launched the Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Math and Science webinar series to showcase how Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing in their math and science classrooms. The series is presented in partnership with Kikinoo’amaadawin.


The Kikinoo’amaadawin Webinar Series is a collaboration between Dr. Jean-Paul Restoule and Dr. Angela Nardozi that has provided a platform for Indigenous and Settler educators and knowledge keepers to share their knowledge in a variety of topics since 2019. Dr. Jean-Paul Restoule (Dokis First Nation) is an Anishinaabe scholar and educator who is currently the Chair of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria. He is concerned with bringing Indigenous worldviews to a wide audience and infusing Indigenous perspectives into mainstream practice. Dr. Angela Nardozi is a Settler and guest on Turtle Island who is Italian-Canadian. She is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and received her Ph.D. in Education from OISE/UT. She has spent over a decade working alongside Indigenous communities and with non-Indigenous educators, including as the Project Manager of the Deepening Knowledge Project from 2011 to 2016.

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