Quills Theme: Global Climate Change

Culminating Activity: Becoming a Change Maker

After communicating with local Indigenous and non-Indigenous leadership, students propose a plan for how to deal with a local climate change issue. Students are provided with different options for how they will demonstrate their understanding.

Living in Reciprocity

Depending on the time of the year this Learning Bundle is taught, students can engage in seed starting, planting, tending to, harvesting, or seed saving. If the class or school does not have its own garden, the class can arrange to visit the garden at Elbow Lake or another community garden in the region.

Engaging in Reciprocity to Mitigate the Impact of Climate Change

Students discuss environmental threats to Manoomin including climate change and infer how these environmental affects impact the cultural practices associated with harvesting Manoomin. Students research and present on an individual or community organization fighting to preserve and protect Manoomin.

Manoomin and its Preferred Growing Conditions

Students learn about the cultural significance of Manoomin for the Anishinaabe and about its preferred growing conditions. Next, students hypothesize and conduct tests to determine whether Manoomin could grow at their location.

Aquatic Monitoring

This activity takes place at the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre. After making inferences regarding the impact of climate change on local fish populations students engage in an aquatic monitoring project and compare results to required standards. As an extension students catch a fish and prepare it using local Indigenous preparation methods.

Utilizing Different Ways of Knowing to Understand & Counteract Climate Change

Students familiarize themselves with a STEM study examining the impact of a 1999 storm surge on the outer Mackenzie Delta utilizing both the knowledge of Inuvialuit hunters, passed down through generations, and data gathered by Western scientists. Students reflect on how Indigenous land-based knowledge and Western Science can be utilized together to better understand and counteract the impacts of climate change.

Lakes and Oceans as Sentinels of Climate Change

Students learn about the potential of lakes to act as sentinels of climate change by examining a STEM study that uses lake cores to understand the impact of climate change on a local aquatic ecosystem. Students can engage in an optional math extension activity in which they graph diatom sediment data and compare patterns present in the data.

Tracking and the Secret Life of Animals

Students learn what signs in nature reveal about local animal behavior and how to identify animals through the tracks they leave behind.

Getting to Know Animal Behavior

Students learn about the ongoing importance of hunting and trapping to local Indigenous groups and choose an animal of cultural significance to local Indigenous groups to research and learn more about.

Western STEM Connection-Engaging with Reciprocity and Interdependence

Students learn about a STEM study, conducted locally, in which scientists by controlling variables such as soil moisture and nutrients, studied the impact of a changing climate on local plant growth. Students mimic this experiment in the classroom using bean seeds in order to learn about what plants need to thrive in the face unpredictable weather conditions caused by climate change.

Ceremony Ensures Right Relations with the Land

Students learn about Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee ceremonies and land-based practices that enter community members into reciprocal relationships with the natural world. Students reflect on their own cultural traditions that encourage reciprocity with the natural world.

Western STEM Connection- Forest Succession

Students review a locally conducted STEM study focused on soil’s ability to sequester carbon throughout different stages of vegetation succession. Students learn how to visually identify nutrient-rich vs. nutrient-poor soil.

Forests as Carbon Sinks

Students learn about the role carbon plays in climate change and about local carbon sinks and sources. Students also learn how human relationality with the local land base impacts carbon and its subsequent impact on the changing climate.

Western STEM Connection -Tree Migration

Students learn about how the changing climate is affecting expansion and population dynamics of trees and shrubs, learn to identify local tree species, and use tree cookies to make predictions regarding the impact of climate change on local tree species. Students can also engage in an optional math extension project in which they use graphing and patterning principles to make predictions regarding tree growth.

Minds On: Introducing Climate Change

Students reflect on the impact of the changing climate on a place that is special to them.

What is Seed Saving and Why is it Important?

Through discussion students learn about how seed saving, as a form of Indigenous resurgence, helps local community members both foster food sovereignty and adapt to climate change.

Indigenous Land-Based Knowledge

Through discussion and plant identification activity, students learn about Indigenous Land-Based Knowledge. Students also examine a case study community members monitor, understand, and raise awareness about how climate change is impacting the whitefish population.

Relational Gardening

Students learn about interdependence by discovering the role that each element in a 3 Sisters Garden plays in the garden’s health and vibrancy. Students also reflect on their own responsibility to care for the land.

Taking Responsibility to Reduce the Effects of Climate Change

Students learn to distinguish between the natural vs. human-caused greenhouse effect and discuss how colonization disrupted relationships characterized by reciprocity with the natural world and in so doing has contributed to the greenhouse effect.

Biodiversity and Climate Change: What do Frogs Have to Say About It?

Students will explore the impact of climate change on biodiversity, specifically on frog species and their life history traits.

Gifts of the Forest

By reading a story and spending time outside students learn about the gifts of the forest and the interdependence of all things in nature including humans. As an extension, students learn some of the proper protocols for food collection in forested areas.