Relationships to Water

Students evaluate passages and images related to water and predict what perspective they are from. Students then compare and contrast the Indigenous and Western scientific views and understandings of water.

Program Details

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Relationships to Water


•Notebook/paper for each student •Printed activity images and passages •Tape or tacks •Computer/projector
  1. Teachers show students video segment embedded in ten-minute video accompanying the Water Bundle of Ojibwe and Odawa Knowledge Keepers Shirley Williams and Liz Osawamick discussing the relationship the Anishinaabe have to the water.

2. Teachers display images and passages around the classroom or outside that depict both the Indigenous and Western scientific understanding of and relationship to water (Gallery Walk.pdf). Have students circulate and categorize the images and comments as belonging either to the Indigenous or Western scientific worldview.

3. Teachers debrief activity by revealing how the passages and images are categorized (Gallery Walk Answers.pdf). Discussion should reveal that while there are fundamental differences (for instance, for Indigenous people water is gifted from the spirit world and is the lifeblood of mother earth) in many ways Indigenous groups and Western scientists (esp. community ecologists and biologists) view water in similar ways. An effort should be made to show distinctions but not set up a false dichotomy between the Indigenous and Western scientific view of water.