Etuaptmumk / Two Eyed Seeing Guides Climate Action


“The land does not belong to us; rather, we belong to the land,” is a philosophy rooted throughout Indigenous culture. Indigenous/Mi’kmaq people have always seen themselves as caretakers of Mother Earth, and we wanted to introduce students to the idea of Two-Eyed Seeing. This is the belief that we can use Indigenous and “European/Western/Scientific” knowledge to improve our understanding and find solutions. In our project, our goal was not only to improve students’ understanding of the climate change crisis; but also, through a series of interactions with Elders from the neighbouring Mi’kmaq (First Nation) community, students will begin to explore how Indigenous knowledge and practices can be used to promote/“drive” climate action. Students spent a day learning from elders in the neighbouring First Nations Community of Eel River Bar. During this time, Elders and Knowledge Keepers shared their knowledge about how Mother Earth is changing, observations they have witnessed, things that they have done and continue to do to care for the land, concerns they have about the future and initiatives being carried out by First Nations communities to help care for the land and water.


In smaller groups, students discussed what had stuck with them and then, within their team, designed climate action projects to carry out. They spent the next 4 weeks working on their student-led learning/climate action projects and shared those projects in a showcase with their peers and the public. The projects varied but included a puppet show on the dangers of littering, and growing seeds, a diorama presentation on the causes and effects of the rising water levels, a bake sale to raise money for a climate action group, hand-drawn climate action posters, a recycling program, a clean up of the school grounds, recorded podcasted infomercials on climate change, a presentation on the dangers of nuclear energy with a 3D model of a reactor, a presentation on clean energy with a model of a wind farm, a coded self-watering system with sensors, a plan to code/create an app that would encourage climate action tasks and provide participates with climate change facts; and a coded lego robot that could identify and collect trash.

Reflection & Celebration

Students were very proud of the climate action projects they created and the action taken. Their knowledge of the climate crisis improved, and they realized that they had a vital role to play in climate action. Through their interaction with the Elders, they gained insightful information and were introduced to the idea of two-eyed seeing and our responsibility in caring for the land.

We will continue to develop opportunities for students to learn on the land with local indigenous elders and knowledge keepers in order to continue building climate activism within our youth and show them that their voice does matter.

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
13. Climate Action
17. Partnerships for the Goals
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