Show a video about First Peoples connection to their land and place and then have students think about a special place in nature. Share their stories and places in a talking circle and reflect on the connection to place and caring for the land and natural world. The activity works well as an introduction or reflection about climate change and how personal connections to places can shape our sense of stewardship.
Talking circles are important in Aboriginal cultures as part of the oral tradition and as a way to share thoughts and ideas. The circle is a sacred and safe place where their words will be respected and safe from judgement. The purpose of the talking circle in this activity is to provide an opportunity for students to share their connection to nature and place in a circle, where everyone can see and listen to each other. The circle represents the First Peoples perspective that all living things, including humans, are interconnected and none are more important than the other. This is relevant to a discussion about connecting to nature and our responsibility to the environment and living things.
A talking stick or special object is passed around the circle and is used as a communication tool. Whoever is holding the stick can speak and share their ideas without interruption while others in the circle listen respectfully. Everyone is encouraged to share, but students may choose to skip their turn if they wish. When speaking, students are encouraged to use “I”-statements and share their own thoughts and ideas.
The First Peoples Principles of Learning provide context for educators on commonly accepted perspectives and principles of teaching and learning for First Peoples of B.C. The concept of interconnectedness of values and learning are woven throughout the principles. This activity touches on three principles in particular: