Activity Image
Sustainability

Two-eyed seeing

Find the best ideas from Indigenous and Western science.

  • Grade 5
  • Class discussion
  • 45 mins
  • New

Overview

In this activity students are introduced to the Indigenous idea of two-eyed seeing and decide how using both knowledge systems can help us live in a good way with water.

What you'll need

  • "Two-eyed seeing" slides
  • "Two-eyed seeing" worksheet, one copy for each student
  • Digital projector and screen
  • "Indigenous perspectives on water" handout, optional (see extensions)

Instructions

  1. To begin the activity, open up the  "Two-eyed seeing" slides and show slide 2 and the series of Euler circles. Ask your students to decide which set of circles best shows the relationship between Indigenous Peoples’ ways of knowing and Western ways of knowing. 
  2. Show slide 3 and introduce students the concept of two-eyed seeing: To see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous Peoples’ ways of knowing, and to see from the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing, and to use both of these eyes together.
  3. Organize your students into pairs and provide each group with a copy of the "Two-eyed seeing" worksheet. Show slide 4 and ask students to make decisions: What are the differences? What are the similarities? Ask students to record their thinking on their worksheets. 
  4. Encourage groups to share their decisions and thinking with the class. As they share, invite them to suggest the strengths of Indigenous Peoples’ ways of knowing and Western ways of knowing. How might the strengths of both ways of viewing water?
  5. Show slide 5 ask them to decide which set of circles they now think best shows the relationship between Indigenous Peoples’ ways of knowing and Western ways of knowing. 
  6. To conclude the activity, invite students to suggest how using two-eyed seeing might help us to live in a good way with water.

Additional information

Throughout the activity consider how well students:

  • identify different perspectives about water
  • make accurate observations from text and other sources
  • use evidence to make decisions
  • contribute to group discussions
  • demonstrate flexibility in thinking

Extensions

  • Invite students to create their own representation of two eyed seeing in relation to living in a good way with water. 
  • For more independent students, during step 3 consider providing them with the "Indigenous perspectives on water" handout. Ask them to use ideas from the sources in addition to those from slide 4. 
  • Provide students with an important environmental issue and use the worksheet to describe how two-eyed seeing might help address the issue  (e.g., climate change, conserving water, logging of old-growth forests,...)

How this activity was developed

These materials were created with guidance from Indigenous educators, subject matter experts and thought leaders to help draw upon important teachings, learnings, and Indigenous perspectives.  

For centuries, the traditional western view of water has often been focused on its value as a resource. Indigenous People have a unique relationship with the waters of British Columbia. Since time immemorial, water has played a sacred role and is seen as a living entity. How water is used must be carefully considered with a view towards not just the immediate need and impact, but the needs and perspectives of generations to follow.

We are dedicated to deep listening and respectfully highlighting Indigenous ways of knowing in the materials we provide B.C. educators. If you have any feedback for us on these activities, or suggestions for others, please email schools@bchydro.com. We would love to hear from you.


About the artist

The design of the worksheets in this activity was a collaborative effort with Indigenous artist Kelli Clifton. Kelli Clifton was born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and is Gitga’at from the community of Hartley Bay. Clifton is interested in using her artwork as a form of storytelling—especially in relation to her Ts’msyen language (Sm’algyax), her coastal upbringing and her experiences as an Indigenous woman.  Clifton currently lives in her home community where she continues to practice her art and teaches Sm’algyax at a local high school. Learn more about Clifton's art on her Facebook Page.


BC Hydro’s commitment to reconciliation 

BC Hydro exists to serve British Columbians by providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity. We recognize that maintaining and developing the system has impacts on the lives and interests of Indigenous People. To support our move towards true and lasting reconciliation, BC Hydro will acknowledge past wrongs, listen to Indigenous perspectives and seek shared understanding with First Nations communities and governments. 

Click here to learn more about our Statement of Indigenous Principles.

Grade 5 Science 

Big idea

  • Earth materials change as they move through the rock cycle and can be used as natural resources.

Content

  • First Peoples concepts of interconnectedness in the environment 
  • The nature of sustainable practices around BC’s resources 
  • First Peoples knowledge of sustainable practices 

Curricular competency

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate a sustained curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest 
  • Identify questions to answer or problems to solve through scientific inquiry 
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Experience and interpret the local environment 
  • Identify First Peoples perspectives and knowledge as sources of information 
  • Demonstrate an openness to new ideas and consideration of alternatives 
Applying and innovating
  • Contribute to care for self, others, and community through personal or collaborative approaches 
  • Co-operatively design projects 
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations 
  • Generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem solving 
Communicating
  • Communicate ideas, explanations, and processes in a variety of ways 
  • Express and reflect on personal, shared, or others’ experiences of place

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