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Weaving Place-Based Education and Coast Salish Knowledge: Stories from Salt Spring Island

Rethinking Young People’s Lives Through Space and Place

ISBN: 978-1-78973-340-2, eISBN: 978-1-78973-339-6

Publication date: 10 June 2020


This qualitative case study provides a detailed description of the ways a Kindergarten/Grade 1 teacher in a Gulf Islands school, located on Canada’s west coast, integrated place-based education in her practice with young learners. The teacher’s integration of place-based knowledge over a school year, and her incorporation of traditional knowledge linked to local Coast Salish ways of knowing, was in response to the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s mandate to include local Indigenous ways of knowing in all classrooms. This study also reveals the ways an Indigenous educator affiliated with the school district and local community members provided the teacher and students with deeper understandings of Salt Spring Island from a historical, place-based, and Indigenous knowledge perspective. Specifically, the Indigenous educator and community members shared their knowledge on the vegetation on the island and shared information about the animals that lived on or near the island. Throughout the study, the teacher drew on a “critical pedagogy of place,” which focuses on the ecological aspects of place and the tenets of critical pedagogy. This study documented the ways the teacher included local Indigenous knowledge in her practice in culturally relevant and appropriate ways – primarily through outdoor learning experiences. The children also shared their perspectives on these learning experiences. In this study, the place-based learning opportunities provided to the children enabled them to acquire rich insight on the history and ecology of their community and island.



Streelasky, J. (2020), "Weaving Place-Based Education and Coast Salish Knowledge: Stories from Salt Spring Island", Sriskandarajah, A. and Bass, L.E. (Ed.) Rethinking Young People’s Lives Through Space and Place (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 121-137.



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