Wilderness can have many different definitions. I feel I am in the wild when there is no sign of human disturbance. I was fortunate enough to go to a school where we were taught heavily on the first nation’s history. Some schools did not get the opportunity to learn this history and still my class took it for granted. The students in the class sometimes deemed it as a “sob story” (which it is definitely not) and followed more closely with the Settlers point of view. History can have more than one point of view, just like the word Wilderness has many different definitions. I would say even though I was fortunate to hear both sides of the story our class definitely experienced the outside world with a uniformed white lens.
We got to attend plenty of fieldtrips camping, going to waneskewin, and outdoor Phys ed. We also did a voyager activity when learning French. I remember learning and praising the Voyageurs during this outdoor sled run. This goes back to what is mentioned in Canoe Pedagogy:”Voyageurs (French, Métis, Scottish, and Aboriginal) worked many long and difficult hours in a day and tended to live few years. Their lives are not often idealized although they are often glorified;” We would leave usually with some kind of worksheet with questions to answer or would do planned workshops and activities throughout the day. When being outside we were deprived of freedom, by still following uniformed instructions and told how to think about the topic. It was almost as if we brought our desks outside and could not move or think freely without instructions.
I now understand why it is so hard to teach in a non-uniformed way, this is because students expect this style of learning. Students are dependent on the teacher to how they should understand and knowing one answer. When being in an outside environment it is important for the student to explore and understand in their own ways. Being a dependent on answers and structure limits the student to being creative and makes them lose touch on individuality. Like this class if we were given less opportunity to be free in how we understand the course, the teacher would not get such a variety of honest opinions and we would not be given the chance to think for ourselves.
The weather is a good example on how the world disrupts its way of being. It will be sunny and all of a sudden it will snow. It is important to disrupt these uniformed ways of understanding and give the students a chance to come up with their own ideologies. Nobody gets recognized for a quote somebody else said, it is better to come up with your own understanding.