What is Land-Based Education?

Presenters: Chief Vernon Saddleback

The base of a land-based program is the land and how the students (and teachers) can learn from and contribute to that land base.  Students have access to traditional knowledge holders and respect the cultural protocols of the particular community. The land sustains life, in return life must sustain the land. The land is the text. It is about how students collectively can bring the knowledge from their ancestors into the present context-how they can express that knowledge in relation to what the land has to teach. Land-based education is not about how well students can read what authors have to say about the land, or how well they understand books or written text, and how well they can write about that. Nor are the courses in a land-based program simply a transfer of courses that would otherwise be taught in school or online with minor adjustments to make them fit school curriculum. The basis must be the land; its teachings, and in the case of an Indigenous Land-Based program, the combination of land teachings and the Indigenous knowledge required to contextualize that knowledge.


Breakout Session 3: 1:30pm – 2:45pm
Room: EES 209