The prompt for the third visual representation was to visually represent a particular time that you experienced wilderness as a common sense Canadian ideal and/or as a disruption of this normative narrative, in a formal or informal Environmental Education context. Growing up on a farm gave me a lot of informal Environmental Education opportunities. When by brothers and I were young, we would often walk down into the valley and play by the creeks edge in the summer. Among the many things that my brothers and I did was catching crayfish.
Although there may not seem like much of a lesson to be learned here, looking back I’ve realized that I took in a lot. Finding and catching crayfish meant that we had to understand where they lived, how and when they moved around, and what could be used to lure them. For the most part searching for crayfish meant turning over rocks and hoping to be quicker than them. In response to the prompt I have created an informational placard, like what you might find in a zoo or aquarium that describes crayfish.
The placard, while informative, is meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek as the experience of catching the crayfish is much more memorable than the words presented here. Much like other aspects of Environmental Education though, I think that there needs to be a balance between what is taught thought the use of texts and what is taught through the use of place-based learning. One way that this placard goes a small distance to disrupt the normative narrative is with its use of the Cree word for crayfish (given that the translation I found was accurate). The language that information is presented in is something that I had never thought of before this class. After our class experience in the garden outside of the Indigenous University though, I feel that we should properly represent the people who first interacted with these plants and animals.