Exploring Applications of Indigenuity: Incorporating Indigenous perspectives in the geoscience classroom

Wednesday 1:30pm-4:00pm Lindley: 307
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Daniel Wildcat, Haskell Indian Nations University
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
The scale and complexity of examining human interactions with the Earth requires systems thinking. In this session, we will explore the ways in which the rich worldview traditions based on holistic or complex systems thinking of the First Peoples of North America can be incorporated to enhance student comprehension. Indigenous ingenuity or INDIGENUITY is based on the deep-spatial systems thinking of American Indians and Alaska Natives and aligns with the geoscientific approach in a way that enriches students' understanding. By incorporating the experiences of people whose cultures are tied closely to the landscape, we develop a more complete understanding of processes active in a landscape, the impact of human activities, and approaches to mitigating the human impacts.


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Review and discuss the parallels between indigenous and geoscientific worldviews
  • Explore challenges and opportunities of incorporating indigenous perspectives in geoscience courses
  • Create an action plan for including indigenuity in a course


(Please bring a laptop if you have one. It is not required for participation.)

1:30 Welcome and introductions

1:45 Discussion of indigenuity and Earth system science and parallels between indigenous and geoscientific worldviews

2:15 Small-group development of opportunities to incorporate indigenuity into geoscience courses

2:50 Break

3:00 Gallery walk and discussion of opportunities to incorporate indigenuity into geoscience courses

3:30 Participants work on action plans

3:45 Wrap-up and Workshop evaluation

4:00 Adjourn

Private Workspace »


Videos of Dr. Wildcat

Recommended texts

  • Red Alert!: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, Dr. Daniel Wildcat
  • Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis, Edited by Zoltán Grossman and Alan Parker
  • Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence, Gregory Cajete
  • Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future, Melissa K. Nelson

InTeGrate Teaching Materials: https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/syst_thinking/index.html

Curriculum for the Bioregion: http://bioregion.evergreen.edu/