Central Okanagan Nature Network

Inspiring And Inquiring Into How We Might Learn On, With, And From The Land

We would like to acknowledge that this resource was created on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation

Does being in nature make you feel happy, calm, curious, and inspired?

Would the same be true for your students?

How might we reimagine education to foster a deep connection to place as we learn with and from our more-than-human teachers?

We are inviting you to join us in a cross-district network where we will be coming together in a cycle of learning, trying, and reflecting as we grow our practice together. This invitation is for all educators K-12 in any discipline. We welcome you whether you are just dipping your toe in the water of nature-based education or want to take a deeper dive.

Some of the questions we hope to explore together are:

  • How does nature provoke, inspire, and sustain inquiry?

  • How might we harness each other's diverse perspectives as we learn, try, and reflect together through story and experience?

  • How might we collectively empower each other on our journeys of reconnecting to the land, decolonization, and stewardship?

  • How might learning on, from, and with the land benefit all of our learners?

  • What is the relationship between learning nsyilxcən and better understanding how we might learn on, with, and from this land?

  • How might we learn more syilx captikʷł so we might better understand syilx ways of knowing and being?

  • What might the more-than-human world teach us about how to be human?

  • How might we explore a weaving of two-eyed seeing within syilx, Indigenous, and holistic approaches to educational practice?

  • What might happen if we take up the invitation to see the land as a relative rather than a resource? What would be different if nothing was an 'it'?

  • How will we know when we have been transformed?

We will be coming together to meet on zoom once a month on Mondays (see dates here), and the learning we do together will reflect the needs and interests of both you and your students. As we learn, we will have time to connect, share, and inspire each other.

Additional opportunities will also be created in response to the learning needs/wants of the group. Some things that have been surfacing from educators and students so far this year are:

  • meeting on the land for nsyilxcən language lessons that are connected to the syilx 13 moon calendar

  • meeting regularly over lunch hour zooms to dive deeper into the relationship between syilx captikʷł and learning on, with, and from the land.

  • What else might be interesting to you?

Participating educators will also have the opportunity to sign up with others as a team where we can co-plan, co-teach, co-document, and co-reflect on the learning together.

We invite you to join and attend any or all of these opportunities when they fit for you.

In addition to online sessions, learning on the land, and in class support, we have carefully curated resources and books that will ground and enrich our learning experience. Our hope is that each participant will gain access to resources that can be used right away. Members of the Nature Network will have access to resources in the Nature Network lending library which can be borrowed to support your learning.

Please also see the interactive bookshelves we have created in English and in French to explore the resources we have curated for you.

If you would like to join the nature network, please email marnie.birkeland@sd23.bc.ca and/or kelly.hanson@sd23.bc.ca and we will add you to our email list.

This Nature Network is a part of an ongoing learning series. As the world continues to experience exponential change, we have been coming together with educators across the district to consider the question What Could School Be?

To learn more about what we have been learning, and why, please see the interactive PDF below which outlines some of the learning we did together last year. Many of these learning opportunities are continuing this year, as well as others that emerge from students and educators in our district.

For example, this year, we may start a network to bring educators interested in creating caring and connected communities together.