Ojibwe culture & knowledge of climate change in fourth-grade curricula in Wisconsin public elementary schools
Aprill, Michael L.
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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The first purpose of this study was to provide recommendations for educators to update their fourth-grade social-studies and science curricula by including more accurate and thorough representation of Ojibwe knowledge about climate change. My second purpose was to enrich curricula by including better information about Ojibwe culture, ecology, and knowledge. I also learned how Ojibwe people were impacted by climate disruption, and how Ojibwe Elders related to and talked about climate. During this study, I observed and participated in a Climate Strong! Professional Development Institute that featured presentations by selected Ojibwe Elders. I conducted ten interviews with Ojibwe Elders of both the Red Cliff and Bad River Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa. I also interviewed three fourth-grade teachers from three schools and two extension educators who worked in tribal communities. I analyzed content and discourse in fourth-grade science and social-studies curricula, specifically on topics of climate disruption and Ojibwe culture. I recommend that educators include more accurate and thorough representations of Ojibwe knowledge about climate change in curricula and instruction.