Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation


Author- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson 

Leanne is also the author of Dancing on our turtle’s back. An Indian edition of the book was published by adivaani and an excerpt from it’s introduction can be accessed here.


A resurgence of Indigenous political cultures, governances and nation-building requires generations of Indigenous peoples to grow up intimately and strongly connected to our homelands, immersed in our languages and spiritualities, and embodying our traditions of agency, leadership, decision-making and diplomacy. This requires a radical break from state education systems – systems that are primarily designed to produce communities of individuals willing to uphold settler colonialism. This paper uses Nishnaabeg stories to advocate for a reclamation of land as pedagogy, both as process and context for Nishnaabeg intelligence, in order to nurture a generation of Indigenous peoples that have the skills, knowledge and values to rebuild our nation according to the word views and values of Nishnaabeg culture.

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Picture: indiancountrytodaymedianetwork (Participants in the annual Mother Earth Water Walk wend their way around a different Great Lake each year and up the St. Lawrence River Seaway. The Anishinaabe walkers embrace the theme of the walks, which started in 2003: “Ni guh Izhi chigay Nibi onji.” (“I will do it for the water.”) )


Editorial Team of Adivasi Resurgence.

One thought on “Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation

  • February 15, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Hi! I’m an Indian Bengali now living and studying in Montreal, Canada, at McGill university! I’m minoring in Indigenous studies, and for one of my classes, I’m writing a paper on Adivasi struggles and their parallel to Indigenous anti-colonial movements in Canada. We actually read Leanne Simpson’s work a few weeks ago for this very class, and I think that’s a really cool coincidence that I came across her works again on your site! There are many parallels to be drawn between the Indigenous movements in Canada and in India. I really appreciate the work and passion you folks at put into your work, and I want you to know that there are people who stand with you! Sending you solidarity from across the world!


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