Reflections on the Purpose of Indigenous Environmental Education

  • Kyle Powys Whyte
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history


The essay offers reflections on the purpose of Indigenous environmental education. Indigenous peoples engage in wide-ranging approaches to environmental education that are significant aspects of how they exercise self-determination. Yet often such educational practices are just seen as trying to genuinely teach certain historic traditions or scientific skill-sets. Through reviewing the author's experiences and diverse scholarly and practitioner perspectives, the essay discusses how Indigenous environmental education is best when it aims at cultivating qualities of moral responsibilities including trust, consent and accountability within Indigenous communities. The concept of collective continuance is one way of thinking about how moral responsibilities play significant roles in contributing to social resilience. Understanding education in this way can be used to address some of the major issues affecting Indigenous peoples everywhere, including environmental justice, gender justice and the resurgence of traditions.


Environmental justice Indigenous knowledge land education place-based education Indigenous ecology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Bryan Brayboy
    • 1
  • Megan Bang
    • 2
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityArizonaUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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