Walking on This Earth, Finding Belonging: Ruminations of an Unsettled Settler


  • Stephanie Bartlett University of Calgary


Blackfoot language, curriculum, Indigenous ways of knowing, land, photovoice, poetic inquiry


In this paper, I contemplate my positionality as a non-Indigenous settler of Scottish, English and German descent. I (re)visit places that have shaped my life-journey and engages in a thoughtful participation between language, land and my positionality as an emerging researcher within an Indigenist paradigm. I consider Regan’s (2010) concept of the unsettled settler, defined as non-Indigenous people learning to embrace the struggle to face truths of colonialism and the consequences of the Indian Residential School system. Through photovoice and poetic inquiry, I reflect on my own encounters with the land and more-than-human relatives as a way to disrupt colonial assumptions. Ruminations, pictures and a collection of poems invite an exploration of the curricular implications of land-based teachings and reconciling ways of knowing with the land. By delving into and sharing my own personal experiences on the land, I hope to invite non-Indigenous educators to consider their own positionality and relationship with the land as part of their response to the Truth and Reconciliation (2015) calls to action.

Author Biography

Stephanie Bartlett, University of Calgary

Stephanie Bartlett is a PhD candidate in Educational Research at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, where she is also an instructor. Emerging from her experiences in collaborative creativity and human-centred design, her research focuses on education for reconciliation, Indigenous pedagogies, poetic inquiry, and life writing.