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

Stephanie Bartlett


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.


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

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