July 7, 2022

Jul 7, 2022 | PSESD

The Huaka’i Participants

During the 21-22 school year, Winds & Waters, led by Sui-Lan Ho’okano provided a monthly field experience in partnership with the Muckleshoot Tribe for 15 members of the Puget Sound ESD’s Educators of Color Leadership Collaborative. This is Sui-Lan’s story of the experience.

Canoe Journey.

The Huaka’i (journey) for 2021-22 Climetime was held on the traditional and accustomed lands of the Muckleshoot Tribe and in collaboration with Traditional Ecological Knowledge Keepers, and Cultural Practitioners. Facilitators Sui-Lan Hoʽokano and Will Bill made an intentional effort to focus the PD on recentering learning through Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Through this immersion PD, participants connected to lands and waters learned the history of this place, but even more important built relationships with the people and place they live and work in, and awakened an understanding that science doesn’t exist in a vacuum; there are cause and effects on our humanity and our planet, and Indigenous science is about relationships, human interaction, and the importance of bringing the human component back into educational learning through a lens that is connected to the stories and the experiences of those who have history and a relationship to wahi pana (place).

Learning from the Forest

Within this structure, participants focused on the importance of Climate Justice, Social Justice, Racial Justice, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, STEAM, Since Time Immemorial History, and Community Responsibilities collectively. Participants experienced how to interweave these same learning opportunities with their students, how to connect students to their local environment and understand their environments and communities. Participants shared how this knowledge helped how to take students outside to identify plants, utilize observation skills, and understand how to be responsible stewards

One Participant wrote: “This community-based professional development was life-giving”!

Another Participant Stated: “As a teacher, I saw the relevance of being in the presence of mother
nature we study. We just finished our BIOMAGNIFICATION lesson in biology and realized that
my students would have understood this lesson better if they were with me seeing and experiencing
this learning”.

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