Land Affirmation: Moving Naturally Toward Reconciliation


  • Stephen Smith Simon Fraser University
  • Damien Norris Simon Fraser University


Land acknowledgment is an important educational practice of recognizing unceded Indigenous territory. For Physical and Health Educators this practice need be not only oral and discursive but also active and interactive. Land acknowledgment can be a physical affirmation of Indigenous ways of knowing and being. The purpose of this essay is to describe how a practice-based, land-affirming PHE curriculum may contribute to moving naturally toward reconciliation. We propose a curricular approach emphasizing breathing, earthing and naturing practices of land attunement. Such practices are reflective of Indigenous conceptions of animacy and ways of being in kinship with the land.       

Keywords: movement; curriculum; Indigenous; land; reconciliation.

Author Biographies

Stephen Smith, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Stephen Smith is Full Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. 

Damien Norris, Simon Fraser University

Damien Norris is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. 





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