Establishing Land Relationships Through the Saskatoon Berry
Keywords:indigenous knowledge, land relationship, nature, saskatoon berry
This paper interrogates human relationships with the natural environment using the saskatoon berry as a “habitat guide,” a concept borrowed from the Indigenous perspectives of the Blackfoot, Papachase Cree and the Métis. As a settler on Treaty Six and Métis territory no. 4 – the traditional lands of various Indigenous Peoples including the Papaschase Cree, Blackfoot, Nakota Sioux, Ojibwe, Métis and others – my research engages with personal experience and specific Indigenous knowledge systems and worldview(s). This paper is divided into three sections: the first examines engagement with the natural environment and makes a case for stewardship and kinship as eco-conscious ethics. The second section, based on an oral interview with Papaschase Cree educator and scholar Dwayne Donald, builds on traditional ecological knowledge to provoke thoughts on multispecies relationality. In the final section, I offer a close reading of poems by two Métis poets to emphasize kinship and ethical relationality through the saskatoon berry.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Kufre Usanga
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