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Indigenous ways of knowing


Exploring the universe with feet firmly on the land, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is headquartered on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka (people of the flint) (Mohawk Nation), part of the Haudenosaunee (people of the longhouse) Confederacy. We recognize the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation as the custodians of the lands and waters of Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal), which has long been a gathering place for diverse First Nations, including Algonquin-Anishinaabe, Atikamekw, and Huron-Wendat.

The CSA recognizes that there are different ways of knowing and acknowledges the many contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to the studies of the stars. There are many ways of sharing knowledge and building understanding. That is why the CSA is working to broaden our content to include Indigenous perspectives.

Students at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit, Nunavut, with CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques. (Credit: CSA)

These resources are available:

  • Indigenous Moon stories and the 13 moons cycle, written by Researcher and Knowledge Keeper Wilfred Buck
  • Career profiles of Indigenous people working in the space field
  • Root & STEM – Skywatchers: Perspectives on Space is a free print and online resource in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM) developed by Pinnguaq Association to support K–12 educators in teaching digital skills. The Canadian Space Agency provided support for an issue of Root & STEM that explores the sky and stars. From thinking about life in our galaxy with an Indigenous lens to exploring the different perspectives of the sky and stellar knowledge, this issue asks students to understand their connection to the universe and how it can impact human life. It features articles, podcasts, activities, games, stories, comics and lesson plans.
  • Star Scribe is an educational game experience in which players visit the surface of Earth’s Moon and learn about several Cree constellations from Elder and Star Lore Wilfred Buck. Players can also trace these constellations in the sky and reveal artwork that represents the knowledge held by the star formations. This game was developed as part of a Root & STEM resource supported by the CSA.

We are developing, with educators and Nunavut communities:

We will continue to add Indigenous Moon stories from other Indigenous nations as well as meaningful experiences in STEM learning, for youth need to be as diverse as the next generation of space scientists and engineers we are aiming to inspire.

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