CJ3: The Blanket

For this week’s creative journal I decided to do something in relation to the blanket exercise that we did in class. For those unfamiliar with the blanket exercise it is a healing activity that gives a brief rundown of the history of Canada’s First Nations peoples, but in this activity, you have the opportunity to step into the shoes of the First Nations peoples. It was an eye-opening exercise so I wanted to do something in my creative journal that tied into that. I also was inspired by the reading we did in class which was “Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education” by Liz Newbery. In this article Newbery talks about colonialism and about how it is often left out of outdoor education. She also disrupts the normative narratives of the wilderness, this is more so the idea I was trying to capture in my project.

So to tie these two ideas together I created a “blanket” with two sides. One side of the blanket pictures the normative narrative of the wilderness and the other side depicts what I believe (after reading the article) what the wilderness actually is. The first side of the blanket has written on it “the idea of nature” because it shows a drawing of a typical outdoor scene without any humans and a few animals. This is the stereotypical idea of wilderness that we as a class brainstormed together. Once you flip the “blanket” over it pictures what I believe the wilderness is after understanding the article accompanied by a quote from it that says “wilderness and nature both arise through thought” and to me, this means that nature is all up to interpretation. Anything can be nature if we want it to be. I also gathered from the reading that nature is everywhere and it is all around us which I was I wrote “wilderness is everywhere on the bottom of the blanket. Overall I think I did a decent job tying the lessons together into my project even though I am not at all good at drawing. I have attached pictures below. Let me know what you think.

One thought on “CJ3: The Blanket

  1. Hi, Jessalyn! Thanks for the awesome write up. I did a very similar creative journal to you, which is awesome to see! I think your drawings are lovely. I believe that people often overlook the idea of wilderness or environment because they are so used to just seeing your typical view of grass, water, trees and mountains, as you have pictured in your drawing. I agree when you said “anything can be nature if we want it to be”. That way when you are trying to make connections to your students, you can take them to a variety of places with no fear of it not being ‘nature’. In one of this weeks reading it said that older students often hang around more social places and that it can still be considered the ‘wilderness’ or ‘nature’, as long as you put that lens on your students. I love that you connected this creative journal into the blanket exercise we did in class! I feel like you understand very well the importance of the blanket exercise. How has that activity influenced you and your teaching pedagogy? Would you ever consider becoming a facilitator for the blanket exercise and performing it in your classroom?


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