Covid-19 Webinar


Covid-19 has drastically altered the landscape of education across Turtle Island. For Indigenous land-based educators, whose immersive programs require that students to be out on the land together, these changes are particularly concerning. In response to these concerns, Dechinta hosted a Covid-19 Webinar Series in the summer of 2020 to examine the risks of moving Indigenous land-based education online and to brainstorm possible solutions or alternatives to carrying out land-based education during the pandemic.

Supplementary Report

We created a report to summarize these webinar conversations and include resources to assist educators and students who must carry out their land-based programming in alternative ways during the restrictions of Covid-19. Our aim with these webinars and this report is to address the specific impact of coronavirus on Indigenous land-based education, while providing resources that bridge some of the specific educational gaps coronavirus has produced for Indigenous people in both the North and across Turtle Island. Dechinta hopes that in doing so, we can provide both theoretical and practical tools to educators, students, and community members to support them in navigating their own relationship to Indigenous land-based education and practice in the era of coronavirus.

Webinars and Interviews

Webinar One: Navigating Indigenous Land-Based Education During a Global Pandemic

This webinar examines the foundations of Indigenous land-based education and the challenges associated with moving this type of learning online. To approach these concerns, the panelists unpack the meaning of land-based education and its relationship to Indigenous resurgence. This is followed by a discussion of the complications and potential risks of shifting land-based education to an online learning format during the forced restrictions of Covid-19.

A transcription of webinar 1 is available here

Webinar Two: Ethical Consideration of Online Land-Based Learning –Academic Perspectives

This webinar explores the unique ethical concerns of moving Indigenous land-based education online from the perspective of academics and university professors. Participants explore their own experiences teaching land-based education and how their role as educators has been impacted by covid-19. They emphasize that land-based learning ethically necessitates face-to-face engagement and a physical connection to the land that cannot be replicated in a socially distanced, online environment. They also reflect on how land-based programming requires an environment that prioritizes relationships and student well-being and transformation, and that attempting to move this type of intimate and immersive learning online is unethical and potentially harmful.

A transcription of webinar 1 is available here

Webinar Three: Community Considerations of Online Land-Based Education in the North 

This webinar examines what it means to remove land from Indigenous land-based education in the North and how this impacts the ability to learn relational ethics and politics from an Indigenous worldview. The panelists, a group of students and young professionals who are involved in Indigenous land-based learning in Northern communities, discuss the unique ethical concerns and considerations of doing online land-based education during Covid-19. The speakers talk about how they have engaged in Indigenous land-based learning in the past, how they have adjusted their approaches during Covid-19, and the politics of colonial knowledge production that is illuminated by online learning. They also touch on the wisdom of the land, its centrality to Indigenous life and politics, and why online learning cannot replace land-based pedagogy. 

A transcription of webinar 1 is available here

Webinar 4: Queering Indigenous Land-Based Education During a Global Pandemic

This webinar is focused on the concept and practice of queering land-based education. The panelists, who have lived experience as Two Spirit, LGBTQQIA+, and queer individuals, critically reflect on how Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous perspectives can inform thinking and approaches to doing online land-based education. The webinar begins by exploring what it means to queer Indigenous land-based pedagogy, while participants explain how they have queered their own work and approaches to land-based education. The webinar also explores how queering land-based education can support generative learning that rejects approaches to Indigenous knowledge rooted in binaries, toxic nationalism, ableism, and heteropatriarchy. As well, the panelists think about how we can approach Indigenous education and traditional practices in alternative and creative ways given the forced restrictions of the pandemic.

A transcription of webinar 1 is available here

Community Interview: Fred Sangris

In this video, Yellowknife Dene Elder Fred Sangris teaches us about the history of sickness and epidemic in the North. Fred recounts the story and history of the early 1900’s epidemic in the North. He learned this history from his father and grandfather, who were the only two members of his family who survived the epidemic of that time. 

A transcription of webinar 1 is available here

Community Interview: Doug Williams

This video provides a conversation with Curve Lake First Nations Elder Doug Williams who discusses the importance of returning to history, tradition, and the land during Covid-19. Doug explains the history of pandemics among the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and other neighbouring nations, including the Huron Wendat and the Haudenosuanee or Iroquois. He reflects on the wisdom that can be learned from these past experiences. Doug also talks about the importance of returning to traditional understandings of health and safety. He emphasizes the centrality that land has to Indigenous survival in the present.

A transcription of webinar 1 is available here


Contact us for more information about our programs, or to register for our next semester! 


Phone: 867-445-1897

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