This article is aimed at non-Indigenous people who enjoy outdoor recreational activities like canoeing, hiking, biking and walking.
This a living document that provides concrete suggestions for how to learn about and engage with the land, waters, plants and creatures.
I recommend reading “Respecting Indigenous Waters & Lands” before reviewing these practical suggestions, as it provides a framework for how to think about these matters.
I want to stress that this is a living document and that I welcome words of criticism and experience.
Read before you go trekking:
It’s important to read about the Indigenous history and present reality of the lands and waters you will be travelling through.
Try to find readings that are as rooted in the region’s local Indigenous context as possible.
I strongly recommend doing this reading prior to your trip.
There’s often so much work and fun to be had when camping that I rarely tend to read for long periods of time when camping.
Reading before you go insures that you have some knowledge of the region before you go.
Read aloud as camping activity:
Taking turns reading short stories or essays by Indigenous authors while sitting around the campfire or beach can be very rewarding.
Collected volumes like The Winter We Danced or Manitowapow are excellent because they contain such beautiful first-person narratives, accounts, essays, poems and art.
Once you’ve read a piece, talk about it with your camping partners or children.
Some questions you can ask yourself if camping alone or ask your camping partner(s):
What do you think about this piece?
How do you think the writer felt?
What was their life experience?
How does the writer think about water, land, birds, plants and other species?
What do you think about how they write about the water, land, birds, plants and other species?