Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being in Environmental Education in Public Libraries

What might it look like for public libraries to not only provide environmental education programming in response to the ALA core value ‘sustainability’, but to move beyond models of sustainability and enable participants to ‘read’ the natural environment beyond them? Public libraries have an opportunity to center Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being in a variety of contexts including environmental education programming. Building relationships with local Indigenous communities enables public libraries to decolonize a variety of spaces, collections, and programs. Within environmental education understanding and incorporating Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being including Relationality and Reciprocity will provide public libraries with holistic approaches to environmental education.

Leanne Hooper (she/her) is a Settler-Canadian who currently resides in Mohkinstsis or what is colonially known as Calgary, Alberta. She holds a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University in London, England and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Athabasca University. Leanne is currently working on a Masters in Library and Information Studies degree through the University of Alberta and works at Calgary Public Library’s Central library as the Campus Calgary Library School Site Coordinator a program that emphasizes place-based, inquiry inspired education for students in Grades 1 to 12.