What is in a name? Blog #5

When I take a walk with my boys, I often feel that it needs to be an educational lesson.  I guide them on what we are seeing, naming things asking questions like what is that tree? why is it green in the winter? Those things I feel are important for them to learn.  Why do I feel knowing the names is important?

Naming things makes it more efficient to describe something but more than that naming something often shows a form of ownership.  We get a cat or dog and we name it, to distinguish from other pets and we want to distinguish it because we consider it ours, we want everyone to know its ours.  During the blanket exercise, it became very clear just how much the settler invaders as Newberry calls us strived for and coveted ownership of the land.  They didn’t want to just use the land they wanted to possess it, at any expense.  I think our tendency to want to make sure our children know the names of everything, is because we are perpetuating the idea of ownership, passing that ownership to children.  We think we got the land fair and square through the treaties, but once you know about the intent of the treaties you begin to see, it wasn’t fair at all.

Maybe as future teachers and possibly parents, we need to instead of naming things just allow our students/children to engage on the land.  We need to let them use their senses to appreciate what we name.  Listen to the birds, smell the air, feel the dirt, to see that there is so much more to the land, than ownership.  That wilderness is all around us, we don’t have to go to remote places that perceive to be free of people and modern amenities we can experience it right where we are.

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