Experiential Science 30 – Sustainability and Freshwater Resources (Lesson 3)
Ecotourism is increasingly promoted in the Mackenzie River basin as a means of boosting local economies while maintaining sustainable practices. It is important for students to recognize different definitions of “sustainability” in order to determine whether (and how) ecotourism would fit within their local community. Students will learn to listen to Elders and/or local fish harvesters definitions of sustainability and apply local and Indigenous knowledge to decision-making around ecotourism.
A common definition of “sustainability” is: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (Brundtland, 1987). Sustainability often involves three pillars: economic, environment, and social sustainability. Only recently have western institutions recognized the importance of sustainability. Indigenous peoples have lived in a sustainable way since time immemorial. This lesson will introduce students to the concept of sustainability from Indigenous perspectives, as well as how the principle can be applied to ecotourism in northern communities.
Key questions for student inquiry:
Should we have ecotourism in my community? How do Indigenous definitions of sustainability help me decide whether ecotourism is a sustainable option or not?
In classroom and in the school/community (survey)
Length of activity:
180-300 minutes / 3-5 class periods