My Eco-Identity

My eco-identity has been shaped by my social context. I have been fortunate enough to have opportunities available to me that has allowed me to explore and ask questions about many different kinds of environments. I realize now, after much discussion and reading in class, that the beauty of nature through my eyes was relevant, but missing a sense of place. Growing up my eco-identity was shaped by many experiences involving, camping trips across Saskatchewan and Alberta, road trips across British Colombia, snowboarding and hiking in the mountains, canoe and kayak adventures, exploring acreages and farms of friends, going to tropical destinations, and so on. I feel like I have developed this love and appreciation for the unique, intricate, and beauty of various places around Canada, and because of these opportunities, I have grown to love and value natural systems. For as long as I can remember, immersing myself in the outdoors and connecting with other living systems has brought peace and tranquility to me.

However, as I stated earlier, I realize this identity that has been shaped is missing something. I want to emphasis that I am not arguing against exploration and observing, and appreciating various environments, rather I am saying that how I have gone about this as I grew up has been looked at through a euro-centric perspective. I was never conditioned to think that this land I am engaging in has a history of struggle and hardship. I am referring to the colonial past that this land has experienced and its relationship with people which has influenced the land we inhabit today. I find myself thinking about the idea of cultural commons discuss by Hardin in that I have taken for granted my ability to mobilize. I look at my creative journal drawing of this tree and could tell stories about every single one of those places. Those stories will consist of beauty, the peace and tranquil feelings I spoke of, and interacting with nature. They will not mention the treaty land they are on and/or why I have the option to be there in the first place. But why would they? In order to embody other perspectives with regards to exploring environments, what procedures would I need to take? Is there a different way to interact with the land, or is it simply being aware and bringing that appreciation to a different level? What can I do, as an individual, to deconstruct my euro-centric views? I assume this is just part of the journey of shaping my eco-identity . 

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One thought on “My Eco-Identity

  1. Well done Amy! Your visual helped you to re-consider how your eco-identities have been shaped and then to continue to question what has been absent or taken for granted. Is there a course reading that might help you in this process, this “deconstruction of euro-centric views”? Perhaps Newberry? Or Coyote & Raven?

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