Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Professor Daniel Livesay

Reader 2

Professor Nancy Neiman

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American environmental education pedagogy has been intimately intertwined with the federal government’s colonial project since the 1890 – 1920 period, when environmental education became a defined part of formal classroom learning across the United States. At federal Indian schools operating during these decades, environmental education represented a mechanism through which the federal government attempted to suppress traditional Indigenous environmental knowledge and to supplant it in the minds of Native children with capitalist, Protestant, and Anglo-American modes of thinking about land. Yet, in the face of this unprecedented colonial violence, Native children at federal Indian schools turned to the land as a source of healing, resilience, and resistance and even carved out spaces to exchange environmental wisdom. Continuing this fight in the aftermath of the boarding school era, Native activists, educators, and parents in Oakland launched a successful campaign during the 1970s to increase their children's access to educational opportunities rooted in Indigenous knowledge and to integrate Indigenous environmental wisdom into public schools – a story that serves as a testament to the power of ongoing Native resilience and resistance.