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outdoor education

A Guide and Call to Honor Native Land

From the website: “Created in partnership with Native allies and organizations, the Guide offers context about the practice of acknowledgment, gives step-by-step instructions for how to begin wherever you are, and provides tips for moving beyond acknowledgment into action.” Visit the US Department of Arts and Culture’s website to download the guide and take steps towards equitable reconciliation.

Wildness: Relations of People and Place

Wildness, an anthology of essays edited by Gavin Van Horn and John Hausdoerffer, explores the different relationships between people and the concept of “wildness.” We like this book because it has stories by people with marginalized identities about their community’s relationships with wildness. These types of stories often aren’t told in the dominant narrative. We also like this book because it distinguishes “wildness” from “wilderness,” which is a political construct. If you’re looking for stories of how people connect to land beyond hiking, biking, and climbing, this is the book for you. Buy the book here.

Lumbersexuality and Its Discontents

“One hundred years ago, a crisis in urban masculinity created the lumberjack aesthetic. Now it’s making a comeback.” In this Atlantic essay, Willa Brown addresses class as it relates to the “lumbersexual” aesthetic that is prevalent in the outdoor industry. This is a great think piece that prompts questions such as: (1) was outdoor recreation always aimed at the middle and upper classes?; (2) does the industry’s “lumberjack” aesthetic constitute cultural appropriation of a particular class of people? Complicated, but a great read if you’re interested in how class has played into the aesthetics of outdoor recreation. Read the article here.

Environmental Education Better Results Toolkit

This toolkit, developed by Learning for Action, is useful for any environmental, outdoor, or place-based education organization seeking to evaluate its programs and build tools to measure impact. Though the toolkit doesn’t have a DEI lens, coupled with DEI practices such as our 3R framework for building culturally relevant, responsible, and responsive curriculum, this toolkit can really support showing positive impacts of DEI work in program/curriculum design.

Instructor Bias Self Assessment

This checklist is great for outdoor, experiential, and environmental educators (as well as traditional educators) to assess how bias might be manifesting in their teaching and to mitigate bias in any classroom, indoor and outside.