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ETFO Voice Editor Izida Zorde

From the Editor - Spring 2024

Izida Zorde

The spring issue of Voice is our Environment issue, focussed on teaching climate justice, environmental stewardship and equity. In this issue’s feature article, Representation in the “Great White North,” Colleen Elep and Chad Mills consider why diverse representations of the outdoors matter and what educators can do to make sure they are inclusive of all their students. “Representations of the ‘Great White North’ are rooted in colonialism, myth and popular cultural assumptions around who belongs in the wilderness,” they write. “To get students from diverse backgrounds feeling connected with nature, educators can start by adapting learning content…to reflect a more inclusive and accurate portrayal of diverse people in historical and contemporary outdoor settings.”

In our interview, anti-poverty activist Paul Taylor reflects on why community is at the centre of his activist work. Taylor talks about growing up under Mike Harris, political and systemic solutions to food insecurity and rejecting the charity model. “I’d love to see educators talking about the right to food,” he says, “We’re not going to solve that with three-legged carrots and leftover muffins. We’re going to solve that by understanding why it is that we allow people to get left behind, and really having conversations about what the levers are that change that situation for the better.”

In Fighting Climate Anxiety with Imagination, Dawn Williams and Jerri Jerreat reflect on Youth Imagine the Future, a program that helps plant the seed of active citizenship and stewardship of the earth by encouraging students not only to think critically, but to also think creatively and optimistically about green solutions to environmental issues. Also in this issue, Christina Wilson writes about creating a connection to the land with her Grade 1 students in her article Nurturing a Love of the Land to Promote a Sustainable Future. “By starting small,” she writes, “we can instill a desire in students to improve, take ownership of, and develop our green spaces through connection, love and responsibility for their local community and stewardship of the environment.”

These articles, along with reviews, a curriculum insert on invasive species removal, an excerpt from an interview with three young climate activists and book reviews hopefully give you some great ideas for spring!

– Izida Zorde