Mattea Deleary

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The outdoors and land provide many beneficial aspects that affect an individual's development. The education system in Canada has been taught in a Westernized perspective for a long time now, leaving the Indigenous community to not feel as secure and respected. This research mainly focuses on the Ontario curriculum, and looks at the need for indigenizing outdoor play curriculum in the Primary years of education (Kindergarten - Grade 3). There is a need for Ontario citizens to work together on gaining more knowledge around the land we reside, learn, and play on. In my research I will examine how the Land supports and benefits children’s development and growth. The wholistic approach to learning is embedded in the land and frames Indigenous worldviews. These are learning principles that I value. This wholistic framework of learning and engaging in outdoor pedagogy on the land will guide me through my research. A literature review was done for this research using reliable sources that examine the significance of understanding more about the land and how important it is for our overall health and well-being. This literature review resulted in gaps detected that the Ontario Curriculum does not share about outdoor play in respects to Indigenous people about their history and practices. Overall, more looks into each of the Ontario curriculum documents need to be examined on where Indigenous perspectives on the land are prevalent or missing. Indigenizing outdoor curriculum is necessary in order to build a strong community for all children in education.


I am a 23-year-old Indigenous female scholar from the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation. My community is in the Southwest Ontario region. I am currently a teacher candidate in the Bachelor of Education Primary/Junior program at Western University. I am influenced by Indigenous scholars and my personal daily life. As long as I can remember, I loved being outdoors playing, exploring, and learning with family members. I remember my grandparents had a forest in their backyard, which had paths where my siblings, cousins, and grandparents would go on walks together often back there. My research is on Indigenizing outdoor play curriculum for the primary years in education (Kindergarten - Grade 3). This is a significant topic to me as I have lived experiences, understanding and connection to the land and I understand the many ways in which the land teaches and nourishes personal growth. The land and outdoor learning are significant aspects of an individual’s life learning and it has been an important part of my own relationship to the land and reflections of outdoor learning.