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Front cover of the book: Natural Curiosity second edition, with the Natural Curiosity logo.

Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: A Resource for Educators

The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry

The second edition of Natural Curiosity supports a stronger basic awareness of Indigenous perspectives and their importance to environmental education. The Indigenous lens in this edition represents a cross-cultural encounter supporting what can become an ongoing dialogue and evolution of practice in environmental inquiry. Some important questions are raised that challenge us to think in very different ways about things as fundamental as the meaning of knowledge.

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Front cover of Natural Curiosity second edition, and four Indigenous lenses of environmental inquiry, with a background of a child exploring on a land

New In the Second Addition

  • Revision of the four branches of environmental inquiry (Lorraine Chiarotto) by Julie Comay

  • Indigenous lens on each of the branches by Doug Anderson 

  • 15 new educator stories

Truth & Reconciliation

The second edition of Natural Curiosity is a response to pressing and unequivocal recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to situate Indigenous perspectives into the heart of Canadian educational settings. Natural Curiosity is committed to taking up the call to action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation commission, specifically addressing:

63. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:

iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.


Jean-Paul Restoule Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Indigenous Education, University of Victoria

Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition is an excellent resource for educators seeking to act as co-inquirers with their students and share the learning spirit while fostering relationship with our natural kin and relations. With a newly expanded lens on Indigenous perspectives and worldviews, this resource encourages teachers with philosophies, rationales, tools and activities to help them grow ecological and social justice citizens. A timely resource and highly recommended.

Richard Louv
Author of “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle”

Natural Curiosity is a great gift not only to North American educators, but to people around the world. As this good book makes clear, the often-Eurocentric deconstruction of reality does not represent reality. The point of natural curiosity is not to study a thing, but to inquire into the connections and relationships of all things and spirit, seen and unseen. This book is an inspiration, a doorway into a web of life and truth.

Dr. Glen S. Aikenhead
Emeritus Professor, Aboriginal Education Research Centre, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan

In Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition, Western ways of relating to nature intermingle with Indigenous ways. The book respects the integrity of both coexisting cultural perspectives. By understanding both, readers and their students will gain greater curiosity and deeper insights to make sense of the world around them or to solve problems.

Susan Dion Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Indigenous Education, Faculty of Education, York University

The second edition of Natural Curiosity is an excellent resource for educators wanting to include Indigenous perspectives in their environmental inquiry with learners of all ages. More than a “how to guide”, this text engages educators in learning from Indigenous thought.

Dr. Jan Hare

Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia, Unceded Musqueam Territory

The second edition of Natural Curiosity from Indigenous perspectives gives educators practices and pedagogies for helping learners develop a much needed deeper sense of place. We are at a significant moment in time where we need more sustainable and ecologically just ways of being in this world. This resource provides rich possibilities for all of us to achieve shared commitments to reconciling our relationships with land, people, and place.

Rachel Moll Ph.D.

Chair, Graduate Programs and Professor,  Faculty of Education, Vancouver Island University, BC.

My students and I found the first edition of this text book to be very engaging and accessible … With the incorporation of Indigenous perspectives, the 2nd edition is an even better fit! The text is an excellent balance of theoretical perspectives illustrated with practical examples from a range of classrooms. I particularly enjoyed drawing on the actual transcripts from teachers and students as they engaged in knowledge building discourse and explored students’ questions. The content also complements education transformation that is occurring in British Columbia right now.

Matt Brundle

Assistant Coordinator/Site Supervisor, Toronto Urban Studies Centre, TDSB

This book should be held close to the heart of all educators in Ontario. It synthesizes the breadth of current theory and provides a wide variety of critical perspectives. The 2nd Edition of Natural Curiosity acts as a beacon, lighting the path along which we should and must selectively and collectively evolve. It should be embraced by all and will, no doubt, stand as a substantial part of the foundation upon which the future of education in Canada can be built.

Louise Zimanyi

Professor, School of Health Sciences, Early Childhood Education, Humber College

This timely and useful resource supports the increasing recognition of the importance of embodied learning in nature. Challenging Euro-Western child-centered pedagogies common in nature and environmental programs, it acknowledges and honours Indigenous ways of knowing and being and the pedagogical significance of connectedness and relations with place, materials, plants, animals, land, water and weather.

Mike Bibby

Outdoor and Environmental Education, Special Assignment Teacher, Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic DSB 

At ALCDSB we have been on the integrated environmental inquiry journey since 2011 when the first Natural Curiosity resource came out. Since that time we have embraced more deeply student voice in the learning process and have benefited greatly as a result. The second edition of Natural Curiosity comes at an important time for us as it nurtures another voice, the voice of the land through an Indigenous perspective. It is through this perspective that we become more fully aware that as human beings we are "of the land" not separate from it. When we educators begin working with our students in this way a much different learning journey begins, one that is rooted in faith and answers our continued call to care for the Gift of Creation.

Bill Kilburn

Program Manager, Back To Nature Network

Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition is a welcome, practical and vital evolution of the original edition of this resource that first appeared in 2011 with such promise. Where the first version was successful in promoting meaningful inquiry in outdoor natural space, the second edition will do that and more. For education, the practice of recognizing and applying indigenous ways of learning will inspire educators in rich new ways of teaching, and students in deep personal learning. For society, delivering on our collective commitment to reconcile Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures to move into a future with greater hope, understanding and partnership is crucial. In short, the sacred educational ground of this important new resource needs to be an honoured path on which all educators tread.

Angela Nardozi, Ph.D., OCT

Sessional Lecturer, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Assistant Coordinator/Site Supervisor, Toronto Urban Studies Centre, TDSB

This second edition of Natural Curiosity feels like an invitation and a gift. The text invites me to respect the relationships and ways of knowing that Indigenous peoples have had with this land since time immemorial. It is also an invitation to deeply understand that as a guest on Turtle Island, my role is to listen and learn. The gift is that of responsibility – now that this knowledge has been shared with me, how will I take it up with my students? From its first pages, this resource invites non-Indigenous teachers to welcome these understandings into our teaching with humility. Thank you to Doug and the entire team for this important work. 

Front cover of Natural Curiosity first edition. There are three children playing under a tree on the front cover.
Front cover of Natural Curiosity first edition, French version. There are three children playing under a tree on the front cover.
Natural Curiosity: A Resource for Teachers:
Building Children’s Understanding of the World through Environmental Inquiry

The first edition of Natural Curiosity was a teacher resource that was launched in 2011. It introduced a framework for environmental inquiry, providing elementary school teachers with clarity, reassurance, and options for bringing inquiry-based teaching practices into the classroom. One Anishinaabe Elder and elementary teacher, Wahgeh Giizhigo Migizi Kwe (Eileen “Sam” Conroy), said of the first edition, “I cried when I read it. I said to myself, they’re finally starting to get it!” David Suzuki echoed her sentiment when he affirmed “this is obviously the way that teaching and learning should happen.”

More than 20,000 copies of this resource has been given away or sold. Since the creation of the second edition, this edition is no longer available.

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