(This is the abstract for Rose Honey’s curriculum, Discovering Our Relationship with Water.)

Water is fundamental not only to our survival, but it is essential to our personal health, the food we eat, the industries that we engage with, the traveling we do, and almost every activity that we participate in. The relationship that we have with our water will determine our lifestyles and possibly our survival into the future.

Through this curriculum, students will be guided to discover and build their own relationship with water by learning to connect to the water in their community and understanding how water is related to everything that they do. The curriculum utilizes maps and information from Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery’s search for a waterway to the Pacific Ocean. While students learn beliefs and practices related to water of tribal peoples along the trail, they participate in activities that connect scientific concepts with resources that offer different perspectives on relationships with water.

Teaching children to appreciate and build a personal relationship with water in a way that honors tribal legacies provides an understanding that water is a sacred and living entity. Looking at water in this way will allow children to recognize that we need to take care of our water, just as water is always taking care of us. Engagement in these curricular units will inspire and initiate a journey of play and inquiry that is designed to promote understandings, discoveries, and relationships related not only to water, but also to the world around us.