This panel discusses indigenous children's engagement with the environment in which they grow up. We explore children's trajectories through different spaces, interactions with humans and nonhumans, how children acquire different sets of knowledge and skills, and the futures they build together.
This panel discusses indigenous children's understandings of and engagement with the environment in which they grow up, alongside its human and nonhuman inhabitants. The relationships of indigenous peoples to the environment have become an increasingly visible area of study, owing to an interest in human-nonhuman entanglements and indigenous ways of knowing on the one hand, and to major transformations that communities are undergoing on the other. However, the perspectives and experiences of children have largely been absent from these discussions. During childhood we are socialized into becoming culturally competent members of our communities as well as into navigating the physical environment in which we grow up. And as children we are most affected by changes of this environment. Building on socialization research that views children as active participants who shape their own futures and those of their communities, in this panel, we explore ethnographically how indigenous children attend to and interact with the environment in which they grow up, how they cope with transformations thereof, and what their trajectories through multiple spaces are. How do they interact with peers, with caregivers, and with the human and nonhuman others that they encounter on their paths? Different and changing environments may afford and entail different knowledge, skills, patterns of interaction, cooperation, and relations between social actors. How do children acquire different bodies of knowledge, how do they develop different abilities and skills? We invite papers that discuss these and related questions drawing on ethnographies of indigenous childhoods from across continents.