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Two-Eyed Seeing

Albert Marshall is a respected Mi’kmaq Elder whose concept of two-eyed seeing recognizes the strength of Indigneous ways of knowing and the strength of western ways of knowing and uses both competencies together.

In Marshall's words "Two-Eyed Seeing refers to learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous ways of knowing and from the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing and to using both of these eyes together” (Bartlett, Marshall, & Marshall, 2012, p. 335).  


This avoids a clash of knowledges (Canadian Council on Learning [CCL], 2007). Thus, Two-Eyed Seeing intentionally and respectfully brings together our different ways of knowing, to motivate people to use all our gifts so we leave the world a better place and do not compromise the opportunities for our youth (Bartlett, Marshall, & Marshall, 2007). The concentration on the common ground between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing means that one does not have to relinquish either position but can come to understand elements of both (Brandt, 2007). The place-based learning experience- Ik ka nutsi follows a two-eyed approach.

“It was the bees that showed me how to move between different flowers-to drink the nectar and gather pollen from both.  It is this dance of cross-pollination that can produce a new species of knowledge, a new way of being in the world. After all, there aren’t two worlds, there is just this one good green earth.” (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass p.47)















Cited sources:

Bartlett, C., Marshall, M., Marshall, A. (2012). Two-eyed seeing and other lessons learned within a co-learning journey of bringing together indigenous and mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2, 331–340.


Bartlett, C., Marshall, M., & Marshall, A. (2007). Integrative science: Enabling concepts within a journey guided by Trees Holding Hands and Two-Eyed Seeing. Retrieved June 30, 2009, from


Brandt, C. B. (2007). Epistemology and temporal/spatial orders in science education: A response to Aikenhead and Ogawa’s: Indigenous knowledge and science revisited. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 2(3), 539–620.


Canadian Council on Learning. (2007). Learning links: Lessons in learning—Aboriginal science education. Retrieved March 26, 2007, from

Wall-Kimmerer, Barbara. Braiding Sweetgrass.  Milkweed Editions, 2013.

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