Welcome to the Eagle Eye Inquiry Project

Eagle Eye is a riddle, a classic teaching legend written and performed by master storyteller Peter Donaldson and captured on film before a live audience in the First Nations pit house at Xa:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Centre near Mission BC.

The legend of Eagle Eye is designed as in an inquiry based curriculum resource. It is a new-old way of using stories to affirm the deeper values of cultural identity and core knowledge that sustains the community. As an inquiry, Eagle Eye serves as a valuable pre, mid, or post-assessment of what students actually understand and can apply in relation to three integrated learning themes, biodiversity, systems thinking, and sustainability.

The Eagle Eye resource offers multiple entry points

  • This website with dozens of thematically linked readings and research topics.
  • An 18-page Eagle Eye script annotated with 22 intriguing inquiries for classroom analysis and dialogue.
  • The Eagle Eye performance DVD (40 minutes) featuring Peter Donaldson’s performance in front of a live audience. To facilitate classroom inquiry, the 40-minute story is divided into five shorter chapters (5-10 minutes long) each with several embedded inquiries which are annotated in the margins of the script.
  • An expert commentary DVD (45 minutes) featuring video interviews of local thought leaders, including First Nations elders, who saw the live performance and offer their insights on themes from the story.
  • Sustainable Stories, a growing online library of short films on real world stories of sustainable principles in application.

Two Goals

The first goal is to call the next generation into action; to understand biodiversity, think through complex systems, and become wise consumers, voters, workers and volunteers in the emerging sustainable economy.

The second goal is to support integrated, inquiry-based learning opportunities in secondary and college level courses including teacher training.

So, Eagle Eye employs a very old strategy for passing along the crucial teachings of how we live, a strategy used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years… a good story.



Testimonials from college students in an introductory biology class

“This is the second time that I have seen the Eagle Eye Legend. I watched it the first time in grade twelve (last year) and seeing it once more helped me to better understand the underlying messages.”

“I loved watching an artistic approach to science based issues. I think the metaphor of the search for the people helped audience members with a low education about science understand the main concepts in an entertaining way.”
” Having no background information about the DVD, I was quite surprised that it was done through a performance. Right away, I found the way Peter moved was like those of the species he was depicting; each with their own specific mannerisms and matching personalities. The descriptive phrases made me feel as though I was experiencing flight through the eyes of the eagle. By painting such vivid pictures in my mind, I wanted to learn more about the mystery.”

“The duck definitely had a complex mind, thinking outside the box about every world within the next world.”

”I loved how all the characters had a different accent or way of communicating ideas. In particular I found the Bark Beetle quite comical and very effective in relaying the message of "Diversify or Die!" He also suggested shifting the blame of the Pine Beetle epidemic to the human induced global warming instead of the beetles themselves. Like he said, "We are opportunists!"

“I never realized how a beaver dam could help everyone from salmon spawning, to making sure that we have water available in the hot summer months where little rainfall occurs.”

“The fallen tree was another example of this same cycle. Even though it had finished its life, it created a new home for many other populations: sunrays for seedlings to germinate, decomposers to gain nutrients, mammals to create new resting grounds. It makes me wonder what our purpose is in the vast scheme of things.”

“I found this presentation to be different from the norm and enlightening. I gained a new sense of where human beings are on the grander scale that the whole world is a part of. Although we may be more intelligent than many creatures on the planet, we are the part of the global ecosystem that disrupts everything else. We as a species need to take action against the deteriorating quality of nature.”