Building kincentric awareness in planetary health education: A rapid evidence review

PHaJI Author: Jessica LeClair, MPH, RN

The current definition of planetary health has been criticized for having a hierarchical anthropocentric focus that values the importance of human health outcomes over other beings in the biosphere. Kincentricity is a concept from Indigenous scholarship that supports an obligation to live in harmony with all kin. A paradigm shift from the anthropocentric to the kincentric would align with health professions such as nursing, which recognizes human beings’ health as emerging from the environment and integral with one’s spiritual nature. In 2020 the Planetary Health Alliance developed a draft Planetary Health Education Framework to guide education and practice. To help align the framework with Indigenous Knowledge Systems, a rapid evidence review on kincentric approaches to planetary health education was conducted across multiple databases. No studies included approaches that were explicitly kincentric. Three articles explored approaches that were implicitly aligned with kincentricity. Openness to traditional Indigenous perspectives allowed educators and students to gain understanding of their interconnection within nature. The paucity of evidence for effective kincentric approaches in education demonstrates how research has privileged the anthropocentric perspective. Further knowledge development of kincentric approaches in research and education could lead to transformational practices that advance planetary health.

LeClair J. (2021) Building kincentric awareness in planetary health education: A rapid evidence review. Creative Nursing. 27(4):231-236. DOI: 10.1891/cn-2021-0009. PMID: 34903624.