We are all Treaty people

  • What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Content and Perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples?
  • What does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that “We are all treaty people”?

This weeks’ blog is based on the email that Mike received from a student that was interning and needed some help…

As part of my classes for my three-week block, I have picked up a Social Studies 30 course. This past week we have been discussing the concept of standard of living and looking at the different standards across Canada. I tried to introduce this concept from the perspective of the First Nations people of Canada and my class was very confused about the topic and in many cases made some racist remarks. I have tried to reintroduce the concept but they continue to treat it as a joke.

The teachers at this school are very lax on the topic of Treaty Education as well as First Nations ways of knowing. I have asked my Coop for advice on Treaty Education and she told me that she does not see the purpose of teaching it at this school because there are no First Nations students. I was wondering if you would have any ideas of how to approach this topic with my class or if you would have any resources to recommend.

As someone who will be starting my pre-internship next year, this is the situation that I am nervous about. It’s hard to imagine that there are teachers who live on Treaty land that aren’t willing to teach about First Nations history.

Treaty Ed needs to be taught in schools today for many reasons, mainly because it is a process of deconolization. It is 2017, we should know that we shouldn’t be treating anyone anything other than equal!! It all starts with education at a young age, which is probably why the student who sent the email is having such a hard time… the teachers never got the proper education Treaty Ed and now the students aren’t either.

This is the first year hearing “we are all treaty people” and when I first heard it, I was a little confused but sorta just brushed it off. But now learning about it more, my eyes have opened and I realize the things that I didn’t before. I have accepted that I am not able to change the past, however as an educator I am able to help change the future. I can’t just sit back and let things happen, I need to educate my future students so that they have the knowledge to later teach others as well!

If I was this student asking for help, I would do exactly what he did – contact a current/past instructor that also beieves that teaching Treaty Ed is very important. There is also the possibility to contact an Indegenous elder, they would most likely have a lot of knowledge of how we can help teach students and teachers that this is i fact improtant!


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