This week in ECS 210, we did not have class. Instead, we were asked to watch a few videos and read a short article about Treaty Education. For this blog post, we were asked to discuss how to incorporate Treaty Education in a school that does not see the purpose of teaching Treaty Education if there are no First Nations students.
Treaty Education is something that teachers are required to teach, just like every other subject in school, such as math, social studies and science. Even though Treaty Education must be taught in schools, it is often overlooked and not taught. Many people still believe that Treaty Education should be only taught to Indigenous students, but in fact, it is just as important (if not more) that non-Indigenous students are taught Treaty Education as well. Many Indigenous students already have knowledge about Treaty Education and about the Indigenous culture and history in Canada. Many non-Indigenous students do not know about the history of Treaties and the history of the relationships that non-Indigenous settlers had with Indigenous people in Canada.
As Claire states in her introductory video, Treaty Education is mandatory and teachers must teach the Treaty Education curriculum that has been laid out by the government of Saskatchewan. As discussed in Claire’s interview, Treaty Education is not a fad, it is not the flavour of the month. Treaty Education is here to stay and teachers must ensure that they are teaching the Treaty Education curriculum to their students of all grade levels and in all subjects.
As a future educator, I know there is a lot of curriculum to cover throughout the year of teaching, but just like every other subject, Treaty Education is mandatory and must be taught to students. Up until taking Education courses at the University of Regina, I did not know that Treaty Education was mandatory in every grade level and in every subject. I have a hard time thinking about where Treaty Education was in my classes growing up. It was likely in some of the classes, but I really only learnt about Treaties and Indigenous knowledge in Social Studies classes.
As an educator, it is my job and my responsibility to teach Treaty Education. Since I do not have a lot of memory of Treaty Education in my own elementary and high school education, I know it can be daunting to try to teach Treaty Education for the first time. As a future educator, my first place to look for resources and information about Treaty Education is the actual Treaty Education curriculum. After looking at the curriculum, it is always good to look at other teacher’s resources to gain ideas for how to plan lessons that incorporate Treaty Education into the classroom. Treaty Education should not be something that is forcefully stuck into a lesson or once throughout the school year. Treaty Education must be incorporated with other subjects and become part of the daily learning, not something that is just stuck in here and there. As a pre-service teacher, I can also take a Treaty Education course at the University of Regina to gain more knowledge about how to teach Treaty Education.
Living and teaching on Treaty 4 land and coming from a family of settler’s means that I am a Treaty person. Every person living on Treaty land is a Treaty Person. By acknowledging that treaties are part of everyone’s story, we are acknowledging the past and the knowledge that we can learn from one another, as explained in Cynthia Chambers’ article. As people, we must fight back against colonialism, which Dwayne describes in his video as “an extended process of denying relationship”.
Treaty Education is not a fad and it is not something that can be skipped over. As educators it is our job and responsibility to teach ALL students treaty education, regardless of their race.
Thanks for reading my blog post! If you have any thoughts on it leave a comment below!