Why Teach Treaty Education?

After listening to Dwayne and Claire’s lecture, and reading Cynthia’s narrative this week there is a few different reasons why it is important to teach Treaty Education in the classroom even if there may not be any students who are First Nations in the classroom. It is important because understanding our past is crucial in moving forward in the future so we do not cause the same harm we once had to First Nations individuals. It is also important because First Nations people were the first people to walk the land we live on, and now we as immigrants are ruling and making all the decisions regarding laws and rights of those who live here because they allowed to share the land with us. Even though lots of students may not understand the content or the purpose of learning about treaties at first, if we start teaching it at an early age the students will have a richer understanding year after year because they will be able to build on their knowledge and hopefully we can reach a point where they find it important to themselves.

I think for me I am always learning about what it means that we are “all treaty people”. I always think back to how the president of the university, Vianne Timmons, starts a lot of her speeches, if not all of them, by reminding everyone that here today we are on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territory. She expresses the importance to recognise and acknowledge this. I think it is important because for a long time our society lacked equality of different groups of people, and I think that today we are finally moving towards having equality amongst everyone.

One big thing that I took away from all of this though is the 5 simple step that Claire broke it down into.

  1. Thinking about Theory
  2. Understanding of Identity
  3. Making Mistakes
  4. Rituals and Ceremonies
  5. Building Relationships

Although teaching Treaty education may be uncomfortable at times, the more we take risks and put it into our lessons, the easier it will become. It will take time for the students to absorb the information so I think, just as Claire talked about, it is important to start with information that is manageable for the students and slowly grow and develop from that.

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