How could treaty education (truth, justice, reconciliation, decolonization, indigenization) look like in your classrooms, schools, homes & communities? What did the Treaty invitational event teach you about this important endeavor?
The treaty event truly taught me that people young and old are interested in the history and knowledge that we have to share, and to share it appropriately is crucial for all Canadians. I hope as I was at the treaty event to always be open, and aware of conversations and lessons that are occurring all around me each and every day. My goal as a white settler Canadian is to always teach the truth, the good the bad and the ugly truth always to my students. As long as you are open and truthful people are usually open to knowledge, and always to be aware of the water that we tread oh so carefully around everyone that we educate, to be aware of yourself and your students through every lesson.
Through this process, I have learned that sitting in a desk isn’t the only way that people learn, in fact in many ways this hinders the learning that is being taught. I really appreciated and got a lot of information out of the carousel conversating, talking topics over with people that I don’t always get to talk with, and really getting their point of view and in some ways more knowledge or a better understanding. This opened my eye to the fact that there is a lot of learning to be done alongside your peers.
I also really appreciated the knowledge that the group shared with myths, and names that our province and city hold onto. It was really great to see some of the truths behind myths that I hear, and know are incorrect. But also it pushed me to learn more about the myths that I hear so I can educate people when the topic arises. For the most part, I have always removed myself from a subject that I don’t know enough about to talk about, but learning about the history of the people that schools and streets are named after, really pushed me to explore the truth behind names, and the history of our province and city.
This post, really and truly should have been done a little while ago but I have been stirring and thinking about the presentation before mine, and my group presentation. They were very different and they both shaped my thoughts of my miskåsowin journey. I really am learning and finding my place in how I hope to teach when I find my place in my career.
Anyways, I think for the first presentation I really enjoyed the initial story, it really made me understand the conversation between the Europeans and Indigenous peoples when signing the treaty and the misunderstanding that happened. I guess it really put it into perspective. I also enjoyed the personal story told by Tammy, that really hit home in another way, helped me understand things a little bit more. It was a great presentation but I learnt that I learn better through stories and personal stories help the teaching that much more.
Then for my personal presentation I really enjoyed the style that we did it in – the more of a learning as a group and together than standing up at the front dictating the knowledge to the class. I think if I were a high school teacher I may have more respect teaching in this way rather then writing notes on a board and expecting my class to copy them. But I guess too you live and learn and teaching one way to a class may not work for the next class that you teach. I also think it is very important to be aware of what you are doing and what you are teaching, because you are impacting people through your activities and through your lessons. Also, I think it is very important to remember that as a teacher or even just an aspiring teacher you will make mistakes and you will fail, but you just need to try again the next time to make it better.
Apply Pam Palmater’s discussion about reconciliation to your understandings of the implications for yourself (miskåsowin). In what ways could you take up the Principles of Truth & Reconciliation as a treaty responsibility (response-ability)? How does this relate to understanding yourself in terms of treaties?
I think in order to take up Truth and Reconciliation, we have to talk about everything that has happened with our students, with our friends, with our families, and with everyone. We need to make others aware of the history of segregation, violence, and racism that indigenous people are experiencing. Unfortunately Pam Palmater is correct, that reconciliation isn’t going to happen over night, nor is going to happen in a year or even five, it has taken too many years to even begin the discussion – that getting to reconciliation is going to take a long time. I believe it is my responsibility to pass on my knowledge and that understanding that I have gotten through my education to others, not just my students but to everyone who crosses my path.
This relates to my understanding of myself within treaties, because through my learning and education that I have received thus far I strongly believe that I have become a better person just by gaining knowledge and understanding. I will continue to say this until I am blue in the face but education creates knowledge which creates understanding which will get things moving towards reconciliation. I am not saying that you need to attend university to gain this education, through conversations with others you can gain this knowledge. To open your hearts to what people are saying and to listen to things other than the news, the white man, or the commonsense of the school system.
How might you go about engaging in a miskâsowin process during this course?
According to this definition online origin is “the point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived”, as an aspiring teacher I have learnt so much about the world through learning, and know that I have so much else to learn as well. My education as began my ambition to be a life long learner, and to be aware of the world, and the problems that occur in our society every day. Once again, I believe that ECCU 400 with my very knowledgeable profs I will learn so much about treaties, and myself through the process. Education is a way of changing one’s perspectives, and lives. Personally, since beginning my university journey I believe strongly that I have learnt and grown unbelievable amounts since beginning, and each new course offers new insights.
What will you do towards continuing to find your sense of origin & belonging, yourself, or your center?
I think the most important thing to find my origin and belonging is to be open to the knew knowledge and information that my profs and peers have to offer me, to learn through their ideas, stories, and lives. It is a beautiful thing to learn from other’s life lessons, and to share what you have to offer to others.
What does the Blanket Exercise experience offer to you in terms of your miskâsowin process?
I believe this question is difficult, or perhaps it is not and this goes to show how my learning I still have to do. However, I do believe that the blanket exercise is powerful and impact-full, I don’t know how to answer this question. Perhaps, this was a great opportunity to give me a visual for the learning that I have already began in regards to Indigenous peoples in Canada, and perhaps being aware of the feelings that arise within me while doing the exercise is the beginning of a journey that I will take.
How does it help towards tâpwêwin (speaking the truth with precision and accuracy)?
Well, I think it goes to show a small aspect of colonization, I just feel like it isn’t enough. I think it would be a great way to begin the process of teaching Indigenous People’s history, it’s just not a one time thing then it’s done. As for speaking the truth with precision and accuracy, I would hope that all teaching is taught in this way, that teachers are knowledgeable and aware of what they are saying and doing around their teachers. As teachers we have a lot of power that we must be aware of, that we are teaching knowledge and facts to students, and not trying to mold them and blend them.
Propose a plan for the next 5 weeks. What will you commit to?
The only commitment that I am willing to make to myself and to my peers is to be open, open to their thoughts, stories, ideas, and knowledge and to offer mine to them when I feel it is crucial to their learning and their journey.
Well to start off, and to be completely honest I identify as a white Canadian. After doing the readings and through the power of knowing and understanding I also identify as a settler – somewhere along the line of my family we have came to Canada and settled. I have quite a mix of ancestors that range from Belgium, Scottish, Irish, German, and Ukraine to just name a few. Ultimately we came from Europe! My family is and I am as well a privileged, white, middle class family – however now that I am a student, I would lean towards lower class.
While becoming educated and more knowledgeable I have learnt that everyone is a treaty person, in one way or another we are related to the treaties – mostly by living on the land. Or, well, at least this is my understanding and I could be wrong – more than likely I am, but hey I am learning more about treaties and have a lot of learn about myself and this land.
I guess by finding who we are, and where we belong is helpful in understanding and learning the history where we reside. Whether we have lived in this country for 10 years or 1, we live on the land and understanding the history is important to all of it’s people. Learning who each other are is important to build meaningful connections between one another as well.
Practice naming yourself & making your understandings of your identities complex.
Well, I don’t really know what to do for this part but to name me, I would say a white settler that resides on treaty land. But, I am not sure that is a complex identity – so I guess I have a lot to learn.
Well folks, I hate to break it to you but this is not only my last learning project blog, it is my last assignment of the semester, and my last blog for at least 3 weeks. I am supper excited! Well here are the last 10 blog posts all rolled up into one final blog! I am going to share the deep and dirty secrets of each week, and then let you know what resources I discovered along the way, and what I would do differently.
Well this week was when I decided that I was going to do ASL as my learning project, I find language a beautiful thing (maybe because I like to talk), but ASL is often a language that goes un-noticed. In the past I have worked with babies through baby signing, my nephew learnt it when he was young and also worked with children who’s main language was ASL. Obviously it is very important to communicate with your students in a variety of way, so I thought this would be a great skill in my classroom!
Also, in the past I have watched the show “Switched at Birth” and really was interested in watching the signs and then reading the subtitles, often I even paused the show after they signed to read what they had just said. This was really painful and time consuming! Also, I found that they signed really fast (which obviously, like I talk really fast). I guess when you perfect something you go fast as long as people can keep up! I was really excited and couldn’t wait to start this journey!
This was the week that I learnt just a few phrases:
- Do you know how to sign?
- What’s up?
- How are you?
- Want to get coffee?
- What is your text number?
- I love you. (Friendly)
- Can you teach me sign?
I was literally like a kid playing police officer, you know the one handing out tickets all weekend long. Well, instead of tickets I was signing to everyone I saw, and I went and saw family, so I signed a lot! These phrases were fairly easy to remember and do, so it was a great way to start. The video that I found was awesome, and by starting off here I didn’t get discouraged. However, now that I have kind of wrapped up my learning I only remember a few of the signs for a few of the words. I guess that’s why its easier to learn a language if you are immersed in it. It’s true I guess, if you don’t use it you lose it!
This was week one of trying out the alphabet, and let me tell you that was easier said than done! I struggled, my hands hurt, and my fingers did not want to work as fast as I needed them to. Even now, one or two times through the alphabet and my knuckles are killing me! Which I learnt too that you should stretch your hands out before signing, and after – who would have thunk it?
I also would not have imagined that it would be taking me more than a week to learn the simplest alphabet, but it did! I almost got discouraged maybe because I thought that this was going to be so easy, maybe because my hands hurt. But I didn’t think I was ever going to learn it, and if I couldn’t do the alphabet than how was I going to do words and phrases?
Well, I thought I would have somewhat mastered the alphabet by the second week and then moved over and would have had the opportunity to learn it on my left hand too! But, who was I trying to kid?! I could barely do it on my dominant hand why would I even think that I could do it on my left? To be honest, it was a flop I can barely form the peace sign with my left hand let alone 26 letters! So, I had high hopes once again the crashed down… but I did learn and was able to film the alphabet on the right hand!
What better way to celebrate the halfway mark than by compiling a video of two weeks of lessons, why didn’t I showcase all of my learning? Well that’s because I didn’t have anyone to film me the other weeks and didn’t seem to think outside of the box to film myself on my computer or something. Looking back this video was a great contribution to my learning and my reflection, so I wish I would have done more! However, this was easy I would review all of the signs then record, then review, and then record. It made me seem like a pro (maybe not, but I felt like one). Using the internet as a resource was easy so I could constantly review it regardless where I was because I am one of those people who always have my phone on me!
Why does it seem like the basics are the hardest? Well, to be honest I feel like maybe the numbers and letters are so much harder because they are harder on the joints and mainly because I was forming them so rigid, where phrases and other words I do smoothly – exactly like the actors on “Switched at Birth”. So, once again I was struggling with something! The numbers I didn’t really have a great resources and got confused after the double digit mark so I decided to do some more research and learnt some things for week seven.
Well this week was a big week, not only did I find a great resource for numbers but I learnt some songs too! So, I found this great resource on YouTube, and learnt songs and numbers through it. I even subscribed which was the first thing I subscribed to! How exciting?! (I know I need a life desperately!
Well, once again I was taken aback and kind of struggling, on something that I was so excited about. OK, so I wouldn’t say I was struggling but when signing songs and only having to sign a few of the words it’s kind of difficult to remember where you are in the song, and how does it even make sense to students who have hearing impairments when you only sign a few of the words?! But, I learnt it and this is something I have taken to work with me – when I’m singing with the kids (poor kids, I can’t sing to save my life) I have started to sign along with the few songs that I learnt. The kids actually have even started following along with me.
This was a big week, I really wanted to succeed at the video that I was making with Hayley, so I found numerous resources and videos and practiced, practiced, practiced. I really liked this blog mainly because all of my resources were in one place, which was super helpful when it came time to record the video! My blog became my own resource. I mean it kind of sucked because I wasn’t able to have all of the videos in the same blog I ended up having to put links, but hey it worked.
The week of the video! I was so excited and honestly didn’t have to do more than record my own signing. I recorded myself and Hayley put the video together and I put it into my blog. I know I got the easy way out, but hey she’s amazing what can I say?! So, with one final week left of the assignment I decided to do what everyone does at the end of a unit and I was going to go over everything one last time!
Was a review period, and I went through and reviewed all of the signs I have learnt this semester! It was almost as if I was preparing for the end of the semester test. I reviewed and practiced all of the signs one last time. I am also so happy that I reached my goal! I may have set the bar low, but I reached it so that’s a win in my eyes!
Resources I would/would not recommend:
- Eight Friendly Phrases in American Sign Language – This video was easy, slow and great resources for the easy signs. I WOULD recommend it.
- Five Quick Tips for Signing the ASL Alphabet – These are some great tips, especially if your hands get sore while signing it, give it a read. I WOULD recommend it.
- ABC song/ASL alphabet – American Version – This song moved super fast, it had cute music. I would not recommend it because of the speed.
- The ASL app – This app was great, you can slow the signs down or keep them normal and follow along. I WOULD recommend it!
- Numbers 1 – 30 ASL – This video moved quickly, but it gave you a various views. But since it doesn’t give you the numbers that it is currently signing I got lost and confused. I would not recommend it, because I found a better number video on Communication Junction channel.
- Communication Junction – Seriously find them on YouTube, I really enjoyed these channel and even subscribed. I WOULD recommend it.
- Signing Time – This website was great. I have found that I learn ASL better through videos, and this website had numerous words and videos. I WOULD recommend it.
- YouTube – Many of the videos I used and things I learnt I found atleast one video on YouTube, if you ever want to learn ASL YouTube is a great resource. I WOULD recommend it.
- Pro Deaf – This is an app that I just found, but haven’t checked out so I am going to put it here but I don’t know if I would recommend it or not.
What would I do differently?
One thing I would do differently which is a major difference than what I did is, I would have some organization to this madness. I wish I would have outlined what I wanted to learn each week, then maybe things would have flowed nicely, rather than flying by the seat of my pants.
What did I learn?
- Resources are everything.
- Sometimes the things you think might be easy are hard than one would think.
- You don’t sign every single word!
Once last note, I really enjoyed this learning project – probably because I got to choose the topic, which is something I think is important to remember when getting students to do assignments!
Well folks, since this is my final ASL blog I thought that it would be a great week to use my personal blog as a resource and go over everything for a final time. I mean I hope to continue to learn, but since it’s the end of the semester I wanted to review what I have learnt. After all, this is what we as teachers do at the end of a semester, we review and quiz. I am lucky though there isn’t a test on this!
So here’s everything I have learnt:
- Do you know how to sign?
- What’s up?
- How are you?
- Want to get coffee?
- What is your text number?
- I love you. (Friendly)
- Can you teach me sign?
- Alphabet on both hands (fail)
- What time is it?
- Call me
- Thumbs up
- Thumbs down
- Crazy (something I knew growing up)
- Not feeling well
- Peace out
- Cut it out
- No dice
- All Good
- All perfect
- You are my Sunshine
- Twinkle Twinkle little Star
- Baa Baa Black Sheep
- Video Preparation!
So, overall I reached my goal of learning over 40 words or phrases, and even learnt some songs!
I definitely built a personal learning network over my twitter feed, that has become my professional social network online. I have literally jumped from following 4 people to almost 100! It is amazing to read and to get lost in the posts almost everyday, but then of course forgetting to retweet or like everything that was meaningful. Also, through the google community I was able to comment and help a few times, but not nearly enough – or I just didn’t screen capture enough. But below are the screen shots I have found.
Also, as required I commented on everyone’s blogs. However, I unfortunately am going to be honest and left it until the last minute and commented on each person’s blog around two times (some only once). So, below are links to the comments that I have made on each person’s blog! Also on comments made on my blog I have commented back engaging in conversation.
*I just learnt that if you highlight the place where you want the link to go and then press “ctrl v” is pastes it without clicking the link button. Amazing!*
So, I thought I was being really creative by linking to my comments, but now all I see is a big long list of names that is slightly annoying. I am not going to switch it because I don’t really know what other way to do it. Thanks for everything this semester, I really enjoyed it.