I strongly believe that teaching treaty education is important for all people who are living in Canada, and the United States, in the regions when Indigenous peoples were forced to assimilate, where their culture and language were stripped from their very hands. I think the history of Indigenous people is a very crucial part of history that has shaped Canada to be the way that it is today and teaching about this history gives people an understanding and eye opener when it comes to our not so perfect history. I think regardless of who your students are as long as they are living on treaty land they should be learning the history about Treaty Ed or Indigenous history.
Similarly as being all Canadians, we are all treaty people, we reside and thrive on the treaty lands that we somewhat received through misconceptions with Indigenous people. Those misconceptions are Europeans created the treaties to be a contract to share the land and resources with Indigenous people and the Indigenous people believed that by signing the treaties they were gaining new relationships and new family with the Europeans. So, as long as we live on the land I believe that we should thank the Indigenous people that we took it from and work on re-conciliating our relationships with Indigenous people.
I was able to hear Dwayne Donald speak at the University last week and felt like his teaching style was a beautiful way to approach treaty education – to teach about the land through being on the land. Teaching about the land surrounding your school some way, some how it is going to turn into treaty education because of the history that it embedded in our soil, in our land. I also found it very interesting when Claire was sharing with us that her back wall in her classroom is covered with the curriculum documents and that she crosses out each outcome that she reaches – this is a great idea to avoid confrontation, as long as you can show that you are following curriculum then you have something backing you up.
Now in response to the letter:
I would maybe take a step back and start from the beginning – to teach about the history of Indigenous people and our land and how we established this land through the misconceptions and lies that were told. These students are obviously unaware of the history or have not been properly taught about Indigenous history in the past. I also would try to educate the COOP surrounding the importance of Treaty Education, attempt building a personal learning network on Twitter to talk and share the struggles that you have surrounding Treaty Education and as Claire said follow #100daysofcree.