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.