Treaty Education Philosophy

I identify as a straight, cisgender, able-bodied, female. My ancestors immigrated to Canada from Ireland and Scotland; therefore, I am a white settler on treaty 4 land. I recognize that my ancestors benefitted from this land through farming and that I continue to depend on the land by living here and relying on food and resources produced by treaty land. My treaty philosophy emphasizes the importance of holding space for Indigenous peoples by listening and “realizing that there are multiple truths and no single clear answer” (Allan et al., n.d). I will ensure that my future classroom has opportunities to learn about Indigenous issues in an age-appropriate manner, through hands-on activities such as attending treaty events, pow wows, and Indigenous art displays. I will listen and recognize Indigenous experiences that are shared with me both from the past and the present, and I will develop relationships with elders and invite them to share their personal stories and knowledge in the classroom. Through this, I will recognize past injustices done to Indigenous peoples, how this impacts them today, and how these injustices are still occurring. I believe that a major responsibility I have as a settler is to analyze the policies put in place by leaders in Canada and understand how these positively or negatively impact Indigenous peoples. I see voting and connections with political parties as a treaty responsibility because if we claim to stand alongside Indigenous peoples, then we need to vote for individuals who honor treaties, continue to improve conditions of reserves by ensuring everyone has access to clean drinking water, affordable food, and quality education, and respect Indigenous culture and land by protecting sacred areas.

Treaty education is such an important aspect of the curriculum. Although the treaty education curriculum is separated from the other subject areas on the Saskatchewan Curriculum website, I believe it should be integrated through all areas of learning. Rather than teaching treaty education as a separate category, I will incorporate it through cross curricular activities to demonstrate the importance of these outcomes.