Treaty/Settler Education


It is so unfortunate that many teachers and students did not see the value in learning about Treaties and Indigenous ways of knowing. This is sadly a too common scenario both in schools where there are Indigenous students and schools where there are no Indigenous students, though certainly more common in schools with a lower Indigenous population. Cynthia Chambers states that she doesn’t “want to take for granted this opportunity I have been given to live differently than my ancestors.” (Pg 35) Our ancestors ignored the people who were here before they came and all of us now suffer the consequences of their near-sighted and selfish perspectives. If we fail to look beyond our own wants and needs, we would be making the same mistake and not only hurting the Indigenous people but also ourselves as we are, as Chambers says, all Treaty people. We must understand the responsibility that comes with being a part of the treaties if we want to make Canada a better place for all to live in. We must also look to the spirit and intent of the Treaties if we are to truly understand the commitment we have made as Canadians.

Claire talks about how Treaty education/Settler Ed is critical for non-indigenous students as many Indigenous students already know about Treaties and way of life. Non-indigenous students need that knowledge as it has been left unsaid or even spoken against. Her ideas and work into the Treaty education is inspirational.

It seems like an important place to begin is at an understanding of who we are, where we live, who lived there first, and that we are a part of a contract called Treaties. This is at the foundation of learning Treaty education and being able to go deeper.

Cynthia Chambers:

Treaty Education Outcomes and Indicators:


One Reply to “Treaty/Settler Education”

  1. Hi Jen! I really appreciate your quote from Cynthia Chambers about living differently than our ancestors. I know sometimes we find it difficult to see our ancestors’ selfishness. Those of us who come from settler backgrounds, myself included, can get caught thinking that our ancestors were justified in coming over because of the injustices and oppression they were also experiencing in their native lands. We also like to think that they were none the wiser of the Indigenous peoples, but logically, that cannot be true either unless it was intentional ignorance. Where our ancestors failed, it is now up to us to mend the relationships that have been ignored for generations, and as Chambers said, we need to live better. Thanks for sharing!

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