Thank you for your email. First of all, you are doing well taking the first step, seeing the importance of Treaty Education and wanting to integrate it into your classroom. I understand it is difficult to teach a perspective that has not only been rejected by the students, but their other teachers/mentors as well. First, start by trying to capture their attention. Surprise them with facts or share stories that leave them interested in the topic. I believe one of the best ways to approach this topic would be by emphasizing the purpose and relevance of Treaty Education. Your students do not understand why or how it affects them, but it is our job to persevere!
There are many purposes of teaching Treaty Education. You probably already have many ideas. Treaty Education must be taught and implemented in the curriculum because it affects everyone – whether they are Indigenous or not. In reality, “We are all treaty people.” We are all living in this country together and must find harmony. Treaties bind us together. Chambers (2012) explains that, “The treaties certainly were, and continue to be, an invitation – an invitation to meet again: same time, same place, next year.” Without revisiting the discussion time and time again, people will stop taking responsibility for one another. As we live in this country together, it is so important to constantly be listening to each other’s perspectives and stories. The Indigenous People have many Ways of Knowing and understand the land differently in a much different way than your students appear to have. Your students will one day be the decision-makers in this country and so it is extremely important that they see the value in learning these other perspectives. Donald (2012) explains, “The past occurs simultaneously in the present, and deeply influences how we imagine the future.” Together, we can all find and form the truth.
Again, thank you for your email. I hope this helps.
Chambers C. (2012) “We are all treaty people”: The Contemporary Countenance of Canadian Curriculum Studies. In: Ng-A-Fook N., Rottmann J. (eds) Reconsidering Canadian Curriculum Studies. Curriculum Studies Worldwide. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137008978_2
Donald D. (2012) Forts, Curriculum, and Ethical Relationality. In: Ng-A-Fook N., Rottmann J. (eds) Reconsidering Canadian Curriculum Studies. Curriculum Studies Worldwide. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137008978_3