Saskatchewan may have made some good progress in Treaty Education. But as Saskatchewan people, we believe that we have a long way to go from here. The intentions of the Treaties were not clear, and have not been met. The Treaties were perceived in different ways by the different groups of people involved, and they continue to be misinterpreted today. Honoring the settlers is okay because it is an important part of Canadian history; but what does this lead viewers to believe? It leads them to believe that settlers were the first ones here. I loved her humor, it put some ease on the discussion of such a sensitive subject. She stressed the importance of not ignoring someone who is being disrespectful. As teachers, it is our duty to educate and inform people. We need to share knowledge with not just our students, but also parents, and our friends and family. Parents will want to debate you. If you can’t teach the adults, teach the children because they are faster learners and will become our next generation.
The morning sessions I attended were “Rethinking Mathematics” and “Sharing the Classroom – An Interactive Experience to Explore Treaty Promises”. In the Mathematics session, I learned ways to apply Treaty Education to math and science with treaty games and history. One example that stuck with me was the physics and geometrical shape of a tepee. Math is universal between all cultures, it can be translated into all languages throughout history. Session two was really powerful. We took part in the interactive experience on how the treaties played out. The group members took the parts of the Indigenous people. We were forced to move around the room to accommodate the needs of the group leaders. We were made to buy resources and when we didn’t have enough “money”, we had to give up “land” around the room. Until we were condensed in small corners and split far away from our peers. It was very informative to feel what it was like to be on the other end of the Treaties.
I was nervous for the afternoon. Open space conversations seemed very intimidating to me. But I think it was my favorite part of the day! I attended “Why is there a lack of Treaty four representation in public Treaty four spaces?”. We talked about flags, the treaty four flag in particular and why we think it isn’t displayed in public. We explored conversation on representation of the provinces, and what the Canada flag means to us. We also discussed how one flag can be viewed in different ways by different people. My last session was called “Treaty Teachings with Religious (i.e. Christian) confrontations: In what ways could teaching connections to the land, and how that shapes First Nations peoples understandings of the world, be affected by religious communities/schools?” This was my favorite session for the day. We talked about teaching treaty education in Christian schools. We discussed ways to understand parents concerns and also how we can change the way they think. Many of the people in this group were currently interning in Christian schools and it was really cool to hear their experiences so far.
Overall, I was so impressed with the events of Treaty Ed Camp and I am looking forward to next year!