The Purpose of Treaty Education

The Purpose of Treaty Education

If I was put in this position, I would reply somewhere along the lines of…

Dear Intern, 

This is a issue that is very prevalent in the Canadian education system but I am sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. I personally almost always had treaty ed implemented into my classrooms growing up however, through my secondary education I have meant several people who did not have that opportunity, and the idea of treaty ed is somewhat new to them. Treaty education can be a tough subject to bring into classrooms especially when you have no support and it is a new topic for the students that they do not respect. A lot of schools are not willing to change even though being open to change is something teachers should be aware of as the classroom is constantly changing. I applauded you and your commitment and passion, thank you for reaching out. To me when someone says That treaty ed should not be taught in the school because there are no first nation or Metis students it is like saying we do not have to teach and about world war two in history because we have no veterans in our classes. The second statement is fairly outrageous however the two topics go hand in hand they both involve learning of power struggles, owner ship, and land rights. If anything, treaty education is more relevant because it discusses the land in which we live on. We also need to inform students so that things like stereotyping and racism can be demolished. Not many students understand what “we are all treaty people” really means it is often said but not explained. We are all on treaty land we need to show respect and acknowledge the significant of story’s and progression that has taken part on the land and with all of the people on it. Cynthia chambers explains the treaties and the responsibilities that go along with it, it was and agreement which means it was not one sided both parties had a say and regard to what it stood for. If we can get our students to understand this then hopefully, they will understand that there is a certain level of respect that coincides with this topic. There are many ways to incorporate and teach treaty education in the classroom, if the students have a clear understanding of the topic including history and society ect.. then it paves the way for how they will learn and tackle assignments and class discussion. It defiantly will be a challenge, but I encourage you to reach out to educators who are in your shoes and those who have experience and are knowledgeable on the subject to help you, continue to educate yourself in anyways you can! I believe that because of your concern and passion that you will succeed with this class and any other you go into just keep pushing yourself.  

Hope this helped! 

While looking through the requirements this week it got me thinking and I reached out to educator who has been teaching grade nine math for 30 years. I was interested on his take at why treaty education is so important in the classroom and his response summed up was that from the perspective of what was promised and the land agreements it is a legal document that is still relevant to this day, because the treaty is still relevant people need to understand what it means, why it happened, and how it effects our society today. He explained how he does think that it is important to teach treaty education but I still had more question. I believe that many people may think of this reasoning which makes sense however I then asked him if he teaches treaty ed in his own classroom. His response was “ no, they teach it in social studies and classes like that” when I explained that there are treaty outcomes and indicators for all classes not just social studies he acknowledged the maybe 2 treaty ed outcomes and indicators, but explained that in all of the resources like textbooks and websites that he uses and have been using for 30 years that there is no mention of information that could be considered information about treaty Ed. I think that this goes to show just how important it is for teachers to put things into their own hands when teaching all subjects but especially treaty education to get the knowledge needed to their students.

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