Treaty Education is not just Teaching culture

“We should be teaching about treaties in school, they should be a part of curriculum. We should be teaching about our history and how things came to be from out perspective”

~ Elder Emma Sand

Lobe, Gordon. The Foundation of Cree Education. Thesis. University of Saskatchewan. 1995.

Teach Truth

I had taken this quote directly from the Saskatchewan Treaty Education website. I find a common misconception about this topic is the idea that Treaty Education is simply teaching about Aboriginal people and their culture. That’s what I was taught and so that’s what I thought…. until I received my Treaty Education certificate and learned further through my classes. Likewise, I think a lot of teachers who actually knew this fact, choose to avoid teaching it out of discomfort and confusion. One of the questions that gets asked in almost every education class I’ve taken in University is “how can I include Treaty Education in this?”.  From my experiences, it’s not so much the fact that some teachers don’t want to teach this information (although sometimes this is the case), it’s that no one has ever been told exactly how to do this aside from providing a few examples. As an aspiring science teacher, this is an even more daunting task- but don’t get me wrong, a challenge I will to accept. The Saskatchewan Treaty Education website has a ton of resources that includes the Treaty Outcomes and Indicators, supporting resources, and history. Also, they provide a link to Treaty Education Steering Team (TEST), Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Office of the Treaty Commission, as well as a list of common questions with answers. The problem I face is not lack of resources, but actually not understanding how to connect the Treaty Outcomes with Saskatchewan’s curriculum without it being trivial. It’s easier to teach about Aboriginal culture (for example, lifestyle, customs, traditions, etc.) than it is to teach Treaty Education; however, that is the information that is required to be taught (although the other information is beneficial as well. Through further study, and with this class, I hope to continue to build my repertoire of teaching Treaty Education and allowing it to feel natural and important. If you are Canadian and/or living in Canada, you are a Treaty Person. As a Treat Person, it is important to have the knowledge about what that all means.


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