Today, there is value in our children knowing and understanding how and why we are all Treaty people. There has never been a better time to teach Treaty education, not only has the Ministry added Treaty Outcomes in 2013, but we finally have ample resources and support to aid us through the difficult change, topics, and conversations we need to have with our students and colleagues.
There is no question, fellow colleagues are going to be hesitant and resistant; it is us, the young, pre-service teachers, that are entering this profession with a strong foundation of Treaty education- stronger than what has ever been provided to teachers- who can lead the change, provide education and comfort to those who are uncomfortable, and include this newly mandatory teaching. Ensuring all of our students understand we are all Treaty people, ensuring our students understand who our First Nations’ people are and what their true role in Canada’s history is, is essential to help our nation step forward together towards healing. It does not matter what the diversity in the classroom is, or if there are no First Nations’ students, Treaty education is necessary for every student, every adult, of every culture and background. In order to avoid another cycle, a further divide, we must bring this education into our classroom; we must teach our Treaties and our history to change what we teach in our current events.
It is not an easy task to bring forth these ideas, with colleagues; this will not be the only time hesitation will be seen amongst colleagues. It is a valuable learning opportunity for both involved. It is the opportunity to professionally express the need and interest of providing students with Treaty education, and it is an opportunity to demonstrate how to teach Treaty education to fellow colleagues. It is important to learn how to handle yourself in such situations, and it is important to maintain your stance, provide thorough explanation, and exemplary lessons to emphasize why Treaty education is important to you and your classroom.
It is important everyone understands what it means to be a Treaty person; it is important we educate students what it means, the history of our Land, the meaning behind the promise. As long as we are inhabiting Treaty land, it is vital we understand the meaning of the Treaty we are a part of. As we share the history of our land, our ancestors, and our First Nations’ peoples, healing will begin, and our nation will bridge the unfortunate divide.