In the lecture titled “On What Terms Can We Speak” by Dwayne Donald, I was initially intrigued by the way in which he introduced himself. Dwayne introduced himself in Cree, which is something that he had to get himself used to. I believe this is a good place to start with looking at Treaty Education. Although Cree is a language that many of us do not understand, shouldn’t each individual have the right and feel confident in introducing themselves however they see fit? I think many teachers struggle with this and the ways in which we can teach about the culture and tradition of a culture that is not necessarily our own. Dwayne mentions in his lecture that we are meant to teach about aboriginal perspectives, but no one is educated enough to do so without feeling hesitant. Dwayne explains that we have all been colonized in one way or another. This allows us to explore the effects of colonialism and “denying relationships,” like he mentions. Dwayne also discusses the amount of disconnect that there is between cultures. Many people believe that if they don’t see or interact with these varying cultures in their everyday lives, there is nothing for them to learn; there is no need to consider these cultures.
I believe this is where there is the greatest detriment in children’s education today. Many teachers, as mentioned in the email to Mike, just don’t think that there is a need for Treaty Education unless their school has Aboriginal students. One of the broad areas of learning in the Saskatchewan curriculum is ‘building engaged citizens.’ How can we build engaged citizens if we are not providing them with the education that they need to be respectful to each and every individual that they meet, no matter their culture? Many school programs, especially in small schools I find, are lacking in Treaty Education. I personally believe this is because some teachers are set in their ways. In my own experience, teaching Treaty Education consisted of teaching a brief history of residential schools and there was not much more to it than that. Dwayne also mentions this in his lecture asking the question of how will teaching a timeline of the history change the between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. I personally do not think that teaching a historical timeline can alter the relationship; there is so much more that needs to be done.
To me, the term “we are all treaty people” never truly had much meaning before coming to university. I never really felt like this was a phrase that could be used by anyone and actually be true; I never felt a connection to it. However, looking at the work done by Clair Kreuger I have come to the realization that if I do not feel like I can confidently say “we are all treaty people,” how am I going to teach my students about the relationship and the history of treaties? I watched a short clip (about a minute) on her blog, where she had some of her students explain how they are all treaty people and what exactly that means to them. This is the type of teacher I wish to strive to become. Claire is truly an inspiration for all becoming teachers, as she makes such a huge impact on her students lives. She helps her students understand that the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people needs to be strengthened and improved upon. She is working to remove the stigma that is often associated with varying cultures.
Donald, Dwayne. (2012). On What Terms Can We Speak? https://vimeo.com/15264558
Kreuger, Claire. (2016). Claire Krueger Electronic Portfolio: Class Videos. http://clairekreuger.ca/class-videos/
Saskatchewan Curriculum. (2019). https://www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/library/curricula/English/Physical_Education/Physical-Education-20__aug-23-2019.pdf