Treaty Education

Treaty Education is something that I am conflicted about. I am both excited to teach it and terrified, I know that the whole point of taking the treaty education workshop is to make future educators more comfortable with teaching treaties. I am not sure it accomplished that with me, I do not think I will ever be able to feel 100% confident in teaching about someone else’s past, especially a past that until recently was pushed to the side. That doesn’t mean I won’t include treaty education in my classes, it just means it will take more than making connections in outcomes. Treaty education is more than just treaties, it includes Aboriginal history, residential schools, and Aboriginal traditions. Those are not something that I could teach without the help of Elders, Knowledge keepers, storytellers, and others that practice Aboriginal traditions. While the workshop did not make me feel as if I could go into a class and easily teach a lesson, it did make me feel that I can find the resources that would help me teach a lesson. The workshop was great for resources, and being able to have two different Elders, with two very different experiences provided a real eye-opener. Noel Starblanket talked about his healing process from residential schools; Lynda Francis told a very different experience of residential schools. Lynda humanized the experience, and she also gave it credit for allowing her to be a successful part of society. Residential schools are often thought of as cold, scary and evil places but Lynda gave the class an opportunity to learn that not all schools or teachers took pleasure in cruelty, that many of them were providing proper discipline rather than abuse. Hearing about a positive experience in residential schools made me want to hear more positive things, it is important to teach about the horrors that occurred to many; but hearing the positives restores some faith in humanity. The workshop was great for making connections to other curriculum subjects, and demonstrating how to integrate treaty education into other subjects. I think that treaty education is something that I will just need to start teaching before I ever feel truly comfortable teaching it, and I am prepared that my first few times teaching the outcomes will be a struggle, even more so if treaty education is something that the students are not familiar with, but I like challenges!

I think that pre-service teachers need more than a two day workshop to learn about treaty education. Treaty education should be treated like all other subjects and have its own class where we learn about the curriculum. Instead of learning how to integrate treaty/Aboriginal education into other classes we could learn how to integrate other subjects into treaty education. The University of Regina has always been very social justice focused, it surprises me that we do not have a class dedicated to learning about treaties, Aboriginal traditions and residential schools. We have classes on everything else related to education, why not have one that will help us better incorporate a large part of Canadian history and population.

why not one to help us be better prepared on things connected to Aboriginals. how to integrate treaty/Aboriginal education into other classes we could learn how to integrate other subjects into treaty education. The University of Regina has always been very social justice focused, it surprises me that we do not have a class dedicated to learning about treaties, Aboriginal traditions and residential schools. We have classes on everything else, why not one to help us be better prepared on things connected to Aboriginals.

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