Why is teaching Treaty Education so hard?

This is a comment that I hear all the time, from fellow students, from current teachers and from many professors. After four years in education I have finally came up with some sort of plausible reasoning. People find integrating treaty outcomes into the curriculum because of two reasons, the first being that they do not understand the treaty outcomes and the second being that they do not understand the Saskatchewan curriculum. Teachers can become confused with the treaty outcomes because they often think that they have to teach the whole outcome in one lesson, rather than use different units and lessons to cover the outcomes over a variety of subjects. There is also a confusion between treaty outcomes and FNMI connections. The problem with treaty education is not the challenge of finding connections for integration, it is finding meaningful and educational connections between the two outcomes. Every teacher has way too many tasks to accomplish every year, and treaty ed is just one of those than can quickly become part of the missing curriculum that students never truly get to experience. Treaty education is not making bannock, or measuring a diameter of a tipi; treaty education is looking at the past of Canada, and reflecting on the changes and inequalities that aboriginals have experience, as well as continuous lasting impacts of the treaties in present time. This cannot be taught in a single lesson, or in a single grade; the reason that treaty education is supposed to be taught in all subjects and over multiple lessons is because the concept of treaties is so deep and challenging to navigate. Treaty education is not “hard”, it just requires a deep understanding of the curriculum and a little imagination.

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