The Office of the Treaty Commissioner took two days to have an educational, treaty focused professional development event for all third year education students. On September 23rd and 24th 2015 we got the opportunity to hear stories from Residential School Survivors and spend time learning about the treaties, learning different ways to integrate treaty education into all grades and subjects.
The first day I got the hear stories and inspiring words from Elder Noel Starblanket, who told us of his experiences at Lebret Residential School and his path to healing. Once these stories were done we spent time analyzing and looking at Treaties four and six, as well as other treaties to understand the promises made and the true results of the treaties.
The second day was spent with an Elder who provided us with different stories about her residential school experiences, where she found the education received was valuable and fair. After we listened to her experience, the class got to create our own lessons using material from the OTC Treaty Ed kit (primary and secondary). This gave me the chance to see what resources I would have in a classroom, as well as to break down the Treaty Ed Curriculum Outcomes.
This professional development made me more comfortable with teaching treaty education in my classroom. I have an understanding of the themes for each year, and a deep understanding of the outcomes for all middle year grades. I now take a lot of pride in being able to authentically integrate treaty education into my classes so that the students are able to get a well-rounded and enlightened education. Once completed I earned a Teaching Treaties in the Classroom, Professional Development certificate.