Reading Response #5: The Importance of Treaty Education in Canadian Schools

After reading the letter I was surprised that there were still have some schools that did not see Treaty education as an important part in the curriculum. The staffs in the school saw that there were only a few indigenous students in the whole school, so they did not treat Treaty Education as important as other mandatory courses. My first thought that the school and the teachers were not responsible for their students. I can imagine when these students grow up, some of them might mistreat Indigenous people, some of them might not know much about indigenous history and angry about why the school did not teach Treaty Education properly, and the rest of them might take no actions after observing racism.

Later, I watched Dwyane’s On What Terms Can We Speak? and Claire’s Introduction Treaty Education, they both agreed on the importance of Treaty Education in Canadian schools. In On What Terms Can We Speak, when Dwayne Donald talked about Indigenous history, he mentioned that “we cannot proceed without looking back”. I think this sentence answered the first question: What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Content and Perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples? The purpose of teaching Treaty Ed to students is, to remind them not to make such mistake again. Having Treaty Ed is important especially for the descendants of white settlers. If we deny the history of hurting Indigenous people, then we can never do better on the reconciliation towards Indigenous people.

The second question asked, what does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that “We are all treaty people”? As an immigrant from China, and according to what I have learned in Canadian schools, I think that I am a treaty person since I step on the land of Canada. Back to the last question, the white settlers and Indigenous people should know more than me on the term of treaty people since they both have been living together for few hundred years on the treaty land, but why there were people not willing to know the truth of history? Again, if we do not teach Treaty Ed properly, our future students will never understand why all of us are treaty people in Canada, and our future students might never know what have the Indigenous people go through in the past. In Claire’s video Introduction Treaty Education, she talked about that her children would not like to be taught with indigenous history, instead, they wanted to be treated fair as white people. I think this is the side of failing to teach Treaty Education. The students were not taught with Treaty Education properly and therefore they saw it as a problem.

People and the treaty land are bonded together, we need to take care of the relationship between people and people, people and the treaty land. Maintaining a good relationship requires many efforts, such as having good communications with Indigenous people and taking actions on reconciliation. We still have a long way to go.

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