- 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?
I think that the importance of teaching of Treaty Ed (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples comes down to creating positive relationships with and respect for Indigenous peoples in a time where there are many issues of oppression and racism within Canadian society. In Canada, we are still so far away from reconciliation and Treaty Education is where it begins. People have to realize that reconciliation is a two-way street and that if we want to fulfil the TRC we have to all work together.
It’s important that students learn Treaty Ed at a young age before they learn misinformation that contributes to inequality and prejudice towards indigenous peoples from society. It is easy to learn something and harder to unlearn something, even if they aren’t being taught to be racist or have certain biases children pick up on these things through hidden messages. If we can reach children before they learn these messages we can give them the tools to combat these mindsets.
It is also hard not to fall into the “saviour” mentality but I also believe that it is important that students with privilege use their voice to fight against inequality. Therefore treaty education is not only important for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples but children who are not as well.
- What does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that “We are all treaty people”?
“We are all treaty people” to me means that we all have a part to play in truth and reconciliation. When it comes to reconciliation there is no “opt” out option because we are still living off and benefitting from treaty land. I also think it means that there is no “us” (“white” people) and them (Indigenous cultures). It is 2019, and Canada has been a country for over 150 years, we are all Canadians. A lot of immigrants have absolutely no connection to their homeland anymore so we need to stop acting like there are two types of people in this country. All of us live on treaty land, all of us benefit from living on this land. We as treaty people need to work as a unit, as Canadians to reconcile with Indigenous peoples and the land.