It is important to teach Treaty education to our students because it is part of reconciliation with the First Nations people. There are things in the past that First Nations people went through that can be viewed as unforgivable such as residential schools, being stripped of there cultures, from their families, having there land/homes taken from them, etc. Teaching our students about this is apart of the healing process. Even if students are not Indigenous it is important that students learn about the history of First Nations people because it is also apart of Canada’s history. Teaching Treaty Education is also mandatory, therefor if we do not each this in our classrooms we are not following the curriculum.
In 2007, mandatory Treaty Education was introduced:
Treaty education is an important part of forging new ties. There must be an appreciation in the minds of the general public that Treaties are living, breathing documents that continue to bind us to promises made generations ago. This is why my government is committed to making mandatory instruction in history and content of the Treaties in the K-12 curriculum.
(Speech from the Throne 2007)
The phrase ‘we are all Treaty people’ is something I have heard a lot if in the past couple years. As a student who learned nothing about Indigenous people or treaty education growing up, I didn’t really understand it. Since being in Education I have learned more about First Nations history in the past 3 years than I have in my entire educational experience. I have know come to have an understanding of that ‘we are all Treaty people’ means. We share this land with the Indigenous people, we all have a responsibility to protect, respect and take care of it. We all have to live together, work together and respects each others beliefs and cultures. This land doesn’t belong to one group of people, it belongs to all of us. The treaties are apart of this land, therefor it is apart of every individual who lives here.
As an adult in University I felt guilty and embarrassed that a had very little to no knowledge about Indigenous people. As a future teacher I want to make sure I am teaching them about the history of Canada, even if it may be uncomfortable.