Treaty Education – After the Meeting

I just completed the meeting with Mike and let me tell you! I was very nervous walking into this. I was not sure where to even start and I was hoping he would some what help guide me through this conversation. Within the first 10 minutes I knew this was going to be a fast meeting because I had a lot to say.

The first questions asked was how could I be confident with teaching treaty education? I believe the answer to this is just time and experience. It is not something I can change over night. I spent the first 12 years of my life not living here and then the next 6 learning about Indigenous peoples in the news. I heard never ending bad things about the Indigenous and this definitely made me have a negative mindset. Then going to university and learning that I would have to take Indigenous studies is the first time I ever had interest in the topic. I look back now and judge my ignorance and just think about how simple minded I truly was. The first class when my prof said white people suck was the first time I listened to more than just what the news had to say. I have been opening my mind and battling my demons since. This is not something I will ever truly be able to stop but recognizing my own racism is a start. Going back to the question, I think time and experience is huge with being more confident. I like the opportunity to participate in events and searching resources.

The second question asked about barriers in teaching treaty education. I used my background with racism to answer this question. I think you need to do more than reach your students as parents are just as much as an influence. Students start hearing what the students are saying and make understanding almost right away. They will come to our classroom with their own mindset which we have to question. I think reaching the parents by also offering them resources will be a start to solving this problem. Another barrier I see is the fact that I will never fully understand the pain the Indigenous peoples have ever felt. I can’t just tell me students that it sucked for them. I think giving them experience and seeing first hand the culture will help a lot in recognizing the Indigenous peoples as people! This is also something that cannot be changed in one night. This will take time and effort but I think it will be very beneficial.

The last question was how will I prepare for the future? I will start by putting time into looking at resources to use for the classroom. I will also put more time and effort into participating in events that are held around the city. I like this one because I find the culture incredible and I think it is very beneficial in seeing the Indigenous peoples as people!

I think the overall meeting went great! I was nervous and thought an hour was a very long time but it went by really fast. I liked that I could get out some things that I don’t think I could in front of my class mates. I also appreciated the coffee!! This meeting was great for me as it helped get some thoughts straight and ask questions. It was definitely something I would be interested in doing again.

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Treaty Education – Before the Meeting

Walking into class the first day and sitting down, I was nervous and excited. That was until Mike said we would individually have meetings with him about Treaty Education. I personally feel like I have had demons to fight, with this entire subject. Going through school I did not learn anything about indigenous peoples or Canada’s dark history. However, I did learn through the media which I now know often misrepresents Indigenous peoples. This completely threw me off when I found out that Indigenous peoples are not criminals that use others. They went through never ending pain that still effects generations today.

My overall thought and concern is how to teach treaty education to students that may have been in my same situation and being able to teach treaty education with the justice it deserves. My struggles has been trying to see the stereotypes and false representations that have been put into my head over the years and switch it to understand the culture better and the continuing pain. This has been improved over time because I have had the opportunity to take classes and attend camps about treaty education. I also have had the opportunity to volunteer for the NAIG. This still doesn’t mean I am fully confident in teaching my students treaty education correctly or with the full potential. I think in general the idea of treaty education is just intimidating.

I would like to take the time to talk to other teachers about how they are including treaty education into their teaching. I was also like to talk to Indigenous peoples and ask what they think. I think creating these kind of relationships is a great beginning to feeling more confident teaching treaty education.