Talking treaties

Province launches new educational resources for schools during Treaties Recognition Week
Year 1 No. 31 — Friday, November 11, 2017

Students and staff of Dryden High School joined schools from across the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in large-scale assemblies to learn more about the Treaties which were struck between the federal government and the region’s Indigenous peoples, Nov. 7 Ontario Minister for Indigenous Affairs, David Zimmer flew into Sioux Lookout to join the community’s observance of Treaty Recognition Week and to announce new educational resources to promote understanding of Treaty relationships in Ontario’s schools. The new materials recognize the wrongs of previous generations and is committed to changing the future. This includes educating people in Ontario about the role that treaties play in each of our lives and in our relationships with each other.

“All Ontarians share the benefits and the obligations of treaties,” said Zimmer. “That’s why Ontario is working with Anishinabek Nation and other partners to raise awareness of treaty rights and relationships during Treaties Recognition Week and year-round.”

In Dryden, Grand Council Treaty 3 Elder Don Jones spoke to a crowd of around 250 high school students on the history of the treaties as well as the gaps in interpretation and understanding between the Indigenous leadership and the federal government.

The province and Anishinabek Nation are launching a new resource, called Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi: Understanding Our Nation to Nation Relationship, to help students learn about Ontario’s treaty relationships. The kit includes a teacher’s guide, books and activities that connect to Ontario’s secondary school curriculum. The province is also working with Indigenous partners to raise awareness by supporting Indigenous speakers in schools and online learning resources available at Ontario.ca/Treaties.

“The lack of understanding about the treaty relationship, Indian Residential Schools and our history in Ontario has been a hindrance to the learning spirit of First Nations people and to all of the people in Ontario,” said Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee, Grand Council Chief of Anishinabek Nation. “The Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi teacher’s kit will help alleviate racism and support teachers in the area of understanding the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”