My fears about Treaty Education

Coming into this class I was afraid that my lack of background knowledge would hold me back from learning and fully enriching myself into the multiple teachings and culture of Indigenous peoples.

I came into this course with so many questions. Within many of my courses I have learned the importance of treaty education but without being taught the information to connect treaty education to the other subjects.

One fear that I had coming into the course was that treaty education was going to be treated the same as adding Indigenous knowledge or ways of knowing into the classroom, these two things are not the same. Treaty education is teaching about the history and current events that impact Indigenous peoples of Canada not teaching the culture of Indigenous peoples, which can easily lead to cultural appropriation.  I fear that I do not having the right to teach treaty education. As a white settler there are times where I feel like treaty education is extremely important but I don’t want it to look like cultural appropriation. I need to educate myself and make sure that I have a large diverse circle of people to help teach my students.

I had fears that my teachings would not be well received by students or that students would have negative associations with treaty education and deemed it unimportant. Within my pre-internship my cooperating teacher said that there is no way to change a student’s mind but educating and expanding a student’s worldview may cause them to alter their thinking. This is a fear of mine, I understand that my students will come in with their bias and it is not my job to change them but it is my job to make sure that all students are educated on past, present and future events that both impact themselves and those around them.

My fear when taking the four seasons of reconciliation course online was that I would not have enough prior knowledge to properly answer the questions given. I also was afraid that my prior knowledge from my elementary school would be incorrect which would have influenced my understanding the concepts. I am a white settler who was taught primarily by other white settlers meaning my education may have been biased. Many times through my early education white settlers were portrayed as heroes and the rightful owners of Canada.

Most of my fears steamed from grade school education. Treaty education was not integrated into Saskatchewan schools until 2013 meaning I did not have mandatory treaty education until the eighth grade. When I was in elementary school treaty education meant learning about residential schools from a surface level and bias stance that it was wrong for Europeans to take Indigenous students away from their families but it never discussed the trauma that happened within those schools.

I like that it is healthy to have some fear when teaching because it will drive me to do better and push me to put treaty education into my lessons in a respectful and honorable matter. I need to continue to educate myself in both past and current events that impact both treaties and Indigenous peoples.

 

This is my certificate for completing the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation