The purpose of Treaty Education

Why should I bother teaching Treaty Education curriculum, or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) content in schools? There are not any First Nations students in the class, so it is obviously no relevant or important to teach!

No. Nope. That’s not how it works – ever. That’s like saying, “Well, none of my students are aspiring statisticians so I do not think teaching math is relevant to them.” That is not why we have a Math curriculum, or Science or English or anything else.

First: It is government mandated. It is not optional. It is not a request. It is a requirement outlined in the curriculum as content that must be taught in schools – and not just in “Native Studies 10, 20, 30” in high schools, but in all classes in every grade. End of story; no questions asked.

However, allow me to further convince you of the reality and necessity for teaching Treaty Education in the classroom.

It is not for the benefit of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students in the class that you decide to teach the historical content of residential schools and the impact is has on today’s society. More likely than not, they know that. Those students likely have family members – or know someone else – who experienced them first hand. We have to face the reality that, living in Saskatchewan with the racism and stereotypes that exist, they are living the impact of that history. The students who should be learning about residential schools and treaties are the ones who do not have opportunities otherwise to learn about that past – whether they are First Nations or  not. If we are to teach students about Canada, and Canadian history, it is a necessity to include FNMI content because FNMI content IS Canadian history. The fact that anyone would brush this off as “unnecessary and irrelevant” because the lack of Indigenous students in the class proves the ignorance and complete need for this information to be a part of education.

We cannot call ourselves Canadians – especially in Saskatchewan – while ignoring, and refusing to learn, something that has such a large impact on the history of this country. Saskatchewan is filled with racism and stereotypes, and it is not the victims of these thought-constructs who need to be told this. They know. If we live in Canada we are affected by this history. We cannot say “It’s in the past, and doesn’t matter anymore.” It does affect us, and the repercussions of the past are still hugely impacting in the lives of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. We all need to become educated in treaty knowledge and FNMI content. We are all treaty people.

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Fact 9

Today (yesterday’s post) I will gift you with multiple facts, solely because they are all sort of under one unbelievable category.

Some of the baby names that celebrities have given to their children (not making judgments, but the website I found them on speaks for itself). Here are 10 of my personal favourites, though I suggest taking a look at the full list. (The child’s name – Their parent(s)).

Along with a few that have fun with the whole family!

Sorry I’m a day late with this, but it took some time to narrow down my favourites.

Think Critically – People Suck

Ridiculousness, and I do not mean in the funny TV show way. I mean I am completely dumbfounded at how society is developing. In actuality I should not be that surprised, realistically we all see how sexually focused society is becoming. That it is not just accepting provocative behaviour, but it is actually being encouraged and endorsed. Unfortunately it is not something people bring up in everyday conversations.

Quick recap: Sext up Kids is a short documentary about the increasingly sexualized image of women being portrayed to kids and how it is affecting not only their self perception, but also boy’s perceptions of girls and sex. Now, I realize this is not a light topic but I encourage everyone to watch this documentary (about 45 mins long).

Something that really struck a chord with me in the video was the statement made that if you want to be seen, you have to present yourself as a sexual object. If you choose not to expose yourself then you are basically choosing to be invisible. This sort of “black-or-white” thinking is really bothersome to me. I will take this moment to thank my mom, I do not know how she did it, but I think she did a mighty fine job raising me. Being raised in a Christian family, I was always taught the importance of values, morals, and self-worth. While yes, in high school, there was pressure in my life to degrade myself and to try to attract boys with my body, I never felt the need to do so. It is not that I did not want the attention, realistically what young adolescent girl does not want a cute guy’s attention, I just realized there are so many other ways to go about getting it. I know this will sound cheesy but girls (if there are any that might ever read this): you do not have to make yourself up into the sexualized idea of what being attractive is made into. It is better to have an attractive personality that radiates through your external appearance and shows confidence and value. Following up with that, the documentary also stated the issue of kids sexting and sending nude pictures or posting them online. First of all, really?!? Maybe it if just me, but I do not understand how anyone in their right mind thinks that it is appropriate to be posting those pictures online (typically on social media) for everyone in the world to see. It does not matter what your privacy settings are, it is called the WORLD-WIDE-WEB for a reason! Second, people need to stop and think critically for even 5 seconds to consider “Wait, if I send this picture to someone they can instantly go and sent it to anyone else or post it anywhere without my knowledge or consent. Should I really do this?” Even just taking those pictures pose the risk that what if your phone or computer gets hacked (anything ever connected to a data connection can be), or if it gets unknowingly added to Dropbox or iCloud? What then? A clever comparison I thought of is that the use of cell phones and internet is kind of like being read your Miranda rights, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law…etc.” the rest is irrelevant. In the case of technology though it could be “You have the right to remain silent (technologically). Anything you make into a digital copy can and will be used against you in your future for the rest of your life…”

The main idea I would like to end with is that people are, and always will, be looking for ways to make you feel worthless and ways to hold you back. Do not hand it to them on a silver platter. The internet is the permanent record of your life.

Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc