Teaching About Treaties

The topic about teaching treaties is a topic I have never thought about before because it is something I have never heard of.  The schools I attended had “Native Studies” which was an optional class that you took once. However, after hearing from a guest speaker who has done a lot of work to include the teaching or treaties in her classroom, and after a discussion in the seminar, teaching about treaties is something that I want to include in my teachings. That being said, I do not know how I see myself teaching treaties. I say this simply because it is a topic that is completely new to me. I would not be comfortable teaching about it, just like I would not be comfortable teaching about math, or biology. I think that in order to feel comfortable to teach it to my students, and to know that I am teaching it in the proper, beneficial way, there needs to be more support for future teachers. Besides what the guest speaker talked about, I do not know what all falls under the category of “treaty” teachings. In order to teach it, I would have to go out and find people who can help me get started in the right direction, and find resources that support my teachings. One point Claire Kreuger made was that she made many mistakes on the way of finding out how she can incorporate treaty teaching in the class, and she is still learning about how to improve it. I do understand that I will make mistakes, but I think I need to hear more regarding the topic in order to get myself off on the right foot.

One question our seminar did not seem to come to an answer about was how to bring treaty teachings into subjects other than Social Studies and Native Studies. I personally do not know how I would do this, but it is something I think us as future educators need to challenge ourselves to do. As the article said “be okay with not knowing everything”. Not knowing everything challenges us to take risks and try new ways to make things work.

One other topic I talked about after class in a smaller group was whether or not we consider ourselves “treaty people”. In the lecture it was said that “we are all treaty people”. However, I find it hard to associate myself with something that I have never heard about before. I think that in order to identify myself as something particular, and to be able to tell my future classes that “we are all treaty people”, I need to know the background information about what it means to be a treaty person.


One thought on “Teaching About Treaties

  1. I agree with you on how is it best to bring treaty education into other subject areas. I think that is the biggest challenge for me right now, being an English major it’s a bit easier to see how I would incorporate it, however that being said, I am still unsure of the best way to do this. Is it just through literature? Is it through different medias? I know that I have to go deeper than this because I need to provide my students with a full understanding and sometimes literature just doesn’t cut it.
    I’m glad you brought up the conversation after class- I am on the same page as you. I was struggling to identify myself as a treaty person because I believe that identity is something influenced by what is around you, what you’ve learned, and the environment you grew up in- and there’s something important we need to remember, identity involves what we will learn. I am confident that with this introduction to treaty education that we will be more eager to find out what being a treaty person really means to us and therefore be able to find ways to help our students achieve the same.

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