Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, LEGO ‘Treaty of Niagara’ wampum belt designer Alexander Hebert and the Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, David Zimmer put the hearts on the belt. Alex explains that like the beaded belt, someone’s heart was in the wrong place when the treaty was made. – Photo by Ray St. Louis
NIPISSING FIRST NATION (May 7, 2015) – Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer and Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee officially launched the “We are all Treaty People” Teachers guide and kit today. The teachers resource is full of fun and engaging activities that will help students learn about the treaty relationship in Ontario.
Treaties are fundamental to the relationship between First Nation communities and their neighbours and to all Ontarians’ future prosperity.
The guide for Grades 1-8, written by teacher Kelly Crawford from M’Chigeeng First Nation, makes the connections to the Ontario curriculum in the areas of Math, Language, Social Studies and the Arts – based on the book “We are all Treaty People”.
“The teachers resource is a scratch in the surface towards learning about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,” says Crawford. “Once the book ‘We Are All Treaty People’ was released teacher feedback included the request to learn more about how to use the book in the classroom at different grade levels. The kit itself includes videos (read aloud style) that facilitate the process. The resource guide includes lessons for grades 1 to 8. Students needs are met by activities that are mindful of all components of self.”
Crawford, who is a faculty member/instructor/team lead with Kenjgwein Teg Educational Institute/Canadore on Manitoulin Island, says that teachers are already swamped.
“Teachers have many curriculum expectations to get through within the school year. The guide includes lessons and activities that engage the students in fun interactive learning while providing cross-curricular connections to support teachers tackle the extensive amount of expectations.”
“The reality is some teachers are learning the material right along with their students. They want to deliver the material in the most respectful way and we have a responsibility to support them in this process.”
Grand Council Chief Madahbee says that this is a big step forward for everyone to understand the relationship.
“The lack of understanding about the treaty relationship in Ontario has been a hindrance to the learning spirit of First Nations people and to all of the people in Ontario,” says Madahbee. ” The ‘We are all Treaty People’ Teachers Kit will help alleviate racism and support teachers in the area of treaty education.”
Minister Zimmer agrees.
“I’m thrilled that we can partner with the Anishinabek Nation to help increase public awareness on treaties and our shared history,” says Minister Zimmer. “Treaties are fundamental to the relationship between First Nation communities and their neighbours and to all Ontarians’ future prosperity. We are all treaty people.”
The kit includes resources that help with the activities in the guide – including an 800-piece Treaty of Niagara LEGO wampum belt designed by nine year-old Alexander Hebert from Dokis First Nation who attends White Woods Public School in Sturgeon Falls.
The First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario has endorsed the “We are all Treaty People” teachers resource. The FNMIEAO is the Provincial Subject Association for teachers of First Nations, Métis & Inuit Studies and Native Languages, recognized by the Ministry of Education in Ontario.
The 2007 Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry recommended the government work with First Nations organizations and educators to:
- promote awareness of treaties and the treaty relationship, and
- develop appropriate, classroom-ready teaching tools and resources about First Nations history, treaty and Aboriginal rights, and related current events.
The “We are all Treaty People” kit can be ordered through the Union of Ontario Indians http://www.anishinabek.ca or by calling 1-877-702-5200