Teaching Treaties in the Classroom

Brenda Ahenakew, Director of Education, Office of the Treaty Commissioner

PROGRAM SUMMARY:  This session will provide an overview of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC) and a walk through of the Education branch of OTC.

In 2008, the government declared Treaty education mandatory for grades K- 12 in all Saskatchewan schools. The main goal is to teach students about the Treaties and Treaty relationships between First Nations and Canada.   It is expected that students will develop a strong understanding of Treaty relationships, the spirit and intent of Treaties, the historical context of Treaties, and Treaty promises and provisions. The OTC regards education as paramount in building a harmonious future between the Indigenous and non- Indigenous peoples of Saskatchewan; these curriculum resources and the OTC Treaty Kit are seen as a critical component of this education.

This education strives to correct misconceptions about the relationship between Canada and First Nations people. These resources have been developed in close consultation with Elders as well as both Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators in the province, and are designed to complement existing school curriculum. Teacher and administrator Treaty training is available in the form of workshops facilitated by educators and First Nations Elders.

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