Last Weekend, I attended the Treaty Ed Camp that was held in the Education Building of the University of Regina. At the camp, I attended a keynote, a couple individual sessions, and an open conversation space all in the same day. These different experiences opened up my eyes to a whole new world of Treaty Education. I’ve heard it discussed before, but never to this extent and never has it made me question what I knew about it this much.
The first thing we had in the morning was the keynote given by Charlene Bearhead. One major thing I took away from the keynote was the fact that even though we say “We Are All Treaty People”, do we know what that means? I can say that I, for one, don’t really understand the implications of what being a “Treaty Person” means. This is something I feel could be explored much further as a teacher, to pass on this knowledge to my students. Understanding what it means to be a “Treaty Person” is the first step to not only understanding the treaties themselves, but being able to empathize with the Aboriginal people who suffered because of these treaties.
One of the individual sessions I went to was “Rethinking Mathematics”. The session was about how to integrate Aboriginal ideas into Mathematics using what was called the “Indigenous Principles of Mathematical Teaching”. These principles involved such things such as respecting Indigenous knowledge and respecting the learner. The principles weren’t far off from what I feel is expected of normal teachings, but it does go a bit deeper into it than that, especially into Indigenous ways. After going over that, we discussed different ways we could integrate Treaty Education into a classroom, and one of the people at the lecture recommended the Office Treaty Commissioner, specifically the Treaty Education part of the website. It was a very nice look into a different way to teach an already established subject.
To close out the day, I attended the open discussion groups. The one I ended up staying at for the majority of the time was the “What does indigenization mean to you?”, run by Anna-Leah King. The discussions we had while, not always being completely on the topic, were EXTREMELY interesting. It was probably the most engrossed I had been in a topic relating to a culture not my own. The time I had in that room flew by as I was engrossed with the stories that Anna was telling.I really enjoyed my time there and I feel like I learned quite a bit about her life and lifestyle that I would have otherwise not been aware of.
All in all, I had a really great time at Treaty Ed Camp. I feel like I learned a lot about the treaties and the Indigenous people that I would have never learned otherwise. I’m really glad that I was able to participate in this camp and I’m excited to further explore my knowledge in Treaty Education.