1. What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Content and Perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit people?
Nowadays, I find that the Indigenous culture is not taught as much as it needs to be in schools. At the start of my university journey, it came to my attention that many students weren’t taught basically anything about the First Nations culture. It struck me because I couldn’t imagine not being educated about something so important that is apart of our country. Luckily for myself, I was able to learn quite a bit of information about the First Nations background and experience special events like the ones I mentioned in my previous blog. Bringing Treaty Ed into the classroom will allow students to get a better understanding of their cultures and traditions. Also, it will educate them about the Ways of Knowing, which will teach them about their beliefs of how the World came to be what it is, the importance of identity and history of our country. There is so much to learn about the Indigenous culture and we need to continue teaching about it.
2. What does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that "We are all treaty people"?
“We are all treaty people,” is something we understand to be a connection between the people who all live in the treaty land. This is because we all are experiencing and surviving in the same place. As “treaty” people, we need to remember that the land we are living on is a very valuable thing and by taking care of it, we are showing that we have respect for it. The Indigenous people have a very spiritual connection between the land, so we as people should have that same aspect. When we educate students about how “we are all treaty people,” it’s a phrase that branches out to be multiple topics like the history of our country, respecting/understanding the land, and the treaties.
Reinhabitation & Decolonization:
The Indigenous people and their elders pass on stories from generation to generation in order to keep the traditions alive. When we understand the meaning for “the land,” we often relate it to the spirituality of the First Nations people. Their connections to the land were like no other and their spiritual concepts brought life to their culture and the environment. It is something very meaningful to them and still is to the present day. We recognize that their respect and loyalty to the land is a way of representing their culture. At the start of the reading, I recognized one line that really embodied the ways of how nature is a powerful tool for a human’s well-being. The quote “Kellert (2005) has said that connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development,” has simply understood nature to be a reason for finding ease and peace for your soul. The connections between the First Nations people show that they are trying to keep the traditions alive so they can continue to carry them for the future. By telling stories, speaking many different languages and continuing the teachings of their culture will enlighten the youth and citizens of our country.
Bringing it to the Classroom:
When it comes to education, I think it’s very important to incorporate the Indigenous culture because they are a huge part of our country and history. Students need to understand how the treaties became and why it all happened. During my school years, I was fortunate enough to learn about the First Nations culture from the time I was in elementary school to high school. We would go on trips that involved the cultures and traditions, which was both fun and awesome to experience! Trips to Batoche, Fort Carlton and Wanuskewin were all places that we got to explore as a class. They were all so knowledgeable and that’s why I think it would benefit to go outside the classroom and see what our province has to offer in terms of successful learning. Another trip I got to experience was a sweat lodge that was pretty close by to where I am from. It was definitely an interesting experience, but it was surely a way to cleanse your inner self and mind! Another idea that I would like to bring to the classroom is asking an Elder to come and talk to the students. I think that it would be a tremendous way for students to grasp the concept of the Indigenous “Ways of Knowing,” through telling stories and asking whatever questions they may have! As a future educator, I would like to teach all about their culture in/out of the classroom and go on field trips like the ones that I got to be apart of.
What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the common-sense?
Common-sense describes a “good student” to be multiple things, most of them including being well-behaved. Being a good student requires to listen to instructions and follow what the teacher is teaching you. When an assignment is given, a “good student” would know the material that is required for that assignment and hand it in on time. During class activities and group discussion, a “good student” would be the one to engage and participate with their other classmates. Typically, an all around “good student” would have high grades and succeed extremely well.
Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?
Students that are considered “privileged” are the ones that are most likely to fit the ideal “student” criteria and have some sort of structure, whether that's their life at home or their life at school. The students that show interest to what is being taught and respect their teacher would be "privileged". The students that occur to listen, understand and show great success in the outcome of their grades are privileged. Mainly, all of these things listed above are what they described a "good student" to be, so therefore, those are the children that will be privileged.
What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these common-sense ideas?
As a human being, it is hard to understand what other people have been through and how their life is different. Labelling children to be “good” students or “bad” students has taken a toll for students to either have a good experience or bad experience during their schooling. Every student learns at a different pace and learns differently. We have to understand as teachers that it is important to recognize each student and know what’s best for them. There are so many ways to teach children, it’s just a matter of how much you dedicate yourself to find those ways!
The topic that I chose to learn about is gender and the curriculum because I want to develop a better understanding of self identity. The concept of gender and identity has put an impact in the education system, reasons being that more and more people are figuring out their sense of self and expressing who they are. Gender is something that is defined in many different ways and is still in the process of what it’s all about. With the word curriculum, it is something that is known for “what is taught or should be taught in classrooms.” I understand that it is a great outline for what kind of knowledge we should be giving but maybe with the adjustment of adding strong topics like this and turning it into some sort of subject for future students.