ANGLOPHONE EAST WOULD LIKE TO RESPECTFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE GATHER ON THE UNCEDED, TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE MI’KMAQ PEOPLE. THE MI’KMAQ ARE ONE OF FIVE TRIBES THAT MAKE UP THE WABANAKI (PEOPLE OF THE DAWN) CONFEDERACY OF THE NORTHEASTERN PART OF WHAT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE CALL TURTLE ISLAND. IN THE SPIRIT OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, WE EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR THE HISTORY, CULTURE, RIGHTS AND TRADITIONS OF MI’KMAQ PEOPLE AND COMMIT TO RECONCILIATION THROUGH EDUCATION AND HONORING THOSE THAT WERE HERE BEFORE US.
Why are we learning about Indigenous Peoples?
AWARENESS The Mind
Because it is in the Education Act and 10 Year Education Plan:
Objective 6: Meet the needs of First Nation learners and ensure that provincial curriculum is reflective of First Nation history and culture
Knowledge The Heart
Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action/Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Report
(10) ii. Improving education attainment levels and success rates.
iii. Developing culturally appropriate curricula.
iv. Protecting the rights to Aboriginal languages including the teaching of Aboriginal languages.
vii. Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships.
(62) We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to:
i. Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.
(63) We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to aboriginal education issues, including:
i. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools.
ii. Sharing information and best practices on teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Aboriginal history.
iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.
“We owe the aboriginal peoples a debt that is four centuries old. It is their turn to become full partners in developing an even greater Canada. And the reconciliation required may be less a matter of legal texts than of attitudes of the Heart”
Romeo LeBlanc, 1995
Previous Governor General of Canada
Action The Spirit
As our knowledge builds and we open our hearts to learning the truth in a good way, we can build a safe space for Reconcili’ACTION’. Building relationships of trust and mutual respect opens our eyes to beautiful cultures and provides a foundation for taking action. The ‘spirit’ of a diverse range of peoples cannot be summarized in a small area like this one but there are things that we know for sure – connection to each other, the land and all things that make up this beautiful world is something that Indigenous Peoples have modelled and non-Indigenous people can learn so much. When we know better, we do better!
As each person, class or school moves from awareness to knowledge and then onto action, along the journey it is most important to reflect. Questions to consider:
- Have we been able to access good resources?
- Have the students considered Indigenous Worldviews in their learning?
- Have we used (and acknowledged) Indigenous way of being, knowing and doing?
- Was the learning embedded ‘organically’?
- What do I need moving forward?