When teaching Treaty education teachers often face ignorance and opposition to their work. Two common arguments related to this oppression include:
- I have no Indigenous students in my classroom so I don’t need to teach Treaty Ed.
- It all happened a long time ago; it’s not important anymore.
Treaty ed. is a mandatory part of the Saskatchewan curriculum for a reason. Whether you have Indigenous students or not; we as Canadian’s are all Treaty People since we signed the treaties. You cannot separate Indigenous history from Canadian history, and pretending that we were not a part of this history is doing a great disservice to all of our students. Yes it’s a history that we should be ashamed of as it’s riddled with hate and oppression, but rather than hiding from it we should acknowledge it and use that to inspire change. By pretending that we were not a part of the horror of residential schools, the sixties scoop, and the countless other forms of oppression that indigenous peoples have faced is erasing our place in history, and without that reflection we risk continuing the cycle of oppression. The argument that it doesn’t affect our students because it happened a long time ago is not valid as the last federally run residential school in Saskatchewan “continued to serve as a residential school until 1996, when it was finally closed…and torn down”; having only been nineteen years since the last school was closed and only seven since the Canadian government officially acknowledged their role in residential schools and apologized this is still very recent. Our students are going to have parents, grandparents, and even siblings that have experienced this horror and abuse. Aside from that, students are still experiencing stereotypes, abuse, and racism left over from our troubled past