Saskatchewan’s teachers are getting a helping hand when it comes to providing Indigenous treaty education in the classroom.
The Ministry of Education and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner unveiled a new kindergarten to Grade Nine treaty education learning resource binder on Friday, which will complement the existing treaty teaching packets already available.
Treaty Commissioner Mary Colbertson said the new resource provides teachers with tips on how to incorporate treaty teachings into the overall curriculum taught every day, complete with lesson plans they can employ.
She said it will help alleviate the burden on already-taxed teachers.
“We know there’s very evident deficiencies when it comes to overcrowding of classrooms, when it comes to educational assistance for kids in those classrooms,” she said.
“And sometimes, these resources and lessons don’t get an opportunity to be applied.”
The new resource binder had been in development for several years, sitting in draft form, according to Colbertson.
However, within the last year consultations ramped up with First Nations elders to bring the resource to completion and get it into the classroom.
Many of the elders who contributed also advised the government in the development of the first mandatory treaty education packets that were released in 2007.
Colbertson said the treaty knowledge being passed down to children from all backgrounds is crucial to a common understanding.
“We get to live in our beautiful homes and on our lands and our farms, work in our beautiful offices and drive our nice cars here on this land because of treaty,” she said.
“If this guide is used in an effective manner, in a meaningful manner, then we can see change in the next generation.”