This is a point of view that is unfortunately still shared by too many educators. My advice would be to have another conversation with your co-op teacher acknowledging her opinion but also providing the reasons why it is important that all students, regardless of race, receive treaty education as this is the only way to work towards reconciliation. Remember last year in class when we watched Dwayne Donald’s video in which he discussed the word “culture”? Dwayne said that most Canadian students believe they do not have a culture and are apologetic for this, whereas indigenous people are seen as being intensely cultural. Share with your co-op teacher what problems arise from these feelings and from the lack of treaty education creating what Dwayne refers to as a “learning disability.” Explain that this lack of education creates not only a learning disability amongst our students, but in our society as a whole. Not talking or learning about indigenous issues does not allow for the deconstruction of the past and positive change for the future.
Share your belief that, “We are all treaty people.” The true meaning of this statement cannot be learned or valued if we do not teach Treaty Ed to all students regardless of their race or colour. Reconciliation means that we must work together to move forward. We must acknowledge what has happened in the past and work towards a better future for all. As stated in the Grade Three video that Claire Kreuger showed, “We are all treaty people as long as the sun shines and the grass grows.” We are all on this journey together! Decolonization and reconciliation can only occur by learning from our historic differences and working towards a shared future together. Treaty Education for everyone is the first step.