Are we all Treaty People?

In the last class my group presented the topic to the class of, Are We All Treaty People? This had me really thinking of my miskâsowin, and how much my mindset has shifted since attending university. If I were asked this question in my first year of university I would have automatically responded that I am not a treaty person with full confidence. In fact, it wasn’t even until last fall semester that my answer would have changed. I must admit that it was a huge surprise knowing that everyone who lives in Canada is a treaty person. Once it is explained it makes total sense though. Everyone in Canada has treaty obligations and is impacted by treaties, but many people fail to recognize how they have benefited from treaties if they are not of First Nations descent. As a part of my pledge for this class I said that I would begin going to bed earlier. One of the steps to help ensure that I was going to bed earlier was to read for a half hour before I went to sleep. In one of the books that I am reading by Tony Robbins called, Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom there was a quote that said, “people love to say that knowledge is power. But the truth is knowledge is only potential power. You and I both know it that it’s useless if you don’t act on it” (10). This quote really stood out to me as I am nearing the end of my university chapter of my life. I have learned so much valuable knowledge in university, specifically on Indigenous people and treaties in Canada. All of that knowledge is great to have but it has very little value if I don’t use anything with that knowledge. Which is why it is my duty to teach our future generations about being a treaty person so that they can begin obliging to their side of the treaty and living up to the original agreement. I feel very fortunate that I have been given the opportunity to teach about treaties in this class which will make me feel even more comfortable when I do teach this content in my internship this coming fall. During our seminar my station was set up to discuss some treaty issues. The one topic which drew the most attention and was talked about most was whether or not we should adjust treaties as they were signed nearly 150 years ago. I was very impressed with the conversations that were had, and listening to different peoples perspectives on the topic. The dialogue was very respectful and opened my eyes on different things to consider when talking about treaty negotiations. In addition I will also be leading another seminar on current evens regarding treaties at our treaty event. During this class I will be discussing such things as the racism involved in the Colten Boushie case, the pipelines and whom should have the say in whether or not they should be approved as well as the 2018 federal budget and the implications that has on treaties. This will provide yet another opportunity to practice teaching about treaties, as I want to share all of this knowledge I have been learning to others. I want to make everyone aware that they are a treaty person (as long as they live in Canada) and have them know what their treaty obligations / rights are.

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