Coming Full Circle

Our Treaty event this past week was an amazing success. There were so many wonderful conversations that were had, that offered different perspectives on the topic. One thing what I loved about the treaty event was the respect between everyone. I can only speak on behalf of what happened at my station, but at our station all of the guests listened to what we had to say, and also furthered our understandings from their personal experiences. Nobody argued in a confrontational way, rather we conversed and shared our thoughts with each other. I was amazed at how many people already knew all of these current events that were happening. It really furthered the idea that we are all treaty people. The treaties really do affect everyone, and everyone has an opinion on what should be done. Everyone is able to identify that what happened to the Indigenous people of Canada was wrong, as they were mistreated. People could understand the effects of colonization and the repercussions it has had on the culture. However people did have different ideas for how as a society can do truth and reconciliation in a cost effective way, which also benefits Indigenous people and aligns with their values. One conversation that I had which still stands out to me was with someone regarding the 2018 federal budget and how much money was being allocated to Indigenous child welfare. At first I was happy to see so much money going to child welfare as I was under the impression it would be helping the child welfare program, however someone else raised the question of if this will turn out to be bad for First Nations as with more money going there more First Nation children will be taken from their homes and put into foster care. Similar to the residential school model.
I was also happy that I was able to bring my dad to this event. My dad has done so much for me throughout my life and has helped me get to the last class of my university journey; I doubt that I would have made it this far without him. It seemed almost fitting that he was able to attend, having everything come full circle. He was also very thankful for the opportunity to partake in an event like this. My father is always seeking out more knowledge and is always asking questions regarding First Nation’s and Canada’s history. Many of which I do not have the answers to. Now that he is retired he spends a lot of time reading my books that are required for my classes. All of this has helped him to reconsider what he was taught when he was in school. After hearing Pam’s husband say that this is out in the news, people at his workplace are talking about it, his family are talking about that this issue is definitely out there, we just need to begin educating people so they can form their own opinion from there. After seeing how curious my dad is, and hearing Pam’s husband talk it had me wondering how we can educate people whom are out of school. That is where I thought this event could be duplicated in a similar manner in our future classrooms with some modifications. Schedule an evening at your gym that has an open invitation to anyone in the community to partake in and learn. Your students then could set up similarly to how we did and have varying topics and present their ideas to whomever would like to learn more. I am sure there would be some complications with having strangers coming in the school, but it would be something that would be neat to try out and would be a good way to have the students give back to the community.

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