Map of Ontario showing treaty territoriesTreaties Recognition Week is a great time for students, faculty, and staff to learn about treaty rights and relationships.

Week an opportunity to learn about treaty rights and relationships

This week is Treaties Recognition Week, a great time for students, faculty, and staff to learn about treaty rights and relationships, says Jaimie Kechego.

Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy project co-ordinator in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, she notes that treaties have been negotiated in Ontario over the past 250 years: “They form the basis of relations between indigenous peoples and the government and every Canadian should have a basic understanding of the treaty territory they live on.”

Kechego said it’s as important as ever to gain a greater understanding of the importance of treaties in Ontario.

“Treaties were created to foster diplomacy as each nation lived side by side sharing the resources that Turtle Island (North America) provides for all humans,” says Kechego. “This proves to be a challenge for Canadians as we watch how non-Native fishermen in Nova Scotia refuse to honour the treaty, continually break it, and threaten violence toward the Mi’kmaq as they try to exercise their treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather peacefully.”

She recommends learning about treaties at the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs website, as well as reaching out to any local First Nation communities, such as Chippewa of the Thames who have a Treaties, Land ,and Environment department.

The ministry will also host two virtual Living Library events this week suitable for post-secondary students. The first event is about cultural appreciation versus appropriation, to be held on Nov. 4. The other, titled We are all Treaty People, will be held on Nov. 6. The following PDF has more information and instructions on how to register.

Beyond treaties, Kechego’s Foundation Series Sessions is available online as a primer for Indigenous matters. The series offers an introduction to Indigenous Peoples in Canada, their histories, and their cultures; examines the role of colonization and how it continues to affect Indigenous Peoples; and addresses some of the challenges that exist because of centuries of institutionalized racism.

During her first year at the university, Kechego also created new initiatives and worked with faculty members and staff from across campus. She held 16 workshops with 180 participants, co-created the Nanadagikenim: Seek to Know Grant, helped create a community of practice, is co-authoring a book chapter on indigenizing curriculum and pedagogy, and much more. View a full list of CTL Initiatives for Indigenizing Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Kechego is available for consultation on topics such as Indigenizing learning outcomes, literature, pedagogy, as well as building community relationship.

—Peter Marval