Treaty Education and Geography

For the month of November, the OISE Library has put together a display on the subject of Treaty Education and Geography. November 6 – 11 is Treaty Recognition Week and November is Indigenous Education Month. The display contains books and other materials from our Stacks, Children’s Literature and Curriculum Resources collections. Treaty agreements between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian government have had a long and complicated history that connects with various contemporary issues, such as Reconciliation. The materials within this display can help you make connections to these issues for your students and assist you in bringing more Indigenous perspectives on these topics into the classroom.

For background and other contextual information on treaties and treaty making look towards these Stacks materials on display. Maurice Switzer’s Nation to Nation: A Resource Guide on Treaties in Ontario is a great starting place to learn about the history and timeline of First Nations treaties in Ontario from their beginnings to the present day. It provides readers with a well-rounded understanding of the significance of treaties and treaty making. Furthermore, Robert J. Talbot’s Negotiating the Numbered Treaties: An Intellectual and Political Biography of Alexander Morris provides information about the difficulties of negotiating treaties with different political interests at odds with one another. Alexander Morris was Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and the North West Territories in the 1870s, and was the main negotiator of many of the numbered treaties in the prairies. Other sources include Thunder in My Soul: A Mohawk Woman SpeaksPathway to Self-determination Canadian Indians and the Canadian Stateand Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, which all discuss issues of treaty rights and oppression from an Indigenous perspective.

For teaching materials that will help you incorporate these topics into your lessons look towards these Curriculum Resource materials. The We Are All Treaty People kit is a great classroom resource for students grade 1-8 that contains a teaching guide, lesson plans, and activities sheets to help students navigate their understanding of treaty relationships. The Aboriginal Statistics Program kit is also useful for helping students learn about the geography and its relationship with Indigenous people in Ontario. It contains statistics wheels, a 2016 Census of Population pamphlet, an Aboriginal Peoples: Fact sheet for Ontario and more. The materials within this kit are in both French and English. Other useful Curriculum Resources include the textbooks Aboriginal Beliefs, Values, and Aspirations, Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, and Aboriginal History: A Reader, which all have chapters discussing treaty issues.

The display also includes some AV materials that emphasize Indigenous voices on these issues. Colonization Road, narrated by Ryan McMahon, discusses the issues of the colonization of Indigenous peoples in Ontario by looking at different street names, and raises questions about Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and the process of “decolonization.” Other video recordings like Kanehsatake: 270 Years of ResistanceSewatokwa’tshera’t: The Dish With One Spoon, Dion of the Kehewin, and Reconquering the Conquest: Quebec all discuss how different Indigenous groups across Canada have dealt with their treaty relationships with the Government of Canada, their fight for Indigenous land rights, and the movement towards Reconciliation. These materials allow students to hear and learn about treaties from the Indigenous people navigating these issues personally.

Another useful online source for information on treaty education and geography is the First Story Toronto Blog. First Story Toronto is an initiative that has, according to their website, “engaged in researching and preserving the Indigenous history of Toronto with the goal of building awareness of and pride in the long Indigenous presence and contributions to the city.” Their free online and mobile app “First Story” is an especially great tool for student learning as it maps the Indigenous heritage and community of Toronto with archival photos, documents, audio and video clips. This can make classroom learning more interactive and interesting for students of all ages.

All of these materials can be found in the glass display case on the ground floor of the OISE Library. Do not hesitate to ask circulation or reference desk staff for assistance, as all of these materials are available to be checked out!

About Skye Soobramanie

Graduate Student Library Assistant at OISE Library | Master of Information (LIS) 2018, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
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