The Gr. 2/3 class learned about how a treaty is a promise. They talked about how Indigenous people made Wampum belts to signify treaties. The students designed their own wampum belt patterns and then beaded them.
The Alternative Programs at St. Albert Adult Learning Centre PEACE and U-Turn were given the opportunity to attend Place des Arts this Treaty Week to witness Debwewin Play. Debwewin is an Anishinaabe word for ‘speaking the truth’ and that is exactly what the play was about. The students learned about Canada’s true history through monologues, dances, songs and mixed-media art. It was an experiential learning opportunity that will not be forgotten.
Jessica Somers, Indigenous visual artist from Focal Point Artistry facilitated a full day of learning about wampum belt with students in honour of Treaty Recognition Week. Along with the support from Ms. Carissa, the Indigenous Support Worker, students had the opportunity to learn about the history and significance of the wampum belt and paint their own wampum stories on a canvas. Jessica ended the day by leading the students through a smudging ceremony and a closing drumming song.
A Robinson Huron Treaty delegation led by Ogimaa (Chief) Nootchtai, Ogimaa Toulouse, and Ogimaa Pawis was hosted at St. Benedict C.S.S and St. Charles College in honour of Treaty Recognition Week. The theme was “Restoring the Balance – Treaty Talks with Tomorrow’s Leaders”. At this gathering, Grade 6 students from St. James School, Holy Cross School, and St. Francis School had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the Robinson Huron Treaty with the Chiefs. Ultimately, students and staff walked away with a greater perspective on the importance of treaties and treaty relationships and some prizes! Chi-miigwetch! We are incredibly appreciative of the fantastic visit and educational opportunity.
November 1-7 is Treaties Recognition Week, an important time of year where Ontario students acknowledge and learn about treaties as well as the histories, perspectives, and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
The Sudbury Catholic District School Board (SCDSB) is celebrating its participation in Treaties Recognition Week. This year, we honour Indigenous histories, perspectives, and contributions through meaningful lessons, presentations, readings, events and celebrations for students and staff at all our schools.
At St. John Catholic Elementary School, students in Mrs. Galipeau’s class learned about wampum belts in an activity where they could make their own belts out of Lego. Students in Grade 5 and 6 created the 1764 Treaty of Niagara wampum belt. Pictured are Nathan and Olivia, Jaguar students proudly showcasing their class’s completed belt. Wampum belts represent agreements and promises that last “as long as the sun shines and rivers flow”.
On Nov. 2nd, Grade 2 students in Mrs. Child’s class at St. Charles Catholic Elementary School read “Dakota Talks About Treaties.” Afterwards, they created a word web to describe what the word “treaty” means. Also, reading a story was Ms. Trudeau and Ms. D’Angelo’s class! “A Family Cookout” was read to help students explore measuring objects. Afterwards, Ms. Trudeau led an engaging lesson on making bannock where students used their knowledge in a real-life context. However, reading wasn’t the only popular activity. Mrs. Blakely’s grade 1 class learned all about the medicine wheel, smudged, made wampum belts and created their very own classroom treaty.
At St. David, a school-wide activity was implemented in preparation for the week. The Grade 5 class mapped the forested area in an educational exercise that touched on Indigenous identity, history, and ways of being. In an abundance of activities, students learned about treaties, promises, wampum belts and what it means to be indigenous. The school listened to “The Drum Calls Softly” and students created versions of the artwork in the video.
Over at Pius, Treaty Recognition Week was in full force. The school’s Grade 6 students took part in a lesson that included constructing their own Wampum commitment string. Wampum commitment string symbolizes an agreement of respect and peace. Collectively, all the strings will attach and form a family circle to honour Treaty Week.
To commemorate Treaty Week, the students in Grade 2/3 FI at St. James explored the significance of wampum belts as representations of promises that were made to last. They recreated the Treaty of Niagara wampum belt with Legos and other materials and mapped out some of our province’s treaties.
St. Benedict’s kicked off Treaty Recognition Week with Smudging available to students and staff. Classes participated in the Treaty Awareness dialogue. For example, Treaty is ‘Legally Binding’ and that there is also a ‘Sacred Element’ to the agreements. In addition, the school’s Life Skills Class learned and designed a Wampum Treaty Belt of their choosing. Tobacco was offered to our Indigenous Support Worker, Ms. Agowissa, for knowledge sharing. “We Are All Treaty People and are in the Robinson Huron Treaty region.”
Other highlights included secondary students participating in the Robinson Huron Treaty “Treaty Talks with Tomorrow’s Leaders”. Students were able to listen to different Ogimaak/Chiefs from RHT communities share treaty knowledge past, present and future about ‘Gweksijigewin’ (making things right). This knowledge was applied on Friday, Nov. 5th, with presentations from the students.
Treaties Recognition Week
It truly is very exciting to see what beautiful things our schools are doing to honour this essential part of the learning experience. Thank you to all our staff and community leaders, who took the time to capture and share some of the many wonderful things they were able to participate in this week. For more school activity updates, check out Indigenous Education SCDSB.