Sudbury Catholic District School Board

Treaties Recognition Week

At Sudbury Catholic Schools, we are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive, and equitable community. In preparation for Treaties Recognition Week – an annual commemoration which will be honoured on November 5-11, 2023, the Sudbury Catholic District School Board community is participating in learning opportunities that teach and uphold the importance of treaty rights and relationships to both indigenous and non indigenous communities.

What is Treaties Recognition Week?

In 2016, Ontario passed legislation declaring the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week. This annual event honours the importance of treaties and helps students and residents of Ontario learn more about treaty rights and relationships.

In Ontario, treaties are as much a part of today as when they were first created. They are living documents and legally binding agreements that set out the rights, responsibilities and relationships of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments. Furthermore, we also acknowledge that Indigenous Nations had Treaty Agreements with one another before Europeans arrived, and that treaty-making itself, precedes North American settlement.

Whether Indigenous or not, treaties matter to everyone in Canada; we are all Treaty People. They represent a mutual commitment to building a prosperous future for everybody and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are responsible for knowing and upholding Treaty obligations. In between the personal activities being planned by our schools, we’re pleased to share that Sudbury Catholic’s Indigenous Education team has curated resources and materials to help students, staff, and community members commemorate this important week. A summary of these resources is provided below.

Resources for 2023 Treaties Education Week 

Robinson Huron Waasiidamaagewin – Virtual Presentations

It is our pleasure to share that the Robinson Huron Waasiidamaagewin is offering virtual presentations during Treaty Week. To access these resources, visit the Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin Treaty Week Youtube channel. 

The Government of Ontario

In addition to online presentations, Sudbury Catholic Schools have been provided with a wide range of video resources suitable for different grade levels to provide students with an opportunity to hear from Indigenous Elders or knowledge keepers. In these activities, students will learn about treaties and their importance in an age-appropriate way that’s flexible for teachers’ lesson planning. This opportunity allows Indigenous speakers to share their knowledge about the importance of treaties, treaty relationships and rights in Ontario.

The Government of Ontario has also supplied a number of teaching resources that can expand upon this topic. This includes a Treaties in Ontario infographic (PDF), which shows the number of treaties in Ontario, the regions they cover and the populations within treaty areas.

Videos: Indigenous Voices on Treaties

Treaties in Ontario Infographic

Treaty Teaching & Learning Resources

The SCDSB Takes Part in Treaties Recognition Week

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.

School Highlights

St. John

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”.

St. Charles

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.

St. David

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.

Pius XII

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.

St. James

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. Bens

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.

Register Now! E-mail Copied to Clipboard