Growing as an Educator and Citizen; Truth and Reconciliation for our Past

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Reconciliation: the restoration of friendly relations.

Truth:sincerity in action, character, and utterance.

I believe that the definitions for these two words are very important to revisit. Most people would say they know what these words mean…even I would say I could define them…but looking them up and seeing the power in these words has helped me to reflect on an even deeper level about Residential schools and our call to action from the effects of them.

Over the past week I have had the opportunity to participate in some amazing experiences that revolved around First Nations people and their culture. However, the Truth and Reconciliation presentation by Murray Sinclair spoke to why it is sooo IMPORTANT to incorporate Treaty Education; not just because it is mandated, but because it is essential to moving forward.

  1. Learning about IdentityPresentation by Elder Joseph Naytowhow

* Learnt about how important it is to incorporate First Nations Ways of Knowing into the classroom. I was able to reflect on this lesson through an online discussion and share how I incorporated First Nations Tipi Teaching Values into an Identity unit in my internship.

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2. Participating in a twitter chat about incorporating Treaty Ed

* Was able to talk about a range of topics surrounding the challenges and benefits of incorporating treaty education into the classroom. I was amazing to connect with other professionals about this topic. Especially after such an inspiring presentation about Truth and Reconciliation; it was really nice to gather resources on how to better promote reconciliation through implementing Treaty Ed.

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Got some really GREAT ideas such as this one:

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3. Lastly I was privileged to sit in on the presentation by Murray Sinclair.

* This was an absolutely amazing presentation. Here are a few statements he made that really hit home for me:

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Couldn’t agree more with this statement, ALL people need to take responsibility for the past and find a way to move forward TOGETHER.

 

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This statement really made me think about the importance of incorporating LANGUAGE into the classroom, giving it a space to be honoured and brought back as an essential piece to students identity.

 

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When I heard Murray Sinclair say this I had to take a minute to fully digest such a powerful statement! To have such a positive comment on such a terrible situation made me realize just how important it is to promote reconciliation for Residential schools within our own classrooms!

 

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I really appreciate the fact that he recognized how much TIME it will take for people to heal and deal with the past. It has helped me, personally to not feel as burdened by the immense tragedy of the residential schools, but rather to just do the best I can to work towards this healing process.

 

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This end statement really challenged all the listeners I believe, to not just go and listen to the presentation and then leave feeling good about ourselves. But rather to make us feel uncomfortable so that we get up and figure out our role in the journey towards Truth and Reconciliation.

Overall last week was filled with some amazing learning experiences. I feel that I grew in so many ways as an educator and as a citizen of this country. If anyone has questions or comments about anything I touched on, please post them below!

 

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