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Bluewater's Treaties Recognition Week page

Treaties Recognition Week

Treaties Recognition Week, November 2–6
Posted on 10/31/2020
Treaties Recognition Week, November 2–6


Bluewater District School Board students and staff are honouring Treaties Recognition Week, an annual event first declared provincially in 2016 to educate Ontarians about the importance of treaties, treaty rights, and treaty relationships.

From November 2 – 6, 2020, we join others in Ontario to learn about Indigenous history, culture, and perspectives, including the role of treaties in shaping relationships and agreements between Indigenous citizens and various levels of government, as well as other Canadians.

There are various examples of Treaties Recognition Week learning and activities occurring in Bluewater this year. At Saugeen District Senior School, daily announcements are being read with facts about treaties, an informative treaties slideshow is running on a TV screen in the school’s front foyer, a “We Are All Treaty People” bulletin board is on display, and social media posts are being shared to showcase a custom painting (see below) completed last year in a collaboration between students and SDSS graduate/artist Emily Kewageshig. For the first time, members of the public are learning about the meaning of the painting and how it represents treaties:

“This design was created to honour Treaties Recognition Week at Saugeen District Senior School. The focus of the artwork is a turtle, which represents Turtle Island (North America) and the land we currently live on. In the middle of the turtle’s shell is the Bruce Peninsula, which is where Treaty No. 72 was signed in 1854. Surrounding that is imagery of figures holding hands and circling the interior of the shell. These figures were inspired by a historic rock carving that depicts a man standing with his arms out in an action of giving and receiving. This inspired me as Treaties Recognition Week is about acknowledging the acts of maintaining treaty relationships, recognizing Indigenous rights, and the importance of living together in harmony.” - Emily Kewageshig, Artist 

Alexandra Community School is planning classroom activities to help students understand the significance of treaties. The school has also decided to honour September’s Orange Shirt Day on Friday, November 6 to recognize survivors of the residential school system.

Resources and important links

The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre has developed a free virtual program related to Treaties Recognition Week geared towards students in Grades 6, 7, 8, and 10. The focus will be on treaties governing the land in Bruce County. Learn more at this link.

The Indigenous Affairs Office via the Ministry of Education is offering a variety of virtual events and resources for Treaties Recognition Week. Elementary and secondary specific themed learning opportunities can be found here.

Teaching and learning resources along with other relevant information regarding treaties and Treaties Recognition Week are available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/treaties.

View a series of videos featuring Indigenous voices sharing their knowledge on treaties, treaty relationships and rights in Ontario at http://www.ontario.ca/page/videos-indigenous-voices-treaties.

The 2018 Ontario Curriculum, Social Studies, Grades 1 – 6; History and Geography, Grades 7 – 8 curriculum and Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 and 10, Canadian and World Studies were revised in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and include topics such as residential schools and treaties, which are mandatory components of every student’s education in Grades 4 – 8 and Grade 10.

The 2019 Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 – 12: First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies focuses on increasing learning around Indigenous art, literature, law, humanities, politics, and history.

Learn more about the introduction of Treaties Recognition Week in 2016 by viewing this news release from the Government of Ontario.

"We Are All Treaty People" bulleitn board display depicting student faces at SDSS
Turtle artwork in honour of treaties created by artist Emily Kewageshig and SDSS students
Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
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