One of the most detrimental parts of Canadian history was residential schools the overall acts of colonialism against the Indigenous people and their culture. This is an act that can never be forgotten by the Indigenous people of Canada because of the horrible effects it had towards their people. These effects are everlasting and are getting passed down from generation to generation. By implementing reconciliation into our country, we will accept the wrong we have done in the past and will go forth to work towards a new future. We, as a country, will do this by educating ourselves not only on the harsh effects of the residential schools but also educate ourselves on the Indigenous culture that luckily still exists today. We can only hope this means we can look forward to the positive future this country that will be immersed in decolonization and Indigenous ways of knowing.
I believe reconciliation starts within the classroom.
- Since the Canadian education system did in fact fail the Indigenous people in the past, it is up to us as the new and knowledgeable educators to bring the truth of the past into light to allow this to never happen again in our country or anywhere in this world. I believe that, as educators, are the basis for change in this world. We are the ones who are/ will be educating current and future generations and with that, it is our duty to educate them of the past horrors and as well as immerse them in Indigenous culture. It is crucial to also show Indigenous students, if they have fears of what their ancestors went through, that the classroom and the curriculum is now a place that celebrates and accepts their culture with welcome arms.
I believe that we need to put positive meaning into ‘we are all treaty people’
- To say we are all treaty people is very easy for us as white settlers because for years, we have been feeling the positive effects of treaties for years while the Indigenous people, have typically been feeling the negatives and the worst parts. I believe this is a huge part of reconciliation, to allow “we are all treaty people” to have equal meaning to both Indigenous people and white settlers. Again, I believe that will start with educators. Reconciliation in the classroom can go a long way and hopefully bring positive meaning into “we are all treaty people”. To have this be positive, the treaties must be equal and positive towards all Indigenous people. I believe if we can strive for that and with that effort, it will be one of the greatest successes in Canadian history under peace making.
I believe that breaking the stereotypes of Indigenous people are one of the crucial steps to get everyone on board with reconciliation
- If everyone was able to get correct, positive, and meaningful education on the past of Indigenous people and their overall culture like we are able to in the faculty of education, I truly believe that the country of Canada would be able to all get on board with reconciliation. Talking to other people who have not received this type of education, they have false knowledge and accusations of the Indigenous people. I for one, am able to see beyond stereotypes and see Indigenous people for who they truly are: humans who have had a unfair past and are a culture who deserve the respect and positive acknowledgment that they finally deserve. This is why it is important to start education on racism and colonialism young in elementary schools so this racism and the stereotypes will be able to help hinder racism within society. It is also crucial to give Canadians proper education on the past and their overall culture so an individual can be aware and with that, put their actions and thoughts into perspective. I believe this will create a better future for Canada and the Indigenous community.
I believe that Indigenous students will be able to speak their home language within my classroom whenever they please.
- I believe that with this, they will feel welcomed and accepted within the classroom community. Furthermore, they will understand that I, as their teacher, acknowledge their culture and way of life and that it is respected by not only me but everyone that surrounds them.
I believe that my classroom environment is an integral part of reconciliation.
- It is essential to include Indigenous culture within your classroom as a basis in supporting reconciliation. In order to include the Indigenous culture within your classroom, you may have items that are treaty maps, Indigenous art, posters that include Indigenous language, and a medicine wheel. By having these items within your classroom, you are breaking down the barriers of colonialism by integrating their way of knowing into your classroom. By having these items it shows that their culture and way of knowing is meaningful to myself, as a white settler on their land and that I want to make a change by reconciling the past. Reconciliation is something that should go beyond the curriculum and go onto the walls of your classroom where it can be visually represented all year round.
I believe that the way students will learn the Indigenous ways of knowing the best is through Elders or Knowledge Keepers
- It is important to allow Elders and/or Knowledge Keepers to educate students on some Indigenous topics especially if they are sacred or very traditional to their culture. By doing this, you are not only connecting to the Indigenous community in a meaningful way but you are also allowing these people to pass on true knowledge and traditions down that would otherwise not be possible if colonialism was present within a classroom. This shows the growth of Canada and the education system in making a means to reconcile. The elders and knowledge keepers hold the most important jobs within the Indigenous community to educate about their ways of knowing and I believe that bringing them into the classroom shows respect to them and to their community by us, as white settlers, wanting to reconcile the past and pass on the knowledge of their culture to future generations of Canadians. By doing this, we are keeping their stories and cultures alive.