OSHAWA, ON (November 7, 2016)–As part of its commitment to rebuilding relationships with First Nations based on trust and respect, Ontario is honouring the importance of treaties and helping people learn more about treaty rights and treaty relationships.
David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, joined Anishinabek Nation’s Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee at David Bouchard Public School in Oshawa to celebrate Ontario’s inaugural Treaties Recognition Week.
Ontario recognizes the wrongs of previous generations and is committed to changing the future. This includes educating people in Ontario about the role that treaties play in each of our lives and in our relationships with each other.
The province and Anishinabek Nation are launching a new resource, called Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi: Understanding Our Nation to Nation Relationship, to help students learn about Ontario’s treaty relationships. The kit includes a teacher’s guide, books and activities that connect to Ontario’s secondary school curriculum. The province is also working with Indigenous partners to raise awareness by supporting Indigenous speakers in schools and online learning resources available at Ontario.ca/Treaties.
Raising awareness about treaties is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
- Treaties Recognition Week is celebrated annually during the first full week in November, and runs from Nov. 6 – 12 this year.
- Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi means “helping you to understand” in the Ojibwe language.
- Ontario provided $155,000 to support the Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi teacher’s kit.
- Treaties are legally binding agreements that set out the rights, responsibilities and relationships of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments.
- Ontario is covered by 46 treaties and other agreements, such as land purchased by the Crown signed between 1781 and 1930.
- Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi: Understanding Our Nation to Nation Relationship (grades 9-12)
- We Are All Treaty People teacher’s kit (grades 1-8)
- Historica Canada Naskumituwin (Treaty) Heritage Minute
- First Nations and Treaties map of Ontario
“All Ontarians share the benefits and the obligations of treaties. That’s why Ontario is working with Anishinabek Nation and other partners to raise awareness of treaty rights and relationships during Treaties Recognition Week and year-round.”
— David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
“We believe that all of Ontario’s students are enriched by learning about the histories, cultures, contributions and perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada.”
— Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education
“The lack of understanding about the treaty relationship, Indian Residential Schools and our history in Ontario has been a hindrance to the learning spirit of First Nations people and to all of the people in Ontario. The Gdoo-sastamoo kii mi teacher’s kit will help alleviate racism and support teachers in the area of understanding the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”
— Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee, Grand Council Chief of Anishinabek Nation