Blog #11

Upon entering the Lebret area, how did you feel? Reflecting on your feelings, would you feel the same way had you not been trained to look for narratives about treaty (i.e. trained by the education program).

Growing up I heard bits and pieces about Lebret. I never really fully understood what happened and why, but I never truly asked or researched by self. Upon entering Lebret I got a uncomfortable feeling, it was surreal to actually be there. Looking around the small town and the big structures such as the church, the crosses on the hill and the old gate leading into the school I tried to visualize what it might have been like 30 or 50 years ago. It was hard to realize everything we have learned throughout our education program regarding residential schools and colonialism that we were at the well known town, for not good reasons. If I never learned that the vast amount of information through University that has happened across Saskatchewan and Canada driving through Lebret I don’t think I would have really thought much of it. Other than for such a small town it did have a huge church as well as the walkway leading up the hill of crosses on either side up to the little church on the top kind of gave me an eerie feeling.

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Blog #10

Treaty education in my classroom would be integrated into every subject and not made a subject on its own. Having it incorporate it into every subject models that it isn’t different nor should it be. By talking about it in every subject and having a safe judge free classroom I would hope my students feel they are able to share and talk about anything. Having this modeled in our classrooms over the years will help students learn about the truths and how important reconciliation is. Having treaty events help teach everyone whether it’s they’re just starting to learn about them self as a treaty person or have been actively learning about it for a few years, I feel there’s always lots to learn and grow.

Here is a painting along with different items and bead work from the Fort Qu’Appelle museum .

Blog #9

Who gets to be a leader?
I feel nowadays society is more open to that anyone can be a leader. No matter age, gender, religion, or skin color. But there still is that stereotypical vision of what a leader ‘should’ look like such as old, white, male.

How do we balance the line between celebrating FNMI Youth Leaders and taking credit that isn’t ours? (Like clapping for ourselves in the blanket exercise?)

I feel this is a really hard concept and aspect to make a clear comment on. It’s important to experience and celebrate FNMI youth leaders. Others could be clapping for themselves in the blanket exercise. I feel people who are clapping may be clapping for different reasons such as maybe they are taking credit for themselves participating, maybe they’re clapping to honor and show their respects maybe there clapping because everybody else is clapping.

How do we support FNMI Youth Leaders without being “white saviours”?
I think if we are honest and truly recognize FNMI youth leaders for what they are doing for themselves as well as what they’re standing up for. By supporting others for the sake of recognizing what they are doing and why are they so passionate about the subject. I feel people need to not always feel just because they support something they also need to be recognized to a higher degree.

Blog #8

I feel understanding decolonization is very important to learn and understand. I feel we need to be able to approach this topic from a very meaningful way. First we have to understand what was done and the reasonings behind it, although it was wrong just to understand why a group tried to decolonize the Indigenous peoples. I feel it’s important to not hide or forget about the past and it’s important talking about it in hopes of reconciliation. By understanding the past we can all learn, grow and move forward from it.

How did the curriculum documents and artillery make you feel as an anti-oppressive educator? In what ways do those documents impact tâpwêwin speaking the truth which precision and accuracy?

It was very interesting to go around in our groups and look at all the treaty Ed outcomes. I have never looked critically at them before, so I feel it was very eye-opening, as it was very unclear and one sided perspective on what we are supposed to teach. Learning what it is to be a treaty person as well as learning about indigenous culture nothing is one-sided nor have one meaning. I feel their culture and ways of knowing is very in-depth and ‘rich’.It is too bad the treaty outcomes don’t reflect that.

Blog #7

How can we encourage students to look critically at the structures in the world around them?
I feel as educators if it is our duty to help our students become aware of the various circumstances that are happening around the world, but more importantly within our province, community or just down the highway in some instances. I feel by bringing light to issues students may not know about having an open discussion to see how they feel about it, we can brainstorm together as a class how they can help fix it. This is beneficial as it is real life problems and it helps our students become compassionate for others and other issues that are happening around the world. This will help them become critical thinkers, problem solver‘s that is vital in any job as they get older. Also giving our students choice as to what issues they feel that they’re passionate about and want to pursue after such as organizing a fundraiser, creating a go fund me page, bottle drive, ect. Making and collecting their own information regarding various topics that they can share with the public which may push for change. Learning about the water issues across Canada, but more so just in Saskatchewan was very eye-opening. When we were estimating how many water advisories there were I assumed around 100 but there is over 200 in Saskatchewan, from water today.ca. Also learning that before a water advisory becomes labelled as emergency it has to be under a boil water advisory for over a year! That is a very long time for people to go without safe drinking water. The water today website is also run by a nonprofit organization where people volunteer their time to update it. I feel letting your students learn about various sites where they can help out would also be beneficial to them as well society.

#6 Cultural Appropriation & MMIW

“Always behind each material, physical symbol is often intangible thing you achieved that is liked to the symbol itself. (Vowel, Pg.82)”. I always questioned certain styles that I linked to indigenous culture and I always wondered if it suited me/other wearing such items. I never thought about the scared meaning behind such tokenism that are out there. Chelsea Vowel breaks it down and gives multiple examples of other cultures of their scared symbols, fashion and how if you don’t know first you should assume and wear it thinking it’s okay, and to just look on the internet! Culture appropriation usually adopts elements from the minority cultures and begins wearing or displaying elements they find appealing. Yet they turn a blind eye to what they adopt means to that culture, and how they can potentially make themselves look portraying elements from a culture they know nothing about.

Looking at a few of the articles regarding MMIW was heartbreaking to learn many of these women I have not heard about going missing. Whether it was not hearing about it on TV, radio or Facebook or that there was not just the proper amount of coverage asking for people’s help. I do believe since these women where indigenous I feel that greatly affects how much publicity they got. I can’t imagine the heart ache their families I went through and continue to go through. With no real answers or information the many families still go without proper closure regarding their loved ones that are missing.

#5 Land acknowledgements

The presentation regarding to who’s land is it and what land we live on I feel is a very important topic that should always be addressed. I feel we should be talking about it from a young age with our students. It is a very uncomfortable topic as there’s so much hardship due to the circumstances regarding land and land treaties. The WHOES LAND app is a great resource for anyone to use to break the ice regarding treaties and land rights. This modern app is used to focus in all over the world and you can see where you are or type in where you want to see who’s treaty land it’s on. I feel having this modern technology will show that this is a topic that isn’t going away it’s just as important as it was years ago, but having an app technology makes it more accessible to the younger generation that enjoys using technology. I could see myself using this technology in my classroom and having my students do their own research and have them come to their own understanding with my help leading them there. I feel this is a touchy topic so I want to help my students develop their own understanding. Using the technology to see where I live and have grown up it is an uncomfortable feeling knowing/coming to realize that what I always thought was mine or my neighbors land, actually is not. I definitely have a different outlook on the land we all live on.

The Myth of Taxation

I looked into the myth of taxation. Growing up and still to this day I always hear lots of discussion about how indigenous people do you not have to pay tax. Along with not paying taxes they also when working they don’t get taxed on their income. This was something I was I was curious about because like most people you’re curious to why and how indigenous people may not have to pay taxation where everyone else has to. As I begin reading the chapter The Myth of Taxation from Chelsea Vowel, she goes into great detail breaking down the taxation rules that so many others seem to know so much about. The one point in the book she kind of called out majority of the people and first asked if they ever not claimed money to avoid paying taxes on. Such as tips from waitresses, people who offer services from their house or side jobs such as cutting grass. That was a topic I never even thought to address because I know many who have picked up side jobs or do something for a little extra cash and I’m assuming they don’t add tax on it to give to the government. Yet no one makes a big stink about those people not paying taxes on that money.
So to break it down only status Indians are eligible for the Indian act exemption, Nonstatus Indian, Métis in anyway it or not covered.
Status Indians who are not living on reserve land are not eligible for this exemption unless they purchase goods and service on reserved.
This exemption also extends to federal taxes on goods purchased off reserve,if they are delivered to the reserve by the retailers. If the status Indian wants to transport goods back to the reserve, they are not exempt.
Services provided on reserve are tax-exempt. Where services provided off reserves are not exempt, unless under section 90 of the Indian act.
If you’re working off reserved the tax exemption does not apply and you’re paying income tax even if your employer is situated on the reserve. (Vowel). Pg. 138.
Although I just broke down some of the many different highly confusing and technical situations on the taxation situations. I have learned that this myth about indigenous people never pay tax is definitely not true as well as completely confusing, there are many different scenarios as well as laws they have to follow up regarding whether or not they pay tax on land, goods and services. “Only the Mohawk Kahnawake have signed an agreement with the provincial government that includes a waiver of provincial tax sales. This is not an Indian act exemption, it is a contract between the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and the government of Quebec. (Vowel pg.139).” Here is another situation where many people would not know of that agreement between the two parties but yet would gladly tell people false information. After reading about these missed and how clearly Chelsea breaks down this highly confusing topic I feel people should not speak to something that is clearly not just black-and-white.

#3 Treaty as a spiritual covenant

I understand the spirituality of the Indigenous peoples very sentimental and caring, they expressed it towards everything on this earth. Nothing is ever taken for granted from having from the birds in sky to the dirt we walk on everything is has sentimental value to Indigenous peoples. I feel I have learned to have a deeper understanding of where I see myself on this earth and everything I interact with from people, animals and even the grass I walk on. Everything is living it has a purpose. The dirt and rocks beneath us help the tree stand tall and let the trees grow from it, as it provides the tree with nutrients. I know I was not taking the time to be respectful and appreciate all of the small things I have in this life and what mother earth has to offer me as well as friends and family. If we start living each day and being very appreciative and thankful for all we have even the shortcomings. “The Elders stated that the circle symbolized the oneness of First Nations people with the Creator and the spiritual, social, and political institutions of the First Nations. It is at once a statement of allegiance, of loyalty, fidelity, and unity by both the nation and its peoples. This act/statement is rooted in the doctrine of wahkotowin (the laws governing all relations) and miyo-wicehtowin (the laws governing good relations)” (Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan, pg.14.).  I believe humanity would be more at peace as well as it would greatly benefit our animals and our environment. By having people be more thankful for each living thing and not be looking at the environments resources or animals as a profitable market for human gains and profit.

Blog 2 miskâsowin and Treaty Relationships

I grew up in a small town called Wadena, a little over two hours north east from Regina. It is a small community which had a few different reserves, the closet being Fishing Lake First Nation being 10-15 minutes (17km) from Wadena. Majority of indigenous people lived on the reserve, but they came to school in town with myself. Growing up I never knew the difference between the different types of reserves across Saskatchewan, I just assumed they were all the same. I took a few years off after high school to explore different job opportunities in that time me and my boyfriend moved way up north to Meadow Lake which is another five hours (490 kms) north west from Wadena.While living there I experience living in the forest, Wadena was just bushes, I was fortunate to have a job where I travelled far out of Meadow Lake and got to experience many amazing things and met many people along the way and seen their culture. I did some research and Meadow Lake has Cree, Plains Cree, Woods Cree, Dene, Michif Indigenous people living there as to Statistic Canada. I know while I lived there for a year I got to know many people who lived there as well as the Cree lady I worked with loved her culture and knew people everywhere we went. After visiting with people on our lunch breaks she would always fill me in where they live, how she knew them, which after meeting a few people she would say they are Blackfoot, which then to me never really meant much. I worked on many different reserves such as Makwa Lake which is attached to a town called Loon Lake which Makwa in Cree is Loon, something I learned while working there. Flying Dust was a few minutes outside Meadow Lake. The lady I worked with she was from Flying Dust she was. She told me how they had a community deep-freeze of all their hunting where if someone was sick or elders could go and take food that others hunted if they were not able to hunt anymore, which I thought was a wonderful idea. Still while living there I got to experience seeing many different reserves. It wasn’t till university where I learned about the different treaty territories on the map. In my map I included all the different treaty’s I have lived on including their city and towns names. I marked Fishing Lake Reserve on my map, i have not lived their but I wanted to show how close it was to Wadena.