The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will launch an online treaty education resource for all educators this month, and will strengthen the curriculum and create new resources on Mi’kmaw language and culture.
“In Nova Scotia, and throughout Canada, the value and importance of treaties that exist between First Nations and the rest of Canada are not well understood,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “Whether the focus is on historical treaties or modern-day, contemporary agreements, we must ensure that all students have a better understanding of their importance.”
The digital portal will provide information on a wide variety of topics related to treaty education, including digital videos and teacher resource materials. Information will continue to be added.
Other initiatives to help enhance treaty education include:
— creating new social studies elementary curricula with an emphasis on First Nations culture and heritage
— elevating courses, such as Mi’kmaw Studies, from Grade 10 to Grade 11
— partnering with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey to update the Mi’kmaw Language Foundation resource
The Council on Mi’kmaq Education provides advice and recommendations to the minister relating to Mi’kmaw students. Expanding treaty education has been a significant area of interest for the council.
“Treaty education, in its various forms, is an important aspect of curriculum for all students at all levels,” said council chair Basil Johnson. “The Council on Mi’kmaq Education is pleased that the minister is listening to its concerns about the lack of treaty education in the school system and taking positive step to address this gap.”
“Nova Scotia was home to Atlantic Canada’s only Indian Residential School, located in Shubenacadie, and the profoundly negative effects it had are still strongly felt in the aboriginal community,” said Ms. Casey. “The department will work to ensure that all students develop a better understanding of the appalling, inter-generational impact this institution, along with many others in Canada, had on thousands of aboriginal students.”