Final Video Assignment

So this class has been a great journey for me. I feel that I have really expanded on my knowledge as an educator.  Here is my final video:

Here is my Script for this video:

ECCU Visual Representation 2.0

thank you to Audrey and my fellow classmates for an awesome semester filled with really great information that I will absolutely be taking with me to my teaching career.


Roads to ReconciliACTION

So let me first start this post by saying a huge thank you to all my classmates and to Audrey for putting all the hard work into making this event so awesome. I can truly say that I had a really positive experience by doing this.

I came into this event really excited and I was not dissapointed. I am really happy that I got the oppertunity to educate others today and to give people some resources that they can use in the future. We had about a total of 20ish people come to our table which doesnt seem like a lot to me but we actually had a ton of meaningful conversations with almost all of them. When people came to our table, our main focus was to explain to them what our table was about. We would tell them that we are education students in the class ECCU and that we are here to educate people on Indigenous and Treaty education (mostly through Residential Schools). We would show people the books and ask them if they would like to take our online survey to see what they know about Residential Schools. Almost all the people that came to our table took the survey which was fantastic. I noticed that some people really knew their facts while others didnt as much which I believe to be okay. I think that just by coming to our table and taking the time out of your day, is a small step in the right direction towards reconciliation. Tons of people that came to our table actually told us that they were so happy we are doing this and that this is such a great step towards reconciliation. A lot of people genuinly seemed interested in our table and wanted to learn more which is such an incredible experience. It makes me feel so good that people want to learn about these topics and educate themselves.

There were about seven or eight groups of people that came to our table that really resonated with me. The first lady that visited us was actually a refugee. She seemed so happy to come and talk to us and she really just shared her experience to us about her life as a refugee. She was seriously the sweetest lady! Another group came and talked to us and even took the time to specifically ask us about how we would teach this content in a specific class. We really tried to reiterate that this content NEEDS to be taught from an early age. Almost every person that came to our table probably got the same speel about teaching this as early as you can and what was great was that a ton of people agreed with us. I specfically talked to another girl who said she didnt know a lot about Residential Schools so I took her through the basics and she seemed to really enjoy it. I showed her books and resources and she seemed really happy to have the resources!

I also feel like I had the oppertunity to actually teach people throughout the morning. A couple of girls came to our table and the one asked, “so they dont want to be called Indians anymore?” It actually took me by surprise but she was completely serious. We taught her that calling Indigenous people “Indians” was a negative and derogitory way of talking about someone. So even just letting her know is great because she can now use the appropriate language and that even is a step in the right direction towards reconciliation. A man even came to our table and we talked about the Colten Boushie case. I was quite taken aback when he started talking about our justice system being great and how Colten Boushie and his friends were there to hurt and steal and that they should be punished. In that situation where I didnt necessarily agree with him, I found that I wanted to really get my point across to him to try and change his mind. I realized though that he didnt want his mind to be changed. So the only thing that I felt that I could do was provide him with resources and my ideas and thoughts on the topic. Lacy and Kate did a great job of talking to him as well even though we didnt agree with him. I really took this experience as a way to try and educate others instead of getting all upset about it. I took it as a learning experience and I now know what I can do for next time.

I just wanted to talk a bit more about another few people that I met. There was an indigenous family that came to our booth and the mother explained to us how she was so happy and excited that we are doing this. She genuinly really was really happy that us as educators were taking the time create this event and take the step towards reconciliation. She even asked us to take a picture with her and when we met in the hallway later, she waved to me! So just her reaction to this all gave me such a warm feeling. Not because I was part of creating this event, but because it truly is a step towards bridging the divide between people. I am so grateful that I got to share my knowledge with other people and they genuinly were excited and wanted to learn.



Trip to Fort Quappelle

Our field Trip to Fort QuAppelle and Lebret were so awesome. Like many others, I wasnt sure what to first expect when heading to Fort QuAppelle but shortly after we arrived, I realized that being there was such an amazing experience for me. I am typically a very anxious person and so to do these field trips has never been something that I look foward to. I get so worried about forgetting something or not having something that I may need. In our circle talk at the end of the day at the Governance Center Tipi, I explained that I am such an organized person, so that when things didnt go as perfectly planned during the day, it made me a bit uneasy. I am definitely trying to work on that but I also realized that things dont need to be set in stone for it to be an awesome experience. In teaching, I have definitely realized that things DO NOT go as planned all the time and to be prepared for that and to realize that it’s okay. I feel like as an educator, I have to be willing to accept change and I am definitely working on that!

Arriving at the museum was really cool. Im not typically into museums but I genuinly found it really interesting! The man and woman that worked there were so helpful in telling us stories and describing things to us. The women (sorry I am blanking on her name), and a group of us talked about the wedding dresses that the women used to wear at that time. This to me was a really cool thing to learn about. I guess because I have always been interested in the fashion aspect of history. I learned that the dresses were quite tiny and talking about them and their significance was something that really intreagued me! The next thing that I did was the treaty walk. Ive never got to experience anything like this before so I am glad I got the oppertunity to do it. I think it really just made me think of my own miskasowin. I also didnt realize that we would have a script for the treaty walk but I rather enjoyed it. It gave me information and great ideas if I was to do a treaty walk myself. I think my favourite part was stopping at the flags first and taking a look into why they are so significant. I really think that by doing that, it gave me a jump start into the entire treaty walk.

Next we had lunch at the school which was really delicious! I thought the idea of bringing your own plates and cutlery to the school was a great idea. I loved the logic behind it and the idea that we are guests in this town and that we need to be respectful towards the town.

After lunch was the talk with Wendell. I will be completely honest, I think that being outside and standing for over an hour made my experience a bit hindered. I really enjoyed listening to Wendell but many times I couldnt hear him so I wasnt able to hear all of his ideas. The offering through the fire was a great experience though. I loved that Wendell got us all the say our own heritage and culture because it made me feel like he was acknowledging me as a person. Lastly, was the circle talk at the Governance Center Tipi which by the way is WOW! What an amazing place to be in! The beauty of the tipi took my breath away. I know that in class, we have done a lot of debreafing circles in the past. I really got a sense of why a debreafing circle at the end of the day is such a great idea. Everyone was able to share their experiences and give eachother (as colleagues and classmates) and understanding of what they learned. I think to me, its so important because we can all share together in a safe environment where we support eachother. I love to hear other peoples thoughts and I think that part of being a teacher is to listen to your colleagues. Doing the debreafing is doing that and sharing ideas.

Overall, the entire day was so awesome. I really wish we could have gone to the healing center but I do understand that things happen. It just means that I will have to go back and see it myself! Overall, this experience really gave me a understanding of the importance of Treaty education! I am going to be a teacher and this stuff is so incredibly important. I can take this information and use it in my classroom for my students to discover their miskasowin.


Guess what I did for Canada’s 150th Celebration!

Okay so I have never heard of the app “plickers” before and I will most definitely be using it in the future! Thanks to group eight for sharing that awesome teaching tidbit with everyone!

Before this presentation, I really had no understanding of how Canada’s 150th celebration could have been considered as controversial! I just thought that celebrating Canada was such a wonderful idea. I find that I am way more aware of my surroundings and the racism that happens in this country from taking this class. For example, after the cultural appropriation presentation, I seen this EVERYWHERE! I was hyper aware of my surroundings and what was going on. The thing about this presentation that really resonated with me was the question, “Who’s story is being told.” This really made me think about the “western” viewpoint of Canada’s 150th Celebration.

From listening to this presentation, I have come to the realization and acceptance that I can celebrate Canada day while still being culturally responsive. I think a big part of this is to be aware of my white settler background and the part that I play as an educator. I also realize now that it is more than just being ‘aware.’ I think it is about ‘doing’ as well. I need to take the time in my classroom and in my everyday life to understand these ideas such as why Canada Day could be considered controversial!

The 150 Acts of Reconciliation website is something that I have never actually seen before. I think it is an awesome resource for anyone to look at and understand what you (as a Canadian) can do to be an active citizen! As I was looking through it, there was so many different options to chose from. What I gathered from the document is that anyone can do these things! Take the time to educate yourself and to be a critical citizen.

Ps. I went to a parade and a street dance for Canada’s 150th Celebration. Next year, I will be more critical of myself as a culturally responsive educator!


When should you promote Indigenous Youth? ALWAYS

As I was listening to the presentation in class on Indigenous leaders, I realized that promoting all Indigenous peoples is so very important to creating a positive society. Considering I will be working in schools with younger children, promoting Indigenous Youth is very important to me. Like the presentation pointed out, I believe its important to have all students voice their individual power. People are awesome in general, because no one is the same. We are all unique human beings with similarities and differences. This is what I love about our world! This is also what I love about children. How honest, raw and unique each and every one of them are.

Speaking from my internship, the classrooms (and entire school) was based on white children. If I am being honest, there wasn’t a ton of cultural differences. So when it comes to promoting Indigenous youth in the classroom, it’s tough if theres no students who represent that culture. But that doesn’t mean we (as teachers) shouldn’t teach Indigenous content in the classroom. I think it makes it just as important to teach in the classroom when you don’t have Indigenous youth.

In class, we created a short action plan to promote Indigenous youth. The action plan that was talked about at our table group was focused a lot around representing Indigenous youth in the classroom through books, lessons, decorations and so on. I think it would be awesome to also teach students about youth leaders! This would give them a good chance to understand the importance of youth leaders. So in other words, an action plan that I would implement in my classroom is to teach all students about Indigenous youth and their importance. Students would learn that in order to move forward, we need to become human beings that advocate for the Indigenous communities (and all communities/cultures) and work together with all cultures to have reconciliation.


Structural Racism in Canada

As I was listening to the presentation on Structural Racism, I realized that racism is happening all around us. From small things to large things it still happens. As I look back on my life growing up, I cant really remember a time that I witnessed or experienced racism. To me this seems odd considering racism happens on a daily basis in Saskatchewan and Canada. I have heard of different racism events that have happened in Canada, but I have never actually experienced on myself. When I write this, I know that I never experience racism or probably never will because of my colour and my background. I am a white settler and so therefor the chances of me experiencing being discriminated against are slim to none.

As the group was presenting about Ken Cheveldayoff, It made me think of our leaders in this country. We need leaders who are willing to address the structural racism in Saskatchewan and Canada. We need leaders who won’t shy away from tough topics because they are afraid. This has been said many times before, but I strongly believe that education is the key to success and change. We as teachers need to educate our students at critically young ages about our country and province that we live in.


Disrupting Systemic Racism

Right after the Gerald Stanley trial happened, I went home that weekend. I was having a rather intense debate with my dad about the trial and the results. Prior to this, I was feeling quite uneasy about the entire thing. I had my opinions and thoughts and everyone else had theirs. I wasn’t exactly sure what to believe and how to believe it. So when I went home, and I had this debate with my dad, it opened up my eyes to the whole thing. Now my father is a white settler farmer just like Gerald Stanley. And in no means was my father protecting Gerald, but he did see his side of the story. Now to set the record straight, my dad never thought that what Gerald Stanley did was okay. He did however believe that this whole thing wasn’t about race. He claimed that if a bunch of white young men and women came on his land trying to steal things, he wasn’t exactly sure what he would do as well. The thing that I had trouble with was how all my friends back at school were very incredibly upset about the whole thing, while back at home (still also upset) but with a different point of view. To be honest, I wasn’t sure who to believe.

I decided at that point that I would gather the facts about the whole case. Once I did this, it put my mind a little at ease as to what my own thoughts and opinions were. I explained to my dad that it in fact was racism happening and that Indigenous people don’t have the same rights as we do. I think this put a little perspective into him as he did go quiet for a bit and think about what I had said to him. After that we talked a lot the trial and the facts behind the trial. Things started to make sense. I think for me (as a white settler educator) I need to understand the racism in this entire trial. I do think the best way to do it though is to go by the facts. The facts are that a person was still killed and this is NOT okay.

As I was talking to my dad, I was really trying to educate him on the systemic racism that happens in our world. At first he was a little defensive and not wanting to understand what I was saying. I think eventually he did come around and understand a bit better. What I am really trying to get at, is that we need to educate ourselves and others on this matter. I am glad that I stood my ground and shared all the things that I knew about this idea. I think it is so very important to educate others on this and to make sure that we can move forward towards reconciliation. So what will I do to move forward in my communities? I will educate, I will stand my ground, I will speak the truth, I will gather the facts, and I will try to work towards disrupting systemic racism because we all know it is surrounding us on a daily basis.

Indigenous peoples deserve to have the same rights as everyone else.


Cultural Appropriation

As I was listening to the presentation about cultural appropriation, I thought back about a time that I experienced this first hand. I went to a k-12 school in Gull Lake. In my grade three year, I remember that we had a specific day of school where we were to dress up like another culture. Maybe this was for halloween, or maybe it was a “culture day” in school. Either way, the task was to dress up as someone else. Well I came to school in a traditional Chinese robe that my mother had handmade for me. I wore white face paint and put my hair in a traditional Chinese style. What I remember about that day was that I actually won a prize for best costume.

Now did I really know at the time that I was being culturally inappropriate? Probably not as I was about 8 years old. Something that I really took from the presentation, was that we are human and we make mistakes sometimes. It is so very important to own up to those mistakes and to recognize that you did something wrong. So essentially this is me saying that I recognize that by dressing up in a traditional Chinese robe was inappropriate.

When I look back on this memory, I realize that I wasn’t the only one was using cultural appropriation. When I said earlier that I won a prize for best costume, I think it goes to show that my school was participating in cultural appropriation as well. They gave me a prize for wearing this outfit that was sacred to Chinese culture. Like mentioned in the presentation, and in “Indigenous Writes,” we need to do our research and make sure we know about what is sacred or not in culture. We gave the example in class about the eagle feather. The same thing could be said about wearing a traditional Chinese robe. I think with this situation, it just takes me being aware that what I did was not okay. Yes, I was a young child and didn’t really know any better. Now as an adult, I can take this situation and what I have learned and use it towards my students or my own children in the future.

I think learning about cultural appropriation has helped guide and influence my own miskasowin a bit. I can understand and be more aware of the things that I do and say now that I know about cultural appropriation.


Spirit and Intent of Treaties

In other university classes, I have learned a small portion of what “we are all treaty people” meant. As I have taken this class, I have come to understand that “we are all treaty people” is more than just me living on treaty four land right now. It extends to the fact that I am a settler and my family are settlers and that I have travelled and settled in Canada. I learned in high school that First Nations people lived on Canadian land before it became Canada. During last weeks class, the stuff I learned in high school (and how sad is it that I learned this in high school only) started to really make sense when talking about Treaties and living on treaty four land.

I think that to live the spirit and intent to treaties is to be aware. I need to be aware of my background as a white settler who came to Canada. I need to be aware that some people lived in Canada before it was even called Canada. I also need to be aware of the importance of treaties and why they were created. I think that being aware of these ideas is very important, but there is things that I can do to live the spirit and intent of treaties as well. I think it is so very important to be appropriate in terms of talking about treaties and naming. Like Chelsea Vowel says, names are important and they are part of our world. We need to be aware as to not label people or make a single story out of things. I was watching a video for another class about the single story. Feel free to click on the link to understand more of what I mean by “the single story.” Anyways, it talked about in this video how people see only the single story of what they know about certain things such as culture. One part of the video made me think about how when we talk about the European Colonization we automatically go to the European side first. Why not talk about and discuss the First Nations side first? I strongly believe that we need to be aware of what we do as it does have an impact on things in todays world.

To live the spirit and intent of treaties, I think is to teach the spirit and intent of treaties as well. We all know that teaching treaty education should not just be one unit or one lesson. I think teaching the intent of treaties means teaching the harsh or scary information that we may not like to talk about. Obviously there is a correct age to teach this content to, but I think that the younger the students learn these things, the better. Students should grow up with this knowledge and not just learn it in high school like I did. It should be something that they know and can understand from a young age. Keeping it age appropriate of course. Bottom line, I want to teach the spirit and intent to students so they can understand how important and essential they are.


Pipe Ceremony with Alma

To experience the pipe ceremony with Alma was something that was quite special to me. I felt empowered as I was smoking the pipe and as Alma was talking to us about her culture. I never really understood the importance of pipe ceremonies to the Aboriginal culture. I think that by doing this it opened up my eyes to how important pipe ceremonies are. It is a sacred and spiritual act that allows us to connect ourselves to our earth. I really enjoy that I am able to participate in things like this because I think it allows me as a settler to become united with the Aboriginal culture. I also think that by learning and understanding these concepts is important because I can then take these ideas and pass them onto my students.

I also found the talk with Alma after the pipe ceremony particularly interesting as well. She explained to us the concept of moon time. I think I found this so interesting because in the culture that I grew up in, talking about a women time of month was frowned upon. It was something that wasn’t shared or talked about in my family because it has these negative connotations associated with it. I find it so interesting and enlightening that in some cultures, it is actually a sacred and important thing for women to be on their moon time. I like that Alma explained that when a women is on her moon time she is powerful. In my westernized culture, like mentioned before, a women menstruation is seen to be a privatized thing. I really enjoy that in the Aboriginal culture, it is something that you should not be ashamed of and is highly respected.

When doing the pipe ceremony, I think it did help me understand a bit more about my own miskasowin. It helped me be more aware of other cultures than my own. As a teacher, I constantly need to be embracing other cultures so that I can pass that information and culture onto my students. I like to take all the information that I learn and embrace it. I also think that learning this new information that Alma presented to me gave me a better sense of my own body and mind. I know that my culture is different than other cultures and thats okay. What is important is that I respect other cultures than my own and try to acknowledge that students are all different and have different beliefs.