Treaty 2 Territory – Greetings! I have now completed a second week as the new Life Long Learning Circle Keeper. My time has been spent gaining familiarity with the history and the work of the FNT2T. This will continue to be my focus given the years of great work already completed by the FNT2T. It is important for me and the new LLL Research Assistant to become familiar with the work done in the area of education by FNT2T, as well we want to look at what other First Nations across what is now Canada have done & are doing to enhance the education received by their next generation(s).
Education is a treaty promise. Over the years, there have been multiple reports completed that make recommendations to improving education for First Nations including Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991), United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), and the Truth & Reconciliation Calls To Action (2015). In time immemorial, our ancestors had their own education systems in place. Many First Nations are working toward revitalizing a similar type of education system in which young people are learning on the land, becoming stewards of the land, and inheriting traditional knowledge—including the language. As they do this work, First Nations continue to utilize Western knowledge and ways so that the next generations can “walk in two worlds,” so to speak. It is not easy work but it is important work.
Thus, Life Long Learning is a fitting name for education because we are never done learning. It is an ongoing life process, particularly in our efforts toward decolonization. And this will hopefully be part of important dialogue that will take place over the course of the next few months in the FNT2T.
For now, myself and the LLL Researcher will continue our efforts to familiarize with the FNT2T, the work of other First Nations, and the recommendations made by various bodies and organizations.
I leave you with a passage that always resonates with me. It comes from the movie, Whale Rider (novel by Witi Ihimaera and written/produced by Niki Caro), based on the Maori people of New Zealand: “I know that our people will keep going forward, all together, with all of our strength.”
Last modified: October 5, 2019