What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

November 6 to 12: Rainbow Schools participate in Treaties Recognition Week

Staff and students in Rainbow Schools will continue to learn about treaties and relationships during Treaties Recognition Week from November 6 to 12, 2022. Educational activities and lessons are part of Rainbow District School Board’s continued focus on Truth and Reconciliation.

“During Treaties Recognition Week, students will deepen their knowledge and build understanding as we move from commitment to action,” said Bruce Bourget, Director of Education for Rainbow District School Board. “We support the ongoing learning about the importance of treaties and relationships.”

The Province of Ontario passed legislation in 2016 that recognizes the importance of treaties, brings awareness to treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Ontario, and rebuilds trust between treaty partners.

Treaties Recognition Week was implemented in response to the 94 Calls to Action that were identified in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Resources were provided to schools to support classroom teaching and learning.

Here are some examples of what’s happening in Rainbow Schools:

A.B. Ellis Public School
Students at A.B. Ellis Public School will explore treaties, their meanings, the Robinson-Huron Treaty, and our collective responsibility to continue the journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Information on treaties will be shared during daily electronic announcements, and discussions will continue in classrooms.

Adamsdale Public School
Students from Adamsdale Public School will continue their learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action – connecting them to the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. Students will explore resource materials from the Waawiindamaagewin website as well as the Union of Ontario Indians’ resource “Ezhi-Nawending: How We Are Related”. Students will hear Dr. Alan Ojiig Corbiere speak about wampum belts and The Treaty of Niagara – 1764. Students will read books including “Treaty Words: For As Long As The Rivers Flow,” “Gchi-kwiiwin gdawmi – We are All Treaty People” by Maurice Switzer, “Treaty Tales” by Betty Linxleg, “Treaty Baby” by Sara General and Alyssa M. General, “Alex Shares His Wampum Belt” by Kelly Crawford and “Dakota Talks About Treaties” by Kelly Crawford, Isadore Toulouse Bebamikawe and Shirley Williams. Classes will continue their dialogue about the historical context of treaties and colonial impacts on the way of life for Anishinaabe people.

Algonquin Road Public School
At Algonquin Road Public School, students take time each week to acknowledge the land shared with us through videos and land acknowledgements recorded by staff. This practice has opened the door to many meaningful conversations and teachable moments that help students recognize the imperfect past and unwritten future of our nation. Students will continue to engage in authentic learning about our rich Indigenous history. Through minds-on and hands-on activities, students will continue their learning about the importance of treaties to foster a generation of students that are aware, appreciative and understanding of the land we now call home. Community members have been invited to educate students, share knowledge and build relationships throughout Treaties Recognition Week with Indigenous art, storytelling, the Seven Grandfather teachings, wampum belts as well as the importance of treaties and land acknowledgements.

Barrydowne College
Barrydowne College students will learn about treaties in the “Worldviews and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities in Canada” course. Various topics will be covered including the creation of treaties, their intent, wampum belts, and the ever-changing and evolving relationships between Indigenous communities and Canada. “Wellness Wednesday” will take place on November 9th with guest presenter Kelly Senecal, Indigenous Cultural Coordinator from the Wabnode Centre for Indigenous Services at Cambrian College. Students will have the opportunity to learn about services available to them, and will take part in events including a visit to the smudge room for teachings.

C.R. Judd Public School
Students from C.R. Judd Public School will take part in a series of activities to learn about treaties, including Indigenous speakers sharing their knowledge, reading books such as “We Are All Treaty People” by Maurice Switzer, and making wampum belts to understand their significance. Some classes will co-create classroom treaties, and others will participate in viewing and discussing Indigenous voices on treaties.

Charles C. McLean Public School
Students from Charles C. McLean Public School will engage in daily interactive lessons including opportunities for learning and reflection. Students will complete an art display featuring their vision of Turtle Island based on lessons about Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland School of Canadian Native Art. Students will build a copy of the Treaty of Niagara – 1764 and the Belt of the Covenant Chain out of LEGOs from “We Are All Treaty People”. Students will discuss the concept including why it’s important to remember. Students will also learn about Canadian history with Indigenous peoples and the role of treaties in colonization. Staff and students will read a land acknowledgement together and will discuss the meaning of keeping a promise. Students will learn about wampum belts and some classes will also engage in activities from the “Treaty Tracks – Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin” resource.

Copper Cliff Public School
Throughout the week, students from Copper Cliff Public School will explore treaties and their meanings. Information will also be shared during morning announcements, and dialogue will continue in all classrooms.

Espanola High School
At Espanola High School, students will explore the history of treaties, specifically the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. Students will examine the notion that “We Are All Treaty People” from Maurice Switzer – Bnesi, a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation. Students in the RAVENS program will participate in a project about what this concept means to them and their communities.

Jean Hanson Public School
During Treaties Recognition Week, students from Jean Hanson Public School will develop a greater understanding about the importance of treaties. Students will learn that we are situated within the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 and we are all treaty people through a variety of videos, poems and stories. Students will also create individual wampum belts.

Lansdowne Public School
Students from Lansdowne Public School will learn about treaty rights and relationships through various learning activities including making wampum belts and read-alouds of Kelly Crawford’s books “Alex Shares his Wampum Belt” and “Dakota Talks about Treaties”, as well as “A Promise is a Promise” by Robert Munsch. Some classes will create their own treaties, and others will use the Anishinabek Nation’s interactive online resources to deepen their knowledge of treaties.

Lasalle Secondary School
At Lasalle Secondary School, staff and students will answer to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action Number 62 (i): “Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory requirement for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students.” A variety of topics will be covered including what treaties are, why they were established and how many there are in Canada. Educators and students will have the opportunity to discuss the effects of treaties, and make their own wampum belts to signify the importance of a promise.

Levack Public School
Levack Public School students in the Niishi Club will share information about treaties during morning announcements. Students will engage in conversations about treaty promises and the importance of keeping a promise. To gain a better understanding, all classes will use the Anishinabek Nation’s interactive online resources and will read the book “Alex’s Shares his Wampum Belt” by Kelly Crawford. Classes will also watch a video “We Are All Treaty People.”

Little Current Public School
Little Current Public School students will learn about local treaties and self-governance through various classroom lessons. Some of the many resources students will use for their learning include the “We Are All Treaty People” magazine, “Alex Shares His Wampum Belt” book and the “Gdoo-Sastamoo Kii Mi” treaty kit developed by Anishinaabek Nation. Daily announcements will be shared in all classrooms and bulletin boards, and displays will be placed throughout the school.

Manitoulin Secondary School
Students in the First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada class will continue studying treaties, including wampum belts in the 1700s, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850, the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement, and a detailed analysis of the Treaty of Manitoulin Island from 1862. Classes will enjoy Water Drum Teachings / Nibi Gwiisens Dewegan Kinoomaagewin virtually with Mike Bisson offered through the Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin and the Anishinabek Nation. A Taco Sale will be enjoyed by all on Thursday, November 10th. Outdoor education and day treatment classes will watch the “Island of the Great Spirit” video series about Manitoulin and local area treaties following a beading lesson with Indigenous Support Worker Becky Abotossaway-Madahbee. A treaty display will be posted in the Three Fires Room which will have resources about Indigenous Veterans who will be honoured on November 8th.

Monetville Public School
Students from Monetville Public School will learn about the importance of treaties, treaty rights and nurturing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples with the “We Are All Treaty People” kit and a treaty map focused on Dokis First Nation. Students will watch videos from the “Indigenous Voices of Treaties” to hear Indigenous speakers Chad Solomon, Maurice Switzer, Gerry Duquette Jr., and Brenda Collins share their knowledge. A special guest will visit classes in Kindergarten and Grade 1/2 to read “Dakota Talks About Treaties” by Kelly Crawford and “A Promise is a Promise” by Robert Munsch. Students will also learn about the significance of the wampum belt through shared literature, with an opportunity to create their own.

Princess Anne Public School
Princess Anne Public School students will deepen their knowledge of treaties during morning announcements and classroom lessons. Staff and students will engage in dialogue about promises. All classes will learn what a treaty is, and will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of wampum belts and the role we all play as treaty people and partners.

Queen Elizabeth II Public School
Primary students from Queen Elizabeth II Public School will listen to a story “Two Row Wampum” and discuss how promises work. Junior classes will read “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Students will discuss how balance is disrupted when one side takes more than they give back. What did that look like for treaties in Sudbury? Students will look at the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 and will rebuild the tree by tracing their arms and hands as branches, and will write a message of hope to honour treaties for future generations.

R.H. Murray Public School
Students at R.H. Murray Public School will discuss treaties as promises and the importance of honouring a promise. “We Are All Treaty People” will guide the dialogue. Some classes will read “A Promise is a Promise” by Robert Munsch, and will make wampum belts to learn about their significance.

R.L. Beattie Public School
R.L. Beattie Public School students in all grades will learn about the importance of treaties through stories and dialogue. The school’s youngest students will compare treaties and promises, and will discuss the importance of keeping our word. Students in older grades will learn about treaty relationships in Ontario.

Redwood Acres Public School
At Redwood Acres Public School, students will learn about treaties being promised and the importance of keeping a promise. Various classes will create wampum belts and explore the meaning behind them.

Sudbury Secondary School
Students from Sudbury Secondary School will learn about treaties and the notion that “We Are All Treaty People” with a short film by the First Nations University of Canada. Some students will create a graffiti board and participate in a scavenger hunt through Kayak #65 magazine, while others will select a choice board for the “Illustrated History Challenge” by Canada’s History. Students in Ojibwe language classes are registered to participate in live sessions with the Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin between November 7th to 10th. Other students will bead poppies in time for Remembrance Day led by Indigenous Support Worker Sherry Auger. Language students will learn traditional Anishinaabemowin geographical names, land acknowledgments, and their importance. Together, students in Indigenous Studies will highlight their prepared biographies of Indigenous role models. Students will discuss “What is a Promise?” as it relates to Indigenous perspectives of the treaty-making process, traditional ecological knowledge and “Inaaknigwein.” Students will research Chiefs who were part of the treaty process throughout Canada’s history and will touch on land acknowledgements. Students will learn treaty facts and trivia during morning announcements. Following Treaties Recognition Week, Elder Winnie Pitawanakwat will visit Indigenous classes to speak about her residential school experience. Indigenous support staff is working to develop an Indigenous Authors Book Club to enrich students with Indigenous stories and culture, while making meaningful connections with Indigenous issues and current events.

Virtual Elementary and Secondary School
For Treaties Recognition Week, students will learn about two row wampum belts, the first treaty, and will watch a short documentary about broken promises called “Canadians have been breaking their promises to Indigenous people”. Showcased by CBC, with narration by Tasha Hubbard, the video explains the relationship between Indigenous peoples in the prairies and the Canadian government. Students will learn about perspectives in making treaties in an online course titled “Indigenous Canada” through the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Students in French Immersion will learn about “Découvrir les Traités Numérotés” by Histoire Canada.

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Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171 ext. 7217.