Educational Toolkits for Reconciliation
November 5, 2020
On January 24th we will celebrate the International Day of Education! Here is how one project in the Greater Toronto Area is contributing to reconciliation through education!
In collaboration with the Moccasin Identifier Project, a new online pilot project was launched in hundreds of schools in Ontario's Greater Toronto Area schools in early November. This project is the creation of educational toolkits to help educators teach and learn about Indigenous treaties, territories and history alongside their students. These educational toolkits are designed for students from Grade 1 to Grade 8, and includes learning goals and activities that take place over several days. The objectives of the Moccasin Identifier Project include the education of youth on Indigenous history and issues, the promotion of public awareness on the topic, and the creation of a network of knowledge.
While these resources are accessible for free online on the Moccasin Identifier Project, Carolyn King - the toolkit developer, says that this collaboration with schools is important. This is because "these large-scale changes are dramatic and help remind the general public of Indigenous presence on these lands. Treaty teachings are important for all ages." Previously, the Moccasin Identifier Project taught in schools only through booking school visits with individual schools.
In Grade 1, teachings focus on good friendships and promises, and how communication is needed to mend a broken promise and regain trust. The lessons connect the dots to treaty relationships. This learning continues until Grade 8. In Grade 8, students learn about short and long-term Indian Act impacts, dehumanizing legislation, and the role the act plays in colonization. Students will also explore reconciliation.
The kit also recommends that teachers speak directly with any Indigenous students and their families to inform them about upcoming subject matter, like residential schools, the Indian Act, and colonial structures. It aims to open honest discussion about Canada's history, and the work that must still be done for Reconciliation.
The Moccasin Identifier Project has also made their toolkits available for free to the public! You can learn more about these educational toolkits and find them on their website here.