High School teachers kit helps reconciliation in the classroom

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. – Photo by Jody Kechego
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. – Photo by Jody Kechego

THUNDER BAY – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee along with the Ontario Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation David Zimmer officially launched the Gdo-Sastamoo Kii Mi: Understanding our Nation to Nation Relationship teachers resource guide and kit today.

The teachers resource is full of fun and engaging activities that will help students learn about relationships in the areas of Indian Residential Schools, Ipperwash, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the treaty relationship in Ontario.

The guide for Grades 9-12, written by educator Kelly Crawford from M’Chigeeng First Nation, makes the connections to the Ontario curriculum in the areas of Civics, History, English, Geography, Art and Native Studies.

“We need to provide teachers and students with accurate and engaging learning opportunities about our Nation to Nation relationship,” says Crawford.  “Opening up the discussion surrounding treaties in this province is long overdue. We have a responsibility to ensure that all perspectives are discussed in every classroom.”

Grand Council Chief Madahbee says that this is a big step forward for everyone to understand the relationship.

“The lack of understanding about the treaty relationship, Indian Residential Schools and our history in Ontario has been a hindrance to the learning spirit of First Nations people and to all of the people in Ontario,” says Madahbee.   “The ‘Gdoo-Sastamoo Kii Mi’ Teachers Kit will help alleviate racism and support teachers in the area of understanding the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

Minister David Zimmer says that ALL Ontarians share the benefits and the obligations of treaties.

“Ontario is working with Anishinabek Nation and other partners to raise awareness of treaty rights and relationships during Treaties Recognition Week and all-year round,” says Zimmer.

”The kit includes resources that help with the activities in the guide – including a Medicine Wheel Blanket activity and material for writing an agreement with the animals.  Resources in the kit include the books “Nation to Nation”, “We are all Treaty People”, “Little Butterfly Girl”, “Treaties Matter: Understanding Ipperwash” and a copy of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  It is available to in English and will be available in French in early December.

The elementary “We are all Treaty People” teachers kit released in May of 2015 in English and in April of 2016 in French has sold more than 1500 copies.

The “Gdoo-Sastamoo Kii Mi” kit can be ordered through the Union of Ontario Indians by calling 1-877-702-5200

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 60,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

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