“We are all Treaty people”

This simple but immensely powerful phrase reminds us that treaties are not only between the First Nations and the government—they involve us all.

A treaty is an agreement made between the First Nations and the Crown. Some of these early agreements were peace and friendship treaties. Treaties explain the rights, responsibilities and relationships of First Nations and governments. Treaties included payments of goods, cash, land and the promises of schools. Many included the protection of fishing, hunting and harvester rights. Treaties are living agreements, and there are 46 of them in Ontario—almost the entire province is treaty land.

Every Canadian has treaty rights, and the Anishinabek Nation is committed to supporting a transparent and responsible understanding of the treaty relationship.

The promises made in dozens of treaties have been broken or ignored, and like 800 unresolved land claims, have become the subject of lengthy and costly court actions. The education and awareness of treaties made with First Nations will help Canadian citizens understand their obligations as subjects of treaty conditions in this country, and understand the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

We’re taking Treaty Education into the virtual world!

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission works to inform Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools. Part of this was the creation of a series of Calls to Action for the federal and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Indigenous peoples and educators, including a call to make an age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties, and Indigenous people’s historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement.

The Anishinabek Nation is continuing this important work by bringing these resources to the virtual world. Our new resource, Ezhi-Nawending: How We Are Related, aims to educate and facilitate public awareness about the significance and importance of bringing treaties into the classroom.

Students and teachers will navigate an online world as they take a treaty adventure!

The new resource includes videos and avatars explaining key areas such as Natural Law, worldview, the Anishinabek, wampum belts, treaties, and Anishinabek heroes. Information from Elders, Knowledge Carriers, and students will provide a base for this journey.

Throughout this experience, users will have a variety of games and fun activities to explore. The content and activities are connected to the Ontario Curriculum in History, Social Science, Science, Art, Geography, and Language.

In addition to the online experience, a teacher’s guide will be available as an E-book. This teacher resource is intended to support educators as they guide their students through this experience. It includes a timeline of treaty education to demonstrate which concepts should be taught, connections to learning, suggested inquiry questions, and activities.

The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 First Nations throughout the province of Ontario, from Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn in the east, Aamjiwnaang in the south, Fort William and Lake Nipigon in the Northwest. The 39 First Nations have an approximate combined population of 65,000 citizens. The Anishinabek Nation has four strategic regional areas, Southwest, Southeast, Lake Huron and Northern Superior.

Explore Ezhi-Nawending: How We Are Related and more free resources at anishinabek.ca/education-resources/

*Note: Links best viewed in FireFox or Google Chrome

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The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI was established because the Anishinabek Nation did not legally exist and a legal entity was required to enter into legally-binding agreements. The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario. The Anishinabek Nation 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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