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Anishinabek Nation kicks off Treaties Recognition Week

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GARDEN RIVER FIRST NATION -

The Anishinabek Nation is kicking off Treaties Recognition Week with the unveiling of some new online teaching tools as part of what it calls its commitment to treaty education in Ontario.

Officials with the Anishinabek Nation said its online teaching resources will help students learn about the treaties as well as the First Nations worldview, land disputes and other Indigenous issues.

Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe said to know the history of Canada is to learn about the treaties between the government and First Nations.

"They're a foundational document of Canada and how Canada starts," said Niganobe. "Important for both settlers and for Indigenous people alike, especially the First Nations who made treaty with the early settlers in establishing Canada and forming Canada."

Garden River Chief Andy Rickard said it's important Indigenous people take the lead in treaty education.

"Whether it be curriculum development, whether it be having those events in some of the schools our kids attend, or not attend, I think that's part of (the) whole education piece and having our people lead that process, I think that's critical," said Rickard.

"We need to have our own people in those forums, in those spaces providing that context."

He said it's not just important for new Canadians to learn about the treaties.

"I would say just as equally as every other non-Indigenous people as well," said Rickard. "There's generations of families who have been living here for generations, and they have no idea. And they sometimes live in neighbouring communities, like Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, they have no inclination of what happens in our communities or our people."

Rickard said treaty education should start in elementary school, adding that teaching young people about Indigenous issues will go a long way toward reconciliation. 

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