Anishinabek Nation launches interactive tool
NORTH BAY -- The Anishinabek Nation, which represents thousands of Indigenous people in Ontario, is unveiling a new interactive online treaty education resource called 'Ezhi-nawending: How We Are Related.'
It's geared towards elementary students and new learners to help facilitate education on First Nations history, treaties and Indigenous rights.
"Understanding treaty is important. The whole online platform stemmed out of the whole COVID issue and children are spending more time online more than ever," said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe.
When you start the program, you’ll meet an avatar named Alex, who will tell you more about the topics you will learn more about as you continue through the tour.
"There are seven avatars that walk you through a treaty journey," said treaty educator Kelly Crawford, who helped develop the online tool. "There’s different stops and a turtle map. You go to each area and learn about the importance of connections to land."
The tool is made up of 80 animations and videos, as well as trivia and games. Development began last summer to get it up and running.
"People can tell you what city they’re from, what province they’re from. But they can’t tell you what traditional territory they’re from or what treaty area they’re in. And I think it’s important to educate people on this," said Crawford.
The program builds on an existing elementary teaching kit called 'We Are All Treaty People.' That kit included an 800-piece LEGO replica of the Treaty of Niagara Wampum Belt.
"It’s an excellent resource for school and parents who want to teach their children a little more about treaty," said Niganobe.
It’s hoped teachers will implement the tool in schools across the Anishinabek Nation so more students will learn about history and gain a better understanding of the difficulties First Nations people have faced.
A link to the tool can be found here.