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Treaty teaching kits not fully utilized in Saskatchewan schools: commissioner

Saskatchewan’s treaty commissioner Mary Culbertson (centre) says if a teaching guide is used effectively it can change a generation’s mindset. Tyler Schroeder / Global News

An addition to treaty teaching kits is being rolled out for kindergarten to Grade 9 classrooms across Saskatchewan to support reconciliation.

The new teaching resource builds upon the success of the original kit introduced 10 years ago. Government officials said Saskatchewan was the first province to make treaty education mandatory for all students.

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Saskatchewan’s treaty commissioner Mary Culbertson said the supplemental resources compliment the treaty kits to help teachers administer their lesson plans, however, there’s still a lot of work to do.

“We know that there’s very evident deficiencies when it comes to overcrowding of classrooms, when it comes to educational assistance for kids in those classrooms, and sometimes these resources and lessons don’t get an opportunity to be applied,” Culbertson said.

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Culbertson said she commends teachers and knows they are quite taxed adding if the teaching guide is used in an effective and meaningful manner then there can be change.

“We can, one day, see changes in this next generation and in this generation, where children are going to understand ‘we’re newcomers,’” Culbertson said.

“‘We get to live in our beautiful homes, and in our lands and our farms, and work in our beautiful offices, and drive our nice cars here on this land because of treaties,’ because of the partnership that was created.”

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The new learning resource can be integrated into a range of subject areas and ensures First Nations and Métis content, perspectives, as well as ways of knowing.

The Kindergarten to Grade 9 Treaty Education Learning Resource is also available online.

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