Education News Spring 2018 - Page 12

Conversations about reconciliACTIONS

Photos : Shuana Niessen
There were three sections of Treaties in the Classroom ( ECCU 400 ) this semester and all three hosted events : Audrey Aamodt ’ s class organized the Roads to ReconciliACTION , which took place on March 26 , Evelyn Poitras ’ class held a Talking Circle on April 5 , and that evening Vivian Gauvin ’ s class held a “ Treaty Walk in the Village ” offcampus .
ROADS TO RECONCILIACTION
On March 26 , Education students from Audrey Aamodt ’ s ECCU 400 ) section overcame their own discomfort to engage in conversations with peers and profs in the hallways at the University of Regina about the many ways of taking action towards reconciliation . Aamodt says , “ Students decided to host these conversations in the halls of the University to remind themselves / us that they not only belong , and have a responsibility , to the more intimate Faculty of Education , but are also part of this larger learning community and beyond .”
Bert Fox High School students and their teacher Sheena Koops , as regular facilitators of the Blanket Exercise , travelled from Fort Qu ’ Appelle to join the conversations and raise awareness about the Kairos Blanket Exercise , an activity in which “ participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada . Standing on blankets that represent the land , they walk through pre-contact , treaty-making , colonization and resistance ” ( https :// www . kairosblanketexercise . org / about /).
SUNTEP students and their instructors Brenna Pacholko and Russell Fayant visited the stations , offering “ critical and courageous conversations with students and myself ,” says Aamodt . “ We extend gratitude for their generosity , wisdom , and patience with us .”
At all the stations along the Roads to ReconciliACTION , visitors who took a selfie and posted it to social media with the hashtag # ReconciliAction were eligible to win a Roads to ReconciliAction t-shirt . Donations made are going to Justice for our Stolen Children .
Reflecting on what the students learned , Aamodt says , “ I think the most important overall learning that could potentially come out of this experience for us was that listening to and reflecting on critiques takes practice and is necessary . Treaty education , along with potentially associated reconciliation , decolonization , indigenization , and social justice efforts should always be submitted to critical reflection and none are without tension . So , we ask who benefited from this event and if it was truly ‘ action .’ Perhaps it didn ’ t amount to anything of significance , except to make us feel good . Then , we reminded one another about Pam Palmater ’ s claim that “ if it feels good , it ’ s not reconciliation ” ( Woodrow Lloyd Lecture , Feb . 15 , 2018 ).
As for her own learning , Aamodt adds , “ I have learned how I might better invite students to consider who might be the right people to talk about particular issues , some of the problems with being perceived as positioning ourselves ( settler-Canadians ) as experts about MMIW , residential school legacies and intergenerational trauma , FNMI identities-histories-cultures-communities , FNMI languages , reconciliation , decolonization , indigenization , and even treaties .”
What follows are student comments about what they were doing , what they thought about its importance , and how prepared they felt for treaty education in their future classrooms .
100 Years of Loss Exhibit : Jalyssa Woloshyn says , “ We are making people aware of the past and what has happened — and making sure we understand the past and are not turning a blind eye to it . At some points it is uncomfortable to be learning this , but if you are uncomfortable you ’ re learning more because you are embracing the stuff that you don ’ t know . I came into university knowing none of this . It ’ s not taught much , so getting this out here now for other people that aren ’ t in the Education Faculty is important .”
Taking Action Cookies ( and selfies ): This group of students offered cookies labeled
with one of the 150 Acts of Reconciliation intended to suggest reconciliatory actions , even small ones , such as learning the land acknowledgment . Zach Renwick said , “ It may just be one small thing you can do , but it builds towards having an understanding of where you stand in society . One person may look at this list and say , ‘ you know , I can do a couple of these things .’... We need to face these controversial topics , different ideologies , and I need to step out of my own comfort zone to talk about it .” ( See http :// activehistory . ca / 2017 / 08 / 150-actsof-reconciliation-for-the-last-150-days-ofcanadas-150 / )
Red Dress Exhibit : No more Stolen Sisters in Regina . Cassidy Hanna explains , “ This is an installation of the REDress Project started by Jamie Black ( See http :// www . theredressproject . org /). The red dresses symbolize each of the women from Regina that are missing or murdered . We have 16 missing or murdered women from Regina exhibited here , and only two have been resolved . So , we are trying to bring awareness of this and also to the MMIWG inquiry .” Logan Schmidt says , “ I started four years ago at the University , and I had no First Nations classes and no idea about any of this . My four-year degree has really opened my eyes to how many inequalities there are between First Nations and us settlers .” Tristan Badger says , “ Being First Nation , I ’ ve always been afraid to use my voice . So , this class has made me feel more empowered to use it , and not be afraid of being put down because of my colour . This class has made me be more activist for First Nations and Indigenous people .”
Linking relationships : ( L-R ) Chastity Peigan and Erin Schmidt were located in the busy Riddell Centre , so they chose an activity that would be quick and not hold people up . Passersby were invited to write their name or an action on a piece of construction paper that was then added as a link in the chain , a visual about ” building relationships or connecting with one another — just
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Page 12
Conversations about reconciliACTIONS There were three sections of Treaties in the Classroom (ECCU 400) this semester and all three hosted events: Audrey Aamodt’s class organized the Roads to ReconciliACTION, which took place on March 26, Evelyn Poitras’ class held a Talking Circle on April 5, and that evening Vivian Gauvin’s class held a “Treaty Walk in the Village” off- campus. ROADS TO RECONCILI ACTION On March 26, Education students from Audrey Aamodt’s ECCU 400) section overcame their own discomfort to engage in conversations with peers and profs in the hallways at the University of Regina about the many ways of taking action towards reconciliation. Aamodt says, “Students decided to host these conversations in the halls of the University to remind themselves/us that they not only belong, and have a responsibility, to the more intimate Faculty of Education, but are also part of this larger learning community and beyond.” Bert Fox High School students and their teacher Sheena Koops, as regular facilitators of the Blanket Exercise, travelled from Fort Qu’Appelle to join the conversations and raise awareness about the Kairos Blanket Exercise, an activity in which “participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance” (https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/ about/). SUNTEP students and their instructors Brenna Pacholko and Russell Fayant visited the stations, offering “critical and courageous conversations with students and myself,” says Aamodt. “We extend gratitude for their generosity, wisdom, and patience with us.” takes practice and is necessary. Treaty education, along with potentially associated reconciliation, decolonization, indigenization, and social justice efforts should always be submitted to critical reflection and none are without tension. So, we ask who benefited from this event and if it was truly ‘action.’ Perhaps it didn’t amount to anything of significance, except to make us feel good. Then, we reminded one another about Pam Palmater’s claim that “if it feels good, it’s not reconciliation” (Woodrow Lloyd Lecture, Feb. 15, 2018). As for her own learning, Aamodt adds, “I have learned how I ֖vB&WGFW"fFP7GVFVG2F66FW"v֖vB&RFR&v@VRFFƲ&WB'F7V"77VW26PbFR&&V2vF&VrW&6VfVB06FrW'6VfW26WGFW"6F22WW'G2&WBԕr&W6FVF66Vv6W2BFW&vVW&FG&VdԐFVFFW2ֆ7F&W27VGW&W26VFW2dԒwVvW2&V66ƖFFV6旦FFvV旦FBWfVG&VFW2( ХvBfw2&R7GVFVB6VG2&W@vBFWvW&RFrvBFWFVv@&WBG2'F6RBr&W&V@FWfVBf"G&VGVGV6FFV"gWGW&P677&2V'2b72W&CǗ76v662( vR&RrVRv&RbFP7BBvB2VVN( FBp7W&RvRVFW'7FBFR7BB&R@GW&r&ƖBWRFBB6RG2B0V6f'F&RF&RV&rF2'WBbP&RV6f'F&R^( &RV&r&P&V6W6RR&RV'&6rFR7GVfbF@RF( Br6RFVfW'6GvrRbF2N( 2BFVvBV66vWGFrF2WBW&Rrf"FW"VPFB&V( BFRVGV6Ff7VG0'FB( ФBFR7FF2rFR&G2F&V66Ɣ5Df6F'2vF6VfPB7FVBBF66VFvFFP6Fr5&V66Ɣ7FvW&RVƖv&PFv&G2F&V66Ɣ7FB6'BFF2FR&RvrFW7F6Rf"W 7FV6G&V&VfV7FrvBFR7GVFVG2V&VBGB62( ĒFFR7B'F@fW&V&rFB6VBFVFǐ6RWBbF2WW&V6Rf"W2v0FBƗ7FVrFB&VfV7Fr7&FVW0Fr7F6W2B6VfW2F0w&Wb7GVFVG2ffW&VB6W2&VV@vFRbFRS7G2b&V66ƖFখFVFVBF7VvvW7B&V66ƖF'7F2WfV6W27V62V&rFR@6vVFvVB6&Vv66B( ė@W7B&RR6FrR6F'W@B'VG2Fv&G2frVFW'7FFpbvW&RR7FB66WGRW'6BF2Ɨ7BB6( Rr6F6WRbFW6RFw2( vRVV@Ff6RFW6R6G&fW'6F72FffW&V@FVvW2BVVBF7FWWBbאv6f'BRFFƲ&WBB( 6VPGG7FfV7F'6#rS7G2Цb&V66ƖFf"FR7BSF2bЦ6F2S&VBG&W72W&C&R7FV67FW'0&Vv676GW2( F027FFbFR$TG&W72&V7@7F'FVB'֖R&66VRGGwwrFW&VG&W77&V7B&rFR&VBG&W76W07&ƗRV6bFRvVg&&VvFB&R֗76r"W&FW&VBvRfPb֗76r"W&FW&VBvVg&Х&VvW&FVBW&RBǒGvfP&VV&W6fVB6vR&RG'rF'&pv&VW72bF2B6FFRԕtpV'( v66֖GB62( Ē7F'FV@fW"V'2vBFRVfW'6GB@f'7BF2676W2BFV&W@bF2גfW"זV"FVw&VR2&VǐVVBגWW2FrWVƗFW0FW&R&R&WGvVVf'7BF2BW06WGFW'2( G&7F&FvW"62( &Vrf'7@F( fRv2&VVg&BFW6Rאf6R6F26722FRRfVV&PVvW&VBFW6RBBB&Rg&B`&VrWBFv&V6W6Rbג6W"F06722FRR&R&R7Ff7Bf"f'7@F2BFvVW2VR( ФƖ涖r&VF63"67FGVvBW&66֖GBvW&R6FVBFR'W7&FFV6VG&R6FW66R7FfGF@vVB&RV6BBBVRW76W'6'vW&RfFVBFw&FRFV"P"7FV6Rb67G'V7FW"FBv2FVFFVB2ƖFP6f7V&WB( 'VFr&VF60"6V7FrvFRFW.( FW7@6FVVBWBvPvR