Throughout my midterm conversation, many insightful topics, discoveries, and reflection occurred. I came prepared to discuss how I see myself as challenge to implementing Treaty Education and how I see others as challenges as well. The goal, for me, is turning ignorance to awareness and acceptance. I see this being done through actions, and these actions take place in the form of doing something as simple as reading the TRC and as complex as actually putting thoughts and words to action. Participating in reconciliation requires actions, and that was the most important thing I took away from my conversation with Mike. He gave me some great insights on how to put these words to action by emphasizing the importance of creating relationships through getting involved in the Indigenous community around me. So, in order to “put my money where my mouth is,” that following day, I spent my Friday evening visiting with Jack Saddleback and Jasmine K as we attended a Feast and Pipe Ceremony.
I want to avoid the idea that I did this just to say I did. We become involved in our communities for a variety of reasons. Some being because of genuine interest, compassion to help others, to make ourselves feel good about something, or to grow in areas of life that require relationship building. I want to be clear that I genuinely believe that in order to teach Treaty Education, I need to adopt a lifestyle, not just facts and timelines. In order to do this, interacting with First Nations communities and creating relationships will allow me to acknowledge the voices and teach from first hand experience what I have seen and what opportunities are out there for students to learn from.
I remember sitting there with Jasmine at the Feast and thinking, these people have no idea who I am, and they are serving me food they have prepared and blessed. They were serving me. Something about that made me feel instantly humble. I was accepted and welcomed in their ceremony, and it made me realize how important it is to establish these types of mutually accepting relationships. As I progress to read the TRC, I know there are more ways to bring this is my classroom community, and that I need the Indigenous voices because I know mine is not enough. Mike and I talked in our conversation that I need to acknowledge my place in being a Treaty Person and what that means to me, but I also think it is so crucial to hear the voices of those who are oppressed because until we know how they feel, we cannot begin to embark on an emotional empathic journey of our own.