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MOVING FORWARD WITH MANDATORY TREATY EDUCATION

Released on September 15, 2008

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC), Ministry of Education and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) made a formal commitment to moving mandatory Treaty education forward today at St. Augustine Community School in Regina. They introduced two new resources: Kindergarten to Grade 6 Teaching Treaties in the Classroom and Treaty Essential Learnings (TELs).

"Our government is committed to strengthening partnerships between First Nations and non-First Nations people in Saskatchewan in the spirit of the Treaties," Deputy Premier and Education Minister Ken Krawetz said. "As such, we are committed to ensuring that instruction in the history and content of the Treaties is mandatory in the provincial Kindergarten through Grade 12 system. I wish to recognize and thank the Elders, teachers, First Nations and Métis partners, and so many others who assisted the OTC in developing these new additional resources for inclusion in the Treaty Resource Kits already in all schools."

The new instructional materials are designed to contribute to the knowledge base and understanding, for both teachers and students, of the role of Treaties in building Canada.

"All Saskatchewan residents are the beneficiaries of Treaties," OTC Commissioner Bill McKnight said. "Treaties are the foundation on which we built our province. In support of this commitment, all Kindergarten through Grade 6 classrooms in the provincial and First Nations education systems will receive these OTC materials. With these materials, schools will have resources for Kindergarten to Grade 12."

"This is a good step toward using education to eliminate some of the misconceptions of Treaty," FSIN Vice-Chief Lyle Whitefish said. "We are all Treaty people and that includes non-First Nation citizens. We all have a responsibility to learn more and understand the Treaty relationship."

The Minister said that the Ministry of Education, the OTC and the FSIN continue to collaborate to build awareness and resources. The Ministry of Education's current curriculum renewal process fully supports the foundational entrenchment of First Nations and Métis ways of knowing, content and perspectives resulting in an opportunity for Treaty Essential Learnings to be incorporated as learning outcomes. Today marks the 134th anniversary of Treaty 4 being signed on September 15, 1874.

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For more information, contact:

Jacquie McLean
Education
Regina
Phone: 306-787-5609
Email: jacquie.mclean@sasked.gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-535-2261

Debra Laliberte
Office of the Treaty Commissioner
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-244-2100

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