G. C. Huston learns about treaties and their meaning
by Sandy Lindsay



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Teaching the meaning of treaties from Grade 8 ...

... to Grade 2-3

Last week, from November 6th to 12th, The Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation declared it the first ever Treaties Recognition Week.

The week was a special occasion to promote public education and awareness about treaties and treaty relationships and to cultivate understanding of the cultural and historical contributions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples.

While for many schools it may be a new experience, at G. C. Huston Public School in Southampton, Treaties Recognition Week is simply another tool in the tool box used by a school that has already become one of cultural experiences.

Known and fostered as the 'Home of the Hawks', G. C. Huston School Principal, Dan Russell and his staff, have immersed themselves and the entire student body and parents in learning about all cultures and, in particular, that of the First Nation, given that a large part of the students are of indigenous heritage.

From mini pow-wows to spirit assemblies, G. C. Huston students actively participate in activities learning about traditional values and history.

Principal Dan Russell (C) and students participate in young mens' drum corps


Each month, a classroom door is being painted by students to illustrate each of the seven Grandfather teachings ... this artwork depicts 'respect'

During the newly established Treaties Recognition Week, guest speaker, Ray Auger, spent time in each of the classes from grades 2 to 8, describing how treaties were established and the symbolism behind them.  "Treaties are agreements made between people in trust and to demonstrate getting along with other peacefully." 

Auger explained the meaning between the beaded 'River of Life' Wampum.  "This wampum with its rows indicates a river and people.  The river (of life) is illustrated in white while the two rows of dark blue/purple indicate two different nations or peoples travelling on the river in boats or canoes.  Each is separate and not interfering with the other but traveling on the same water each on their own way down the river (of life)."

Click the orange arrow to read the second column


Ray Auger holds the

beaded 'River of Life' Wampum


He talked about, and demonstrated, the intricacies of the Wampum and its many meanings and how it was an early form of treaty.


Teacher Andrew White shows a model that his students ascribe to follow ... 'Walking the Path to Success' ... work hard - play hard, be kind, show respect, use positive language, stay focused, rough play-NO way

Auger asked the Grade 2-3 students to create a Wampum based on their class teachings and that he would return in two weeks to see what they had created.

Grade 5 also learned the Wampum meaning

Each morning over the public announcement system, student Sonny Pilon also reads a special  recognition statement.

G. C. Huston students, teachers, parents and the community are not just learning about the culture of treaties and treaty relationships, they are living it.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016