We Treaty People ways to learn & take action

June 9, 2022

We Treaty People is now playing, with more than 17 episodes available. Each episode comes with a suggested way to learn more and engage the audio play or the artists’ interview with your friends. Here’s a collection of all those suggestions in one place.

episode image for LAND by Stephen Waldschmidt, a sweetgrass braid resting on a farmland lease agreement, with a tractor and air seeder seeding a field in the background

Suggestions with Land

Ask a friend to join you to have a face to face conversation with your local government representative, MLA and/or MP. Ask them how are they working to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (which became law in Canada on June 21, 2021, see: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/declaration/index.html). Also ask how are they taking action in response to the Calls To Action from the Truth & Reconciliation Commision and the Calls For Justice from the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry (see https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/). Set a date with them to follow up together in 3 to 6 months.

Reflect on the primary voices that inform you as a person and shape your thoughts and values. Make 4 lists:

  1. your closest friends;
  2. your mentors to whom you look for guidance;
  3. the teachers, authors and artists whose work you engage with; and
  4. the news media sources you access.

Take note of the cultural backgrounds each person or media source represents. Choose to widen those circles to include a greater diversity of voices, especially First Nations, Métis and Inuit voices. Here are 3 options for news coverage from Indigenous perspectives: APTN News (coverage of truth and reconciliation at https://www.aptnnews.ca/topic/trc/), Eagle Feather News in SK (https://www.eaglefeathernews.com/), or CBC News Indigenous (https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous). 

episode image for Coffee Talk by Marcel Petit, a discarded coffee pot sitting on the pavement with statue of teepee and figures in background

Suggestions with Coffee Talk

Ask a friend to join you to volunteer your time with a community organization or school program that is led by Indigenous persons and supports Indigenous youth in your part of Turtle Island. 

Explore the Métis Voices video collection of oral histories (https://www.metisvoices.ca/), or:

Taken Before Birth by Jennifer Dawn Bishop

Suggestions with Taken Before Birth

Attend MCC Saskatchewan’s 4th Annual Peace Conference, “Land of Living Reconciliation: Seeking Common Ground”, October 21-22, 2022 in Saskatoon: https://mcccanada.ca/get-involved/events/mcc-saskatchewan-peace-conference-2022 

(or find a similar event in your area)

Find an Indigenous art piece or performance you might not normally visit, go with a friend you don’t normally hang out with, and talk about your experience together. (some options in Saskatoon: downtown murals & public art – see iMaps on Saskatoon.ca, Wanuskewin, Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, Remai Modern, USask Art Galleries)

The Final Inquiry by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

Suggestions with The Final Inquiry

Commit to the Personal Pledge of Reconciliation created by Indigenous Corporate Training (an organization led by Bob Joseph, a Gwawa’enuk Nation hereditary chief), and share it with your friends, family and colleagues: https://www.ictinc.ca/personal-pledge-of-reconciliation-with-indigenous-peoples

After reflecting on the Calls To Action from the TRC and MMIWG Inquiry, commit to an action plan on at least one call, take a first step of action, and ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable to follow through on your action plan.

Remnance by Curtis Peeteetuce imageSuggestions with Remnance

Read the Reconciliation Toolkit for Business Leaders from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and share it with your workplace colleagues: http://www.abo-peoples.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/WP-Revised-Reconciliation-Toolkit_Digital_May12-compressed.pdf 

Attend a National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on June 21 in your area.

Make plans to attend an Indigenous cultural experience, powwow or heritage site this summer. Here are some options in Saskatchewan (scroll down for ideas outside SK):  

Do You Remember? by Joelle Peters imageSuggestions with Do You Remember?

Watch Reservation Dogs, an Indigenous American teen comedy drama TV series about life on and off reserve, created by Taika Wiatiti & Sterlin Harjo: https://www.disneyplus.com/series/reservation-dogs/17MVZHUGJFZw 

Attend ‘Indigenous in the City,’ a virtual and in person symposium from NAIITS at Acadia University, NS, June 2-4, 2022: https://www.naiits.com/symposium2022 

Take the Indigenous Canada online course from University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies (free, 12 weeks): https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada

Suggestions with You Said We’d Be Together Forever

Read the texts of treaties in your part of Canada: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1370373165583/1581292088522

Here’s a helpful interactive map of treaty lands across Canada, including agreements in recent years: https://www.whose.land/en/

Watch the documentary Reserve 107, about steps toward reconciliation involving the community of Laird, SK and the Young Chippewayan band: https://www.reserve107thefilm.com/ 

Suggestions with Flag

Ask a friend to join you in reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls To Action, then meet up to talk about what stood out to each of you and what action you will take in response: https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

Or if the Calls To Action are very familiar to you, consider doing the same with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (of which Canada is a signatory): https://nctr.ca/education/teaching-resources/united-nations-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples/

Explore an interactive map of former residential school sites in Canada and the search for unmarked graves: https://globalnews.ca/news/8074453/indigenous-residential-schools-canada-graves-map/

Suggestions with The Yard With the Old Plow

Read the book 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph.

Go for a walk in a neighbourhood that is not yours and say hello to someone you don’t know.

Watch the documentary nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up by Tasha Hubbard, stream at: www.nfb.ca/film/nipawistamasowin-we-will-stand-up

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