Grade 5 students at Gregory A. Hogan Catholic School participated in an engaging and interactive presentation, led by Elder Cecil Isaac from Bkejwanong Territory, also known as Walpole Island First Nation.
His presentation provided information on treaty teachings, which led students through a discovery of the rich heritage and significance of relationships and peaceful coexistence. Students were also engaged in making a wampum belt. Wampum is a traditional shell bead of indigenous peoples of North America, and the belts were made as a guide to narrate history, traditions and laws.
"Our time with Cecil really allowed us to learn about the role treaties play in each of our lives and in our relationships with each other," says Richard Goure, Grade 5-6 teacher at Gregory A. Hogan.
As part of treaty awareness, the government of Ontario has passed new legislation to recognize the importance of treaties and to build awareness of the treaty relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in the province. The Grade 5 students at Gregory A. Hogan are exploring the treaties that were signed between the government and indigenous peoples, with the intent of reaching mutual benefits.
"Having a first-hand opportunity to experience the teachings along with making our own class wampum belt with Cecil allowed the students to understand the importance of treaties and their significance, both historically and for today," says Mr. Goure.
In the photo above, Elder Cecil Isaac of the Bkejwanong Territory teaches students how to make a traditional wampum belt.