The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations Chiefs reject the draft K-6 Education Curriculum proposed by the Provincial Government
The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 Chiefs are concerned with the draft K-6 Education Curriculum expected to be tabled by Provincial Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. What was anticipated to be an opportunity to tell future generations of Albertans about the fulsome and diverse history of this province, including the histories of Treaty First Nations that have existed here since time immemorial, has instead devolved into a Eurocentric, American-focused, Christian-dominant narrative that perpetuates rather than addresses systemic racism and falls far short of providing a balanced, nuanced perspective on Treaty 6 First Nations history and culture.
This proposed curriculum represents another disappointment for the Confederacy of Treaty 6, which was not consulted in its development. This government’s previous initiatives to reform the K-6 curriculum, which included omitting the deleterious impact of the Indian Residential Schools, were wholly inadequate to the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 and this trend unfortunately continues today. Our hopes for an improved and inclusive curriculum development process that would begin to prepare Alberta’s youth for the 21st Century were inadequately addressed by this proposed curriculum. What First Nations consultation that did occur was limited in scope, hastily concluded and incomplete.
“A history of Alberta that does not begin with the rich and deep histories of the Treaty First Nations and does not accurately portray how we have survived and thrived to this day, is a faulty and incomplete one” said Grand Chief Watchmaker.
The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 Chiefs urges the provincial government to revise this curriculum anew with the informed consent of Treaty No. 6 First Nations, as per the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“As a survivor of an Indian residential school myself, there is a lot missing in this new curriculum, we have many educated peoples who could have been a part of this work, I haven’t seen or read the word colonization, the dominant society doesn’t have a clue about us and our history and that needs to
change. Change is brought on with education, our history needs to be a part of this curriculum, it needs to be inclusive so we understand one another”. Elder Richard Lightning, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Maskwacis, Treaty 6 Territory.
The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 affirms that life-long learning Education is a Treaty and Inherent Right and First Nations have a right to control all aspects of education, from early childhood through post-secondary which must be honoured and respected.
For more information or media inquiries, contact:
Gina Potts – Chief of Staff
Office of the Grand Chief – Okimaw Vernon Watchmaker [email protected]