Ontario celebrates Treaties Recognition Week 2019

Two Grand Erie DSB Indigenous Students, one male and one female, look at the camera with a fall scene behind them.

We know that through teaching and learning in our schools, we can move towards a Canada where the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is founded on mutual respect. 

As part of our support of the Calls to Action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), school boards are recognizing the second annual Treaties Recognition Week, from November 4 to 8, 2019. The goal of this week is to promote public education and awareness about the history and importance of treaties and treaty relationships.

At the Keewatin-Patricia DSB, for example, the board is working closely with the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs to plan two school-based opening and closing ceremonies, in addition to other activities in many schools. The opening ceremonies at Sioux North HS will include speakers and teachings from local leaders.  The ceremony will also include drumming on the schools’ drums and a Living Library presentation by Elder Robert Green. A full afternoon of traditional activities has been planned for students and staff of both schools following the opening. The closing ceremonies will include speakers and a presentation of Treaties Recognition Week activities across the Board.  The ceremony will also include drumming and a Living Library presentation by Elder Don Jones.

The week provides a recurring opportunity for teachers to plan curriculum-linked learning activities about treaties during the school year and will help promote awareness of treaties in the broader public.

A number of curriculum-linked resources have been created to encourage dialogue and discussion in Ontario classrooms. These resources, as well as additional information, can be found at the following links:

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is covered by 46 treaties and other agreements, such as land purchases by the Crown signed between 1781 and 1930.
  • Treaties are the legally binding agreements that set out the rights, responsibilities and relationships of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments.
  • OPSBA is working, through its Indigenous Trustees' Council, to enhance the provincial education curriculum in order to support mandatory learning about residential schools, the legacy of colonialism and the rights and responsibilities we all have to each other as treaty people.
  • Political Accord was signed with the Chiefs of Ontario in August 2015 to guide the relationship between First Nations and the province.