Category: Indigenization

Winter 2016 Secondary Pre-Internship Treaty Workshop

IMG_6378aWinter 2016 Pre-Internship Treaty Workshop for secondary education students began today. It will be held over two days, January 13 and 14th.  Students will be instructed by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner representatives on topics such as History of Treaty Making, First Nations Elder Teachings, the Indian Act, Treaty Kits and On-line Resources, Worldwide Activities, and Incorporating Themes and Topics into Units and Lessons.

Some Growing Young Movers Meet With Emerging Elder-in-Residence

Growing Young Movers (GYM) high school youth meet with Joseph Naytowhow, Emerging Elder in Residence and Brian Lewis, Lee Schaefer, and Sean Lessard, the Co-Founders/Researchers of GYM

After a photo shoot with external relations, the Growing Young Movers high school youth met with Joseph Naytowhow, our Emerging Elder-in-Residence.

Read about Researchers and Growing Young Movers by clicking here

Read about Joseph Naytowhow, Emerging Elder-in-Residence by clicking here

Dr. Shauneen Pete

First #TreatyEdCamp: A Success

The first #TreatyEdCamp was held this morning, Saturday, November 7, at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. #TreatyEdCamp is free professional development by teachers for teachers focused on Treaty Education. Over 200 teachers and preservice teachers participated in four concurrent sessions. The day began with a welcome and acknowledgement of Treaty 4 land by S.T.A.R.S. Regina organizers: Katia Hildebrandt, Meagan Dobson, Raquel Bellefleur, and Michael Cappello. After receiving a gift of tobacco, Elder Noel Starblanket offered the opening prayer and Michael Desjarlais offered song and drum. Dean Jennifer Tupper also welcomed the group, taking a group photo to Tweet out using the hashtag #treatyedcamp, where participants were posting responsively throughout the camp. Then the group split into five groups: A female pipe ceremony was held in the Teaching Preparation Centre, and four concurrent Blanket Exercises were offered to participants not attending the pipe ceremony. The Blanket Exercise is a powerful demonstration of the effects of historical Canadian events/policies on Aboriginal peoples (for instance, the Treaties, the Indian Act, Aboriginal Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop). You can learn more about this exercise at

Following the pipe ceremony and Blanket Exercises, participants attend their choice of presentations in four concurrent sessions. A list of presenters and resources can be found online at:



Video Responses to #TreatyEdCamp
What did you learn today? How will you respond to what you learned today?

Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action: Faculty of Education

Two young students learning about residential school students at the 100 Years of Loss Exhibit. Photo credit: Shuana Niessen
Project of Heart tiles Photo credit: Christina Johns
Project of Heart tiles Photo credit: Christina Johns

In its deep commitments to anti-oppressive education and teaching for a better world, the Faculty of Education, situated on Treaty 4 land at the University of Regina, takes seriously the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) calls to action, particularly those specific to education. We recognize the many ways that education has been used as a tool for assimilation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and indeed as a vehicle for cultural genocide. Residential schools are not only demonstrative of the failures to honour the spirit and intent of treaties and the treaty relationship; they are also demonstrative of the power of colonialism and racism to shape national narratives and understanding. As such, the history and ongoing legacies of the Residential School experience for Aboriginal peoples in Canada must not be ignored; the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina acknowledges our shared constitutional, historical, and ethical responsibility in this respect.

The Witness Blanket Exhibit Photo credit: Shuana Niessen
Regina School Students visit the 100 Years of Loss Exhibit to learn about the history of residential schools in Canada. Photo credit: Shuana Niessen

As an important part of the formal structure of the Faculty of Education, the Indigenous Advisory Circle will provide recommendations and leadership regarding the TRC Calls to Action. They have already supported the work of the Faculty in teaching Residential Schools. For example, since 2014, the Faculty of Education has been the regional facilitator of Project of Heart, an inquiry into residential schools ( This commitment continues as the Faculty actively seeks to expand this important initiative. Further, the Faculty has facilitated the 100 Years of Loss (2013) and the Witness Blanket Exhibits (2014-2015) at the University of Regina, which more than 800 school children visited; these children interacted with and learned from the Residential school experience. Many faculty and sessional instructors have integrated these exhibits into their undergraduate and graduate teaching, and will persist in finding more ways to teach meaningfully and intentionally about residential schools in Canada. Residential schools are also central to the research activities of several faculty members in Education.

  • TRC Call to Action 62 urges governments to create “age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties, and aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.” The Faculty of Education supports this call to action through its ongoing work in preparing preservice teachers for treaty education and the integration of Aboriginal content, perspectives, and teachings. Included in the Provincial mandate for treaty education is an assessment of the impact residential schools have on First Nations communities. The Faculty of Education is committed to ensuring our students are prepared to meet this outcome in their classrooms.
  • TRC Call to Action 10 calls for the development of culturally appropriate curricula and for respecting and honouring the treaty relationship. The Faculty of Education is committed to building on our work in the development of culturally appropriate curriculum not only in K-12 schools but also in teacher education. As noted, our commitment to Treaty Education and our pedagogical and scholarly leadership in this respect are intended to actively respect and honour the treaty relationship, in the past, present, and future.
  • TRC Call to Action 63 advocates building capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. The Faculty of Education has invited a part-time emerging elder in residence to support faculty, staff, and students in their learning and their understanding of our shared histories with Aboriginal peoples.
Joseph Naytowhow, Emerging Elder-in-Residence
  • TRC Call to Action 63 also calls for identifying teacher-training (sic) needs related to Aboriginal education issues. The Faculty continues to work collaboratively with First Nations University of Canada and in partnership with the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program, the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, the Northern Teacher Education Program, and the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program. These collaborations / partnerships are critical in addressing Aboriginal education issues. So too are current and future efforts in undergraduate teacher education within the Faculty of Education some of which involve Education Core Studies content and objectives.

In addition to the specific TRC Calls for Action, the Faculty of Education remains committed to indigenizing curriculum, pedagogy, and spaces in teacher education and in adult education, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is the hope of the Faculty that through these continued commitments reconciliation becomes possible.

Dean Jennifer Tupper

SUNTEP Students Offer Workshop: “Schools: Past, Present, and Future…”

IMG_5602SUNTEP students Alicia Reiss and Daylyn Benoit presented a workshop entitled “Schools: Past, Present, and Future: Reflecting on Colonial History of the Past, Assessing our Current Education System, and Determining Strategies for Decolonization” on Tuesday, October 27. They began the presentation reflecting on their own experiences of negative stereotyping and essentialization in the education system, which prevented them from fully embracing their rich heritage and cultural identities as First Nation and Métis people.

After their reflections, Alicia and Daylyn conducted a workshop that gave participants the opportunity to post a card with aspects of either  “Culturally Relevant” or “Critical Anti-Racist” education on their respective squares on the wall. This activity was presented to Alicia and Daylyn this past Friday at the SAFE conference in Saskatoon by Dr. Verna St. Denis (U of S) and Dr. Carol Schick (U of R). It helped participants identify the difference between cultural relevance in curriculum and strategies for addressing power inequities in the classroom.  The bottom squares of the wall were actions and excuses of non-Indigenous peoples that allow them to forgo responsibility for teaching about Indigenous history and culture, and addressing harmful stereotypes and power inequities. Alicia emphasized the importance of being “willing to learn and unlearn together,” to unpack the sometimes subtle and not-so-subtle forms of racism in education.

Their presentation was peppered with quotes from bell hooks, Verna St. Denis, and Peggy McIntosh. The students also stressed that Indigenous education should not be optional, but should be as much a part of the curriculum as math is. Alicia and Daylyn offered options for decolonizing teaching, such as the Blanket Exercise and an image of the Métis Two Row Wampum (click through photos below to see a Wampum), which is art that follows two parallel lines that complement each other, while remaining separate. Alicia noted that the Faculty of Education is currently producing a Blanket Exercise contextualized for Treaty 4 territory, which she feels will be beneficial to the communities that live here.

SUNTEP Students Offer Workshop


UR Indigenization Events (October/November 2015)

University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, Luther and Campion students, staff and faculty are invited to attend the following events:

1. Treaty Gathering
Friday October 16 – Sunday 18 October, 2015
This 3-day event is open to all peoples. In particular, I would like to invite Education students to attend the Youth Gathering on Friday October 16, 2015. The schedule of events includes:

Youth Forum:

Friday October 16, 2015 (5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) ED 191, Education Building
– This town hall gathering welcomes all people to engage in a dynamic discussion about what Treaties are, our Treaty responsibilities, and implementation plans. This gathering will inform discussions for the Open Forum on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner will be provided by the Faculty of Education, U of R.

Treaty Alliance Open Forum
Saturday October 17 – Sunday 18 October, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Multi-purpose Room, FNUniv
– This town hall gathering welcomes all people to engage in a dynamic discussion about Treaty responsibilities and implementation plans.

2. UR Indigenization presents Buffalo Hide Tanning Workshop
Thursday 22 October – Saturday 24 October, 2015, Cultural Space behind First Nations University of Canada
This workshop will take place at the cultural space behind FNUniv from October 22-24, 2015 during the day. Participants are invited to stop by to learn more about this process. Lorne Kequahtooway will lead the group in tanning the buffalo hide. He will share his knowledge and expertise in this area.

3. UR Indigenization presents Senator Lillian Dyck
Wednesday October 28, 2015 7:00 p.m., RIC Auditorium, University of Regina
Senator Lillian Dyck will be on campus to offer a lecture entitled: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls: revealing the numbers game. All people are invited to attend this public lecture on October 28, 2015 (7:00 p.m.) in the RIC Auditorium.

4. #TreatyEDCamp
Saturday November 7, 2015, Teaching Preparation Centre, Education Building
This is a free personal and professional development event sponsored and organized by *STARS Regina. This is PD organized for teachers by teachers, with a particular focus on the implementation of Treaty Education in classrooms. Please see STARS Regina website

For all other questions please contact
Dr. Shauneen Pete
Associate Professor (Aboriginal Education)
Executive Lead: Indigenization
Faculty of Education
University of Regina

Emerging Elder-in-Residence

A pipe ceremony was held Oct 5 as part of the commencement of Joseph Naytowhow’s residency in the Faculty of Education. We were honoured to have Knowledge Keeper and Life Speaker, Noel Starblanket, lead the ceremony.  Joseph will be residing in Ed 221.5 for the duration of his residency.  He will remain until the first week of December.



Nehiyaw (Cree) Pipe Ceremony

There will be a pipe ceremony Monday Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Teaching Preparation Centre, ED 228, Education Building, University of Regina for the commencement of Joseph Naytowhow’s residency with the Faculty of Education. Elder Noel Starblanket will be leading the ceremony. The length of time will be dependent upon the number of people in attendance; however, one to two hours is estimated.

Pipe ceremony Protocol

We ask that you are aware of the following protocols and abide by them out of respect for the Pipe Carriers.

Tobacco and Prayer Cloths may be given to the Piper Carriers by the Faculty of Education for the blessing of the gathering. You are welcome to make your own tobacco offering, but please arrive early to do so before the ceremony begins. Please arrive on time, as the doors will be closed once the ceremony begins.

Everyone should remove their hats, eyeglasses, and metal jewelry while smudging and participating in the Pipe Ceremony. We ask that you remain silent and refrain from visiting and conversations while the Pipe Ceremony is underway. Once the ceremony is over, it is customary to shake hands with other participants before leaving.

In the oral tradition of the Nehiyaw (Cree), the Elder/Pipe Carrier may explain the ceremony with those gathered.

Females: Females are asked to wear a long skirt and/or wrap a blanket around their legs during the Pipe Ceremony. As well it is customary for females to sit with their legs draped to one side. They should not sit cross-legged.

Moon Time: In Nehiyaw (Cree) tradition, women are considered spiritually powerful during their Moon Time (menstruation), and therefore, do not actively participate in ceremonies. Everyone is welcome to watch and listen, but we ask that women on their Moon Time refrain from sitting in the circle and participating out of respect for the customs and traditions of the Pipe Ceremony.

Please Note: tobacco and smudge will be burnt during the ceremony.