Disrupting Ignorance and Settler Identities: The Challenges of Preparing Beginning Teachers for Treaty Education

Jennifer Tupper


In the fall of 2008, the Provincial Government of Saskatchewan announced mandatory treaty education for all students in K-12 schooling.  Given the foundational importance of treaties and the treaty relationship to Canada, and ongoing reconciliation efforts with First Nations people, this initiative is to be celebrated.  However, a central concern exists regarding the implementation of treaty education in Saskatchewan schools. To that end, this paper discusses research, with 348 predominately white, teacher education candidates at the University of Regina, regarding their knowledge, (mis)understandings, and experiences with treaty education, in both grade school and university contexts.  Using critical race theory as a lens through which to conceptualize and make sense of the research, along with theories of ignorance as an epistemological exercise, the paper illustrates the imperative of enacting treaty education given (white) settler students struggles(and refusals) to connect their own social and economic privileges to treaties.

Keywords: Treaty education; critical race theory; curriculum


Treaty education; critical race theory; curriculum

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