Most religions have ceremonies of thanksgiving, respect, and reciprocity. For myself, I did not really grow up practicing a religion but I know for myself that I do respect others practices, religion, and culture. Recently we had gone a school field trip to the Industrial First Nation residential school burial site. While we were there was a lot of discussion on religion and what we believe. It was a good start on how to write this blog post but for me, something else happened at the site. Deep inside I felt the need to show my respect or I would also call this a calling. Audrey did not feel comfortable allowing us into the boarded area of the burials but for myself, I had the urge to go in and show my respect. Intentionally that day I packed a grocery bag to maybe sit on my but to my surprise maybe the whole feeling of grabbing was to help. I had asked Audrey if it was okay to go into where the bodies were buried and clean up the garbage I saw. No one is taking care of these people and where their home is now. It is important to now respect not just for people you love but others who have been love but now are lost. I would count this as a way of an offering or ceremony because I allowed my emotions to break me down to make a connection with these fellow people. I had used tobacco to allow myself in by making a door, I had walked around cleaning up garbage and closed opens with the tobacco symbolizing a door making it complete and more sacred, During this whole time I was speaking to them apologizing, asking if they were okay, hoping they were okay and wishing that someone was looking out for them in sort of life a prayer. I finished my ceremony by closing the door I had my with tobacco as I said my goodbyes. This feeling has changed my life, and I never knew I could feel this way. I thank that land and those people for show me a new way. Thank you.
Every day we live our life and participate in activities, but the thought usually never occurs that we are on stolen decolonized land. Especially for me after talking up the class I had never really thought about it before. In reality, we all think we are just having innocent fun and not really thinking about the consequences that allow this.
For my visual piece, it shows the different levels of nature. The bottom klinex box has a pattern that reminds me of waves, then the next one represents rocks, then we have leaves again, the weird shapes represent colonization and lastly leaves again. It is meant to show nature in steps; I tried to relate this piece to being outside mostly camping. These are different parts that you partake when camping. We boat/ fish on the water, lay upon the rocks and sand, stay in tents/ campers and play in the woods. It had never occurred to me that this lifestyle was not always ours. Just in the fact that this land has not always been ours, we do some activities were we are not giving back to the land which is always been the main purpose or to respect the land. I know for fact is on the body of water there is garbage sometimes or I have witnessed cans being tossed into the lake. This isn’t respecting our Earth. Not only did we take over land that was not ours but still choose to treat it with no respect. I know now that the next time I participate in activities to have an open eye about relearning and unlearning the land. Tell people they are doing something disrespectful to the land and they need to stop. I need to stand for our land because it can not do that by itself. There was a duty to care of this land and out of respect we should continue that sacred piece about the land. Further on I will unlearn my bad habits and relearn the land to make good habits.
Citizenship Education in my k-12 Schooling
At the beginning of my education, I had started in a public English and French school. As a student, I remember walking to our nearest old folks home and visiting the seniors. This happened in the younger age groups (kindergarten to grade 3); I do not remember exactly how many times a week we went. Once you had got to the older grades( 4-8), you would go in the community to rake up leaves or clear snow for the nearby residents. In elementary(kindergarten- 5), they had made helping in the community mandatory, but it was during class time. As for the middle years (6-8) being involved in the community had become more optional. Most of the activities were during school hours, but there were a couple of things out of school hours. As for high school in wellness for grade 9 and 10, you have to take these classes, and they both require a certain amount of volunteer hours. As for other classes that were optional that you could take being wellness 11, and 12 and work experience 10/11/12 also had required volunteer work. The high school (9-12) also would announce volunteer opportunities were optional. Most volunteering with wellness and the school asking were outside of school time. As for work experience that was during school hours.
The three types of citizenship are:
1. Responsible Citizen: This person or set of people act in ways that show responsibility in the community. Example: volunteering. They partake in events which would promote their image.
2. Participatory Citizen: This person or set of people actively participate socially in the community and take a leadership role. Example: voting. They partake in events which promote to learn how to be an active role in the community and government based.
3. Justice Orientated Citizen: This person or set of people understand the social, economic, and political aspects forces everyone to work together. They partake in events involving justice, fairness and equality. It is also advocates for positive social change.
The Three Types of Citizenship in my Community.
The kinds of citizenship that were primarily focused on my schooling experience were briefly all of these. There are some we talked about a lot and some were we just skimmed the surface.
Responsible: Stated before through my schooling years there are multiple volunteering opportunities available whether they be mandatory or by choice. The main goal of the school is to take to make sure the students were having an active role in the community. I come from a small town, so the importance of the image is really important.
Participatory: I believe that is implemented by having student bodies within the school. Throughout our school years, we have had an active role in voting for student body leaders, pin and stick, and stc leaders, etc. The schooling makes it easier to understand what voting is and by the time we are old enough to vote we will feel more opposed to doing it,
Justice: In school there always a set of rules placed being school base rules and more specifically classroom rules. We are taught to feel bad for doing something wrong. Also if we see something or someone doing something wrong we are supposed to say something. Also, a good point is what is being taught in school that everyone is equal and diverse. That by playing games we are taught by fairness. This type of citizens is a hidden one were we are being taught, and don’t even know it.
Learning on how to be a “good” citizen has shown me that we were taught to be well rounded or average. We might not all be born leaders, but we are taught to take a stand/action. Another is that not everyone may not be wealthy enough to donate, but that is not the point. Some people donate, and some people take from those donations; it is a circle. There may be a big difference on who does what or who doesn’t do it, but everyone that grows up in my small town learns on how to be a “good” citizen. You only can teach so much; it is the citizen now who chooses to take action or to be a good citizen.
For myself, the last memory I had about starting treaty education was in my middle years. That one day we were all shuffled into a computer lab and had to take a quiz online about how much stuff we knew about treaty education. To my surprise, I found out that I really did not know lots about treaty education. I remember briefly going over the medicine wheel but other then that not much. As for high school, it was implemented in most if not all history courses. Looking back at how I was taught treaty education; I thought everyone was learning the same education. In the university education program, treaty education is important and we are constantly talking about how to implement it in our education whether learning or teaching it. Looking amongst my other education peers it is clear that we have all not received the same treaty education.
Treaty education is very important it is not just First Nations peoples history it is everyone’s history. That it is everyone’s past and we are all treaty people. Even though it is in the past it is still affecting us today; it is still a recent event. This is OUR history and it affects our past, present, and future. It is not about what has happened in the past anymore, it is the way people are choosing to act on it in the present and the future. First Nations people are still seen as less than white people. It is important to understand that we are all treaty people. This entails that we all should have rights, responsibility, and relationships. That we all should have equal rights, we were both there. It is our responsibility to learn our history. It is our duty to bond and heal our relationship. It is not just important to teach treaty ed to First Nations including Metis and Inuit but it is VERY important to teach it to EVERYONE because it is not just their history. It should not be depended on how many First Nations people are enrolled at the school because no matter who is in the school, people who live in Canada are all treaty people. History is important it shows and helps us understand OUR home with all the complexity and events.
When I think about common sense a Canadian ideal of the wilderness; I think of a stereotyped approach that we should be in igloos and dog sledding. Another view is that if the land is not touched/ or helped by a human then it is still classified as wilderness. With that I don’t mean that people walking through is disrupting or declassifying wilderness; it is when humans make permit paths or add buildings, etc. In my story, it may not be your typical Canadian ideal but I know from class discussion that a lot of people have gone canoeing. I chose the one time I went canoe because that is the one time I felt where there was almost a full connection to the wilderness. Or at least of what I understand of what should be wilderness. Usually, on a lake, there isn’t much for humans to expand. Canoeing through the lake there were not many houses around; at some points, you would think you were in a different society. It is crazy to think that houses are literally everywhere and it is weird not to see them or expansions. From not getting distracted from advancements; I found it easier to focus on the task i was doing. Looking in the lake and observing little fish moving, dodging around rocks and looking at how tall the grass was along the shore. Comparing this canoe trip with my family to schooling activities like ski trip. outdoor ed, other environmental education trips. With my family, we did not have someone narrating everything we saw, but we took the time on our own to try to focus and build an understanding. Schooling events either slam you with facts of our surroundings or it is not even mentioned. It is very one or the other; it also makes it harder to build a real connection with the land when most of those trips are very high paced and time-crunched. The biggest problem that most of the trips the land has been changed to accommodate people so is it really wilderness? Comparing to our ESCI class when we go outside and find a quiet space. In that time you notice things that you did not before when you use your senses: seeing and sound in particular it is easier to make a connection and an understanding. Comparing to treaties and historical events First Nations and settlers had different opinions on what wilderness was. For First Nations people the land was their home, therefore, they did not classify it as wilderness. It was always deemed normal to First Nations people to live off the land and respect it meaning only taking what you need and when you take; you give back something in exchange. As for settlers, the land was their resource where they can take as much as they want and not give anything back. That the sole purpose of the land was to use. With settlers idea, they deemed it was okay to continue this practice and take what they wanted even if it was already being used by someone or something else. Which them continues into treaties being made and land being changed.
Comparing to Braiding sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer I took a quote from the chapter: Epiphany in the Bean to Canadian commonsense wilderness. The quote I chose was ” you wouldn’t harm what gives you love” pg.124. Recalling on talking about school field trips I stated that it isn’t wilderness if it is human-made, for example, most ski hills are human-made to accommodate our recreation. Our Earth is giving us resources and home yet we decide to destroy it. If we loved the Earth, we would give back more then what we take. In every other sense if someone or something loves us; our mother the commonsense thing would be to love her back. Whats the difference between our mother and our Earth? They both give us shelter, love, home and support us. Why cant we love them the same?