Treaty 6 Acknowledgement
June 2, 2016 - Parkland School Division values the historical significance and contributions of the Aboriginal Peoples and their cultures and understands the important role that the Aboriginal community plays today and in the future. And as such, the Division recognizes the importance of honouring and acknowledging Treaty 6 territory as we work towards strengthening relations and building bridges with our neighbouring Aboriginal communities.
In the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Parkland School Division has the honour and the opportunity to shape the views of children during their time spent in school and will be taking a number of steps to acknowledge Treaty 6.
Treaty 6 Acknowledgement Statement
We honour all the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries. We acknowledge that the ancestral and traditional lands on which we gather are Treaty 6 territory, a traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous peoples, and in particular our neighbors, Paul First Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, and Alexander Cree Nation; on whose territory we work, live, and play, and on whose territory we stand.
Reconciliation in the context of education begins with acknowledging the people upon whose land we learn. The respect will grow from there. Our Administrative Procedure 159: Treaty 6 Acknowledgement, recognizes the importance of honouring and acknowledging Treaty 6 territory as we work towards strengthening relations and building bridges with our neighboring Aboriginal communities including Paul First Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and Alexander Cree Nation. This Administrative Procedure requires division and school-based staff to acknowledge Treaty 6 territory at all significant school and/or community events and gatherings.
It's the Board's intention to publically acknowledge the National Apology first issued by the Government of Canada back in 2008. Every school in Parkland School Division will proudly display this apology moving forward. In the apology, it states:
The Government of Canada built an educational system in which very young children were often forcibly removed from their homes, often taken far from their communities. Many were inadequately fed, clothed and housed. All were deprived of the care and nurturing of their parents, grandparents and communities. First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages and cultural practices were prohibited in these schools. Tragically, some of these children died while attending residential schools and others never returned home.
The government now recognizes that the consequences of the Indian Residential Schools policy were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on Aboriginal culture, heritage and language. While some former students have spoken positively about their experiences at residential schools, these stories are far overshadowed by tragic accounts of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect of helpless children, and their separation from powerless families and communities...
In moving towards healing, reconciliation and resolution of the sad legacy of Indian Residential Schools, implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement began on September 19, 2007. Years of work by survivors, communities, and Aboriginal organizations culminated in an agreement that gives us a new beginning and an opportunity to move forward together in partnership.
A cornerstone of the Settlement Agreement is the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This Commission presents a unique opportunity to educate all Canadians on the Indian Residential Schools system. It will be a positive step in forging a new relationship between Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians, a relationship based on the knowledge of our shared history, a respect for each other and a desire to move forward together with a renewed understanding that strong families, strong communities and vibrant cultures and traditions will contribute to a stronger Canada for all of us.
Treaty 6 Flag
Parkland School Division recently held a ceremony at the Division's Centre for Education in Stony Plain, Alberta where the Treaty 6 Flag was raised to honour our Aboriginal neighbours.
"The flag is truly a recognition that we live, work and play on Treaty 6 land. We recognize the past and history and look forward to moving forward together." stated Parkland School Division Superintendent, Tim Monds.
For more information contact:
Parkland School Division