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'Part of Canada's history': Elder speaks to school boards on importance of reconciliation in classrooms
REGINA -- At the Saskatchewan School Boards Association’s fall general assembly, the importance of reconciliation in the classroom is a major focus.
Elder Sharon Agecoutay, a residential school survivor and the Elder for Regina Public Schools, presented at the conference Tuesday for school board representatives from around the province on why teaching reconciliation is vital.
"It’s a part of our history,” Agecoutay said. “It’s a part of Canada's history and it’s a part of history that's been for far too long suppressed."
Schools throughout the province have increased the amount of teachings about reconciliation in classrooms since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its ‘Calls to Action’ almost four years ago.
"Even some of our courses in Indigenous Studies have improved a lot,” said Shawn Davidson, the president of the SSBA. “It is a core social science at our secondary school now and more so than it’s ever been and certainty those are all positive steps towards reconciliation for everyone."
School board representatives spoke about the lessons students are being taught in classrooms, including having students recognize which treaty their school is on.
"It makes them understand treaties,” said Barry Hollick, the Chairman of the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Board. “How as the elder told us today, we are all treaty people not just the indigenous people who are inside the treaties but those who were represented by the government people at the time, so we all have to work together."
The two-day conference wrapped up on Tuesday.