On Tuesday, Russell Fayant from SUNTEP came and discussed Metis people and their involvement in the treaty making process and then the seminar group added to that discussion. I found both these experiences to be very eye opening. Something that really struck me was the fact that Metis people are more than just half European and half First Nations. Many Metis people are actually fully First Nations and for some people, you have to go back generations in order to even find where that European “snuck in.” To me this was a huge realization. It was so ingrained into our heads that Metis were and still are half European and half First Nations. Heck, I taught my grade fours during internship this. And to be honest, that is all I really remember about the Metis people. I wasn’t really taught much else. I didn’t realize how much of an impact they had on treaty making. That was something that was never taught to me and it really opened my eyes to how much we gloss over teaching about the Metis people, even in my university classes. This week was really the first I had ever heard about Metis people, aside from the half and half statement.
So where does this leave me on my treaty walk?
Like I have mentioned above, it opened my eyes to how much we do not teach about the Metis. We focus so heavily on the fact that they were half European and half First Nations but it goes so much further than that. I taught my internship students more than this thankfully. We learnt about the river plots and how the government changed it on them just because it was an indicator and was a lesson in the program I was following. I never really thought more about it. After this week, I foresee myself always teaching these things. I realized how important it was and how the Metis should not be just glossed over.