Hi everyone- please follow this link my miskâsowin understanding to view my final project for ECCU 400. This final project had two components; a video and a visual representation.
In addition to this, please view the visual representation that I created and read my artist notes– this project held deep meaning to me as it enrichened my understandings and further supported how I envision my role as a Treaty Person and Partner.
- connection to nature in relation to treaties.
- realizing ‘wild’ or ‘uncivilized’ nature is not necessarily bad– further rethinking colonialism stories.. why have we (colonial white settlers) been taught to fear the unknown?
- (ESCI 302) – attempting to rethink and relearn my pre-composed impressions and ideas
- once you begin to learn about treaties and the act of colonization + the everlasting effects you (metaphorically) begin to step off of the shore and slowly sink further into the mud and muck of the river.
- rivers + water symbolize life, substance and constant renewal
- this also connects to the treaties – “as long as the rivers flow” — represents our constant renewed commitment to treaties
- waves + the current represent sudden obstacles and challenges that I must work to overcome
- beneath the surface, the rocks + jagged edges represent the pains and failures that I will encounter during this journey
- the fish and biodiversity, also below the surface, represent the environment I must work to create + the interactions with myself, others and the community that will occur during my process
- the green/dirty colors represent that sometimes the journey is gross or undesirable (but this does not change the path of the river or the beauty of the course)
- brown dirt & mud- the path/journey through the river is not clean, clear or simple. Metaphorically, you have to get dirty because this is not an easy journey.
- the color gold is associated with love, compassion, courage, and wisdom– qualities I hope to gain through my process of self-discovery and the act of taking responsibility.
- the river does not show the ‘end’ or represent a finish place — the journey doesn’t end, it is a constant process. The current will both advance me and set me back, depending on the situation and the outcome associated. Regardless, the water will continue to move and so must I.
- interweaving colors + design used to represent the crazy, confusing and complicated journey of becoming educated.
- I must conquer different aspects + situations and life experiences
- the depths of the water representing the layers of understanding + knowledge
- I will gradually become stronger and better but I will never reach an end destination so I will never become ‘all-knowing’ or an expert.
- medium: acrylic
- style: acrylic art pouring
- well preparing you are not able to determine the outcome
- you can add components and hope, but the outcome cannot be explicitly designed and created
- the mess of the process is a learning opportunity — this relates to my journey as a Treaty Person and Partner.
My name is Jodie Munro. I am a third year pre-service teacher at the University of Regina.
This spring I have been a student in the ECCU 400 class: living treaties in education.
This course has been challenging; at times the process daunting, but overall it has been immensely beneficial. I do wish to note though, before explaining my miskâsowin journey, that I did not gain all of the knowledge I initially believed that I would gain through this course.. Though, I gained the ability to begin to think in a critical manner, aware of colonialism narratives and of the Canadian society predisposed rebuttals.
Before this spring course started, I expected to learn, precisely, how to teach treaty education and how to be a beneficial teacher for all my students.
Although I had spoken to Audrey in relation to this class before it had begun, I truly did think that somehow in two short months that I would come out of this course with the confidence and knowledge needed to tackle treaty education in the classroom.
This did not occur.
But, throughout the process of the semester I have learnt more than I anticipated; I learnt about myself in relation to my personal understanding, thought process, goals and in a wider view, I have had the continuous opportunity to reflect on my personal growth.
Growing up, I was raised on an acreage outside of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. I lived in Eldersley, a tiny hamlet that is stationed around a grain elevator.
The town, and the people, are provided through the industry of farming
I find that since moving away from a rural Saskatchewan community I am able to notice the racism that is simply accepted in the area.
Non-hidden, publicly exposed, racism.
I grew up in a community to which I thought the separation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous (White) citizens was fine because it was just how society worked.
I grew up with a neighboring reserve, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation. The Indigenous students transferred to my school, Tisdale Middle and Secondary School, in the ninth grade. I did not understand that we shared the land; I had a basic, ethnocentric understanding of how we lived together, yet, I knew nothing of Indigenous culture, peoples or of the truth of our nation.
All students, Indigenous students deserved more.
We, white students, also needed to know the truth of the land, the people and the country.
Indigenous knowledge was and is valuable. It needs representation.
Fast forward two years and I sat in ECCU 400.
During these years I grew, gradually, to understand that white people, and their knowledge, was not the only important way of knowing.
I began to learn about, and reflect upon, my white privilege.
I realized that treaty education was not being taught, effectively, in Saskatchewan although it is mandatory.
I considered my identity and further labeled myself as a white settler Canadian on treaty land.
I did not consider just how uneducated I was, how my learning journey was still just in the preliminary stages and how my ethnocentric understanding and worldview were still very prevalent.
Though, I was excited and eager to learn more. I was willing to be vulnerable. I was fully ready to commit to new knowledge:
I was ready to feel tension, confusion, frustration and disappointment.
I took the jump into the stream, in a metaphorical sense. I took a plunge into deep water. Learning new, shocking, heart wrenching information as I tread the tides.
Show the visual representation.
I could not, and would not, go back to shore after learning this new knowledge because I have come to realize that gaining more knowledge and educating myself and others was my responsibility.
Though, I am only just learning how to teach others while not being an expert. In a way, I suppose this is my sense of self; I am not an expert, though I am a Canadian citizen who strongly believes in my responsibility to educate, to critique and to question. I value the treaties and the responsibilities that are allied with them.
I did not anticipate the knowledge to be as emotional as it is– but as Pam Palmer stated in her ted talk, reconciliation is not easy.
The tides of learning, feeling and accepting are rough.
I am accepting, for my sense of self, my understanding of my relation to others and to sharing the land that truth needs to be told, widely represented and accounted for.
As a white educator and citizen, I am not always right. I do not own all knowledge. I will question my knowledge, constantly, but that is good because continuous education is needed. I am going to struggle to continue to understand myself, my origin and my place in this, in Canada. I will make mistakes as I did in my beginning teachings, such as presenting The Faceless Doll Project. I need to be cautious of triggers, of emotions and difficult conversations and learnings.
Yet, I must maneuver through the stream to stay afloat.
I will learn through my various circumstances– constantly becoming stronger.
I must continue to persevere.
My process of learning and living Treaties, of being a Treaty citizen and taking up my personal responsibility will only be fulfilled through growth, My growth is a process, not a destination. My sense of self is developed by my understanding of being a Treaty person– the responsibilities that are aligned with that and how I will learn to tackle challenges to own up to my responsibilities; as a teacher, and as a Treaty Person.