Treaties were the topic of discussion on Tuesday at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations’ Indigenous Youth Transition Gathering in Saskatoon.
Students participated in a number of breakout sessions in the afternoon in which they discussed treaties in the modern context.
Roy Lavallee, who works as an assistant to FSIN Vice-Chief Simon Bird, says the idea behind the breakout sessions was to allow the students to talk about the treaties and answer any questions.
“What we tried to do is create an open forum,” he says. “Create an engaging discussion for some of our youth to ask some questions, concerns, issues that they have previously had. Being young, being in this part of their life — 17 and 18-years-old — it’s important for us to inform them about their rights.”
He adds it was not surprising that a number of the students had questions and some lack of knowledge about the treaties, as there is still a long way to go in terms of fully incorporating them into the educational curriculum.
Furthermore, Lavallee says there needs to be better training of teachers so they feel comfortable and are able to properly teach the treaties in the classroom.
The conference resumes today with a number of keynote speakers, including federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt.