ESST 360 Topic Resource Package

ESST 360

Topic Resource Package

Treaty Education Resources

Ashley Parker and Chris Collins

Resource #1

Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada Treaty Research Reports. This resource contains a treaty guide for all the numbered treaties which includes. There is a historical account of each numbered treaty, which includes sections on: the historical background, the making of, and interpretations. There is a map of Canada for each treaty, which indicates the area of land involved. There is also a typed copy of each treaty. This resource is fairly extensive and would be best used by a teacher for lesson planning. It contains detailed information on the numbered treaties, and is easy to understand, it would be a good source to direct a student towards for a research assignment. This resource also has treaty guides onPeace and Friendship Treaties,The Robinson Treaties (1850),Douglas Treaties, andThe Williams Treaties (1923).


Actual treaty texts

This is the actual text of treaty four. It is provided by the government of Canada, department of Northern and Indian affairs. This text can be used in both the teaching of your lesson, and the planning of lessons. This content is important to show to students, so they understand what many of our contemporary societies’ issues are based on. By showing the actual text of the treaty four document, students will hopefully see how unclear and ambiguous the treaties actually are. This opens the door to discussions surrounding the true intent of the treaties, and the assimilative nature of the Canadian national policy at the time.

While this page focuses solely on treaty four, which covers the cities of Regina, Moose Jaw and Swift Current, the text of the other numbered treaties is also available from the Canadian government.


Resource # 2

The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan has an easy to read summary of Treaty Four. This would be a good resource to give students as it includes a short history of the treaty, a brief summary of what the treaty promised, and explains some of the things that happened after the treaty was signed. The reading would be a good introduction to treaty education. After reading the class could debrief, and discuss what was in the article. The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan has more articles on treaties that can be found here.


Resource # 3

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner website contains valuable resources for teachers, including the K-12 treaty kit. It also has a brief easy to read summaries treaties four, five, six, eight, and ten. These summaries would be useful for students who are at a lower reading level or who may choose not to read longer articles.


This is the website of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, which is regarded by many as the number one resource when discussing treaty issues in Saskatchewan. It contains seemingly endless resources relating to treaty and First Nations issues. It provides pages and pages of resources, including texts, photographs (both historical and modern), videos, and other print material. This is where teachers find the “treaty kit,” that should be in all schools. It contains many resources for planning and preparing lessons. In addition to this, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner provides workshops to educate teachers on treaty education. They also provide the contact information for various elders, who are available to come into your classroom to speak about First Nations issues.


Resource # 4

The Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba has a write up About Treaties. This is a short summary of the numbered treaties that is also relevant for students living elsewhere in Canada. The About Treaties page summarizes why Canada has treaties, and explains that all people in Canada benefit from them. This would be a good resource to give to students as it is fairly short and easy to understand.


Resource #5

Library and Archives Canada has an online archive on the Canadian West. This archive has art, maps, photographs, and text relating to the history of western Canada. This archive contains information on treaties such asAboriginal Claims, which gives a short summary on How the Crown was legally able to enter into treaties, what signing the treaties entailed, and explains that education was promised in the treaties.

This resource is also useful in that it provides visuals for students. Such as pictures of Treaty Medals and this painting depicting the North West Rebellion of 1885.



Aboriginal Perspectives, is a resource created by the National film board of Canada.This resource has videos that are categorized under themes. When teaching treaties the section on Sovereignty and resistance is likely to be the most helpful, although other sections can also be useful. This resource allows students to view videos, and has a description for teachers of what students will learn from the video. There are also unit plans that teachers can use to get ideas in their lesson planning.


Resource #7

This is the website for the 100 years of loss exhibit that I’m sure we’ve all heard about by now.  This project outlines the history of education in First Nations communities in Canada. Of course, this means that there is a focus placed on the residential school system of the Canadian west.

This website contains a bunch of free teaching resources available to any teacher in Saskatchewan. One of these is a full 100 years of loss edukit, which contains several different resources, including photographs, posters, and videos. In addition to this, several books and pamphlets are available from this website at no cost.


Resource #8

 Virtual museum

This website is a project that is putting many treaty-related primary documents online. It is run be the Saskatchewan archives, and it is based in Saskatoon. It contains resources from several different archives and museums across Saskatchewan. Included in these resources are letters, photographs, telegraphs, newspaper articles, government documents and many other sources written around the time the treaties were signed.  In class, this website would be ideal for students to use if they were writing a research paper, or preparing another type of presentation or project relating to First Nations issues.


Resource #9

This is the website of the Saskatchewan Indian Culture Centre. As a teaching resource, this site contains many pages related to First Nations artwork and the history behind it. It could be used by either student or teacher to incorporate these examples of First Nations artwork into the classroom. In addition to its section on visual art, this site contains information on both language and dance in First Nations culture.

This website also contains an “events” page which lists various events that one can attend throughout the year. As a history/social studies teacher, I feel it is important to expose students to content in ways other than a formal classroom setting. Some of these First Nations cultural events may be a good way to do this, especially if you could tie it in with classes other than social studies (English, art, etc.)


Resource #10

Aboriginal Education Research Centre

This site is the home of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre, which is based out of the University of Saskatchewan. It contains many resources surrounding the most current developments in the field of aboriginal education, including books, studies, and academic papers. From a teaching standpoint, this resource is best used in the planning of lessons/development of teaching skills, rather than the teaching of lessons. Many of the documents contained within the site focus on educational theory, and are not suited for the high school classroom.

Like the SICC website, this page also features an events page, which features aboriginal education PD events and conferences, mostly based in Saskatoon. Of particular interest is a seminar led by Verna St. Denis, aboriginal education professor at the University of Saskatchewan.


Resources #11, #12, #13

One aspect of teaching history that is often forgotten is field trips. Field trips can be used quite effectively to give students a hands-on “experience” of history. When talking about First Nations and treaty issues, many people do not know that there are several historic sites and parks in southern Saskatchewan that relate to treaties, and other First Nations-centric activities, such as the fur trade. Here are three locations that could be used when discussing First Nations/treaty issues:

St. Victor’s Petroglyphs Provincial Historic Park is one of the few (if not the only) known site in southern Saskatchewan where there is a recording of First Nations people’s presence before the arrival of Europeans. This site contains many pictures carved and painted onto a horizontal rock face overlooking a valley in southern Saskatchewan. This site is located several miles south of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, so it would be a feasible day trip for anyone in the south-central part of the province.

Wanuskewin historic park is a First Nations archaeological and historic site located just north of Saskatoon, on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. Like St. Victor, this site helps shed some light on what life was like in the First Nations’ world, before the arrival of Europeans. It contains more than a dozen archeological sites spanning several thousand years of history. This historic site is very accommodating to teachers and students. They have made available several resources to prepare students for a visit to the site, as well as resources to use at the site, and after the trip to the site. This site is located near Saskatoon, so it isn’t very feasible for teachers in Regina, but teachers in Saskatoon and the surrounding area should take advantage of its resources.

Last mountain house provincial historic park houses a re-construction of a standard fur trade post that existed in the 18th and 19th centuries throughout what would become the Canadian west. This website provides teacher’s resources for preparing students for a field trip, either winter or summer. This site is relevant to us as social studies teachers, because the fur trade was the single most important activity in western North America for over two centuries. The fur trade facilitated contact between the First Nations people and the Europeans, both economically, socially and culturally. The fur trade was even responsible (at least in part) for the creation of the Metis race. If students do not understand the fur trade, they cannot fully understand the treaties, since many of the demands in the treaties had their roots in the fur trade.

Last Mountain House is located less than an hour north of Regina on Highway 322, near the village of Craven. Field trips are available year-round, winter or summer.


Resource #14

Okay, this one doesn’t directly relate to First Nations issues in Canada, but I like it, so I’m going to include it anyway. This animated map shows the evolution of the political boundaries of western Canada, from before confederation to the modern day. One treaty-related question that could be asked with this map is: How did First Nations people influence the political boundaries in the Canadian West? Were they ever consulted at all in the creation of the provinces, or in the purchase of Rupert’s Land?


Resource #15

As Long as the Sun Shines

This video explains the purpose of treaties in Saskatchewan. It also explains the Oral traditions of the plains peoples, and on how the treaties came to be. This video contains useful information in the teaching of treaties. Students could be shown this video in order to supplement readings and other activities.

Resource #16

The government of Saskatchewan has created a resource page, to help teachers in treaty education. This resource includes links to treaty maps and the treaty guides from Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada mentioned earlier in this post. This resource also links teachers with other resources such as: Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations,Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre, and ArtsLink. The resource page also has a list of suitable print resources


Resource # 17

The Government of Canada has a website that is devoted to international treaties. Although this resource does not discuss treaties within Canada it is useful for explaining how treaties are agreement between nations. There is also a page within the website that explains the policies of treaties, and how the Canadian government addresses current and potential treaties.


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