Connecting Kids and Treaties

Canada’s History Society

September 4, 2018

For the first time, Kayak — Canada’s History Magazine for Kids — has published a special issue that helps Canadian children explore the story of Treaties and the treaty relationship in Canada.

Titled “We Are All Treaty People,” the special issue is available now for free in both English and French via a digital download. Print copies have also been distributed free to teachers and to Heritage Fair student participants across Canada.

The goal of the special issue is to help children — and their parents — understand the importance and relevance of Treaties, not only historically, but also for today.

“We are all Treaty people, and it is very important for Canadians to know more about the Treaties that form the basis of the relationships between First Nations and the Crown,” says guest editor Cynthia Bird. “These are not simply historical documents. They are living agreements that are as relevant today as the day they were signed.”

Bird is a member of Peguis First Nation and an educator who works with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. She worked with Kayak editor Nancy Payne, who lives in Williams Treaty territory in Ontario, to explore important questions about Treaties and the treaty relationship in a kid-friendly way.

Among the highlights:

  • The special issue was created in collaboration with Indigenous writers, artists, and educators;
  • Treaties and Treaty-making are explored through factual features, maps, an original comic, a game, and more. For instance, a funny and thought-provoking original story, Del’s Truck, by Cree lawyer and writer Guuduniia LaBoucan is actually an allegory of the landmark Delgamuukw case;
  • The cover is a beautiful new work by Michif filmmaker and illustrator Amanda Strong;
  • First Nations illustrators Allan Richard, Alice RL and beyon wren moor also contributed material ranging from evocative line drawings to richly coloured scenes of contact between First Nations and newcomer Europeans.

Classroom material will be made available in both languages to teachers wishing to use the “We Are All Treaty People” issue with students. Kayak is published four times a year in hard copy and once a year in an online digital edition by Canada’s History Society, based in Winnipeg.

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