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Treaty Tales trilogy is an excellent series to introduce primary students to the concept of treaties in Canada and the importance of honouring them. The stories provide introductory information about Canada's First People, particularly the Anishinaabe Nation, based in Manitoba. The books centre on the main character Neepin, learning from her grandmother about treaties and their importance to Indigenous peoples. Neepin not only learns about the history of treaties but also lessons about friendship and respect. The trilogy consists of three titles: The Handshake and the Pipe, The Friendship, and We Are All Treaty People.
The Handshake and the Pipe: Neepin, a young First Nations girl and her grandmother, visit various people in her community, including the Band Chief, a nurse at the health clinic, and store clerk. She learns about essential methods employed by the First Nations' People of Canada, including housing, hunting, and fishing.
The Friendship – Neepin visits her grandmother to make homemade bannock and learns about the important friendship that started a long time ago and still exists today. Her grandmother explains the relationship between the First Nations people and the first European settlers, including the sharing of indigenous knowledge and trading resources.
We Are All Treaty People – In the final book, Neepin learns how treaties all over Canada were constructed, and must continue to be respected by all Canadians. Told as a story about Neepin and her grandmother Kookoo, the book shows children, parents and elders gathered around a campfire. The grandmother explains how treaties were signed with newcomers and how First Nations agreed to share the land.
An excellent read-aloud choice for primary students to introduce the treaty process in simple terms, provides introductory information about Canada's First People, and will assist in beginning essential conversations about respecting and honouring our Indigenous Peoples. To learn more about particular First Nations, teachers are encouraged to consult Elders, cultural education centres or friendship centres.
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