In 2015, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and the Province of Nova Scotia, creating a partnership called Treaty Education Nova Scotia.
The memorandum identifies four objectives:
- Public Education — Support Mi’kmaq schools and provincial school authorities to increase knowledge, develop resources, and increase awareness for all Nova Scotia students and teachers.
- Public Service — Increase Treaty Education awareness and understanding in the Nova Scotia public service.
- General Public — Increase awareness and understanding of Treaty Education in the general public of Nova Scotia through a public education and awareness campaign based on the slogan, “We are all Treaty People.”
- Governance — Explore options to establish a joint entity to coordinate, champion, and monitor Treaty Education efforts in Nova Scotia.
“Treaty Education” refers to the development and implementation of a greater understanding of the inherent aboriginal rights of the Mi’kmaq and the shared treaties as both historical and living agreements that articulate ongoing rights and responsibilities and have ongoing implications.
It refers to the education of all citizens of Nova Scotia about the existence of the treaties, about their importance as the foundation of relationship-building between Mi’kmaq and all other Nova Scotians, and about their value to Nova Scotia’s society as it relates to the expression of Mi’kmaq traditions, culture, and heritage, in both historical and contemporary contexts.
Opportunities are created to learn about the contributions the Mi’kmaq have made to Nova Scotia and about treaties as the building blocks of Nova Scotia and Canada. Treaty Education is working towards teaching the key message, “We are all Treaty People,” and that relationships are based on peace and friendship.
The Treaty Education framework is intended to provide direction for the meaningful integration of Treaty Education into Nova Scotia curricula.
It includes four main aspects—the Mi’kmaq, Treaties, Relationships, and Reconciliation—and asks a key question for each:
- Who are the Mi’kmaq, historically and today?
- What are treaties and why are they important?
- What has happened to the treaty relationship in Nova Scotia?
- What are we doing to reconcile differing views about our shared history to enable justice and equity?