Educators for Social Justice stands in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq who are asserting their inherent and treaty rights to fish in their own unceded and unsurrendered territory of Mi’kma’ki. For those of us who are settlers, we do this in recognition of our treaty obligations to ensure that the Mi’kmaq “shall not be hindered from, but have free liberty of Hunting and Fishing” (1752 Treaty of Peace and Friendship).
We condemn the racist violence they have been facing from white settlers.
As educators, it is clear to us that a lack of understanding of the Treaties of Peace and Friendship plays a significant role in the longstanding denial of Mi’kmaw treaty rights and the current conflict. We call on the provincial government to increase funding and support for comprehensive Treaty Education professional development for all public school educators, which must include proper compensation for Mi’kmaw Elders and Knowledge Keepers working with educators. We call on the federal government to take immediate action on all Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015), especially those related to education and the full adoption of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).
Finally, we call on settlers in Mi’kma’ki to learn what it means to be a Treaty person in Mi’kma’ki, with the guiding principles of relationship, respect, reciprocity, and responsibility to the Mi’kmaq and the land of Mi’kma’ki, and to fulfill our obligations as Treaty people.