Author Archives: debothjenna

About debothjenna

Young and enthusiastic fourth year elementary education student who is very excited about the world of education and all that it has to offer. Follow me on Twitter @debothofus

The Intersection of Self-Care and Moontime

In early March, the women in our ECCU class was prepped to take part in a pipe ceremony as performed by Elder Elma. Inform due to weather concerns this was rescheduled. During this announcement I was excited because I was on my moon-time at that moment and therefore I would have been asked to take time for self-care during this time.

We were rescheduled to take part in a pipe ceremony today, March 21st. Oddly enough, I woke up this morning  and realized that my moon-time had arrived again, for the second time in a month, odd. I was sad to not take part in this pipe ceremony; however, I was guided to use my time as a moment to take part in self-care as this is an important thing for women to do during their moon-time.

While my classmates took part in the pipe ceremony, one of my classmates Shania and I, both on our moon-times, decided to go and try to find ways to take care of ourselves. We spent 25 minutes walking around the University discussing self-care and then we each grabbed our favorite warm beverage and headed back to where we began our journey. During our conversation, it was brought up that there is very little self-care aspects within our University’s walls. We discussed how the construct of University is heavily encompassed by strict deadlines, pressure to succeed and high stress levels. Due to this, Shania and I decided that we would take some times outside of the University this week to engage in self-care.

Understanding Self-Care

When I was first asked to take time for self-care, I immediately thought of how self-care is something that I often set aside in the mix of assignments and classes. I admire the notion that during your moon-time, that a women should take time for self-care and to help her reconnect with the power that she has a life bearer and her strong connection to water. (Keepers of the Water, 2013, pg. 28)


Photo Credit: stevendepolo Flickr via Compfight cc

In considering the idea that my moon-time and ability of bearing life shows signs of great power, I wanted to be respectful and find multiple ways to engage in authentic self-care throughout my moon-time. I have planned to deliberate self-care in the following ways:

  • Physical self-care: This includes ensuring that I eat a healthy breakfast, get enough sleep and take part in physical activity like I do at the gym.
  • Spiritual self-care: This includes ensuring that I find time to listen to music and give thanks to those around me. These are two things that help me build a stronger connection between myself and the world around me.
  • Emotional self-care: Ensuring that I incorporate time during my moon-time to spend quality time with my boyfriend, friends and family as this helps me feel like I have emotional fulfillment in my life.
  • Mental self-care: This includes taking time away from my studies and homework to focus on my mental health. I have intentions to go to the Temple Garden Spa this Friday with my boyfriend as a way to disconnect from the technological world, relax and help myself refocus for the last few weeks of my semester.

So far, this has been my planned engagement with my self-care. I plan to document my self-care in ways that do not disrupt the notion of the care itself. But, for now, I leave you with this.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

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Metis in the Middle – Classroom Presentation

On Feb 28, we had the opportunity in our ECCU class to have a young man by  the name of Russell Fayant come in and speak to us on the topic of Metis and their role in treaties. Below are some brief jot notes regarding key information that I took from the presentation:

  • Who are Metis?
    • French and Scottish; Cree and Ojibwa (mostly)
    • A Metis person is:
      • Recognized by a Metis Community
      • Self-Declares to be Metis person
      • Trace History to historic MetisCommunity (ie: Willowbunch in Saskatchewan)
      • Michif is the traditional language of Metis peoples
      • Hillbox Hat/ Metis Sash are considered Traditional Attire

“It is not who you claim to be… it’s who claims you.”

  • Extinguish of Land Titles Through Scrip
    • 1.4 million acres
    • 1870 Manitoba act was signed
    • Metis families were pushed far away
    • rescinded or pulled back 4 times of 2 years for alterations.
    • Less than 2% of Metis peoples today have the claim to the land originally given by scrip
    • POWERFUL ACTIVITY ABOUT SCRIP – created by Russel to show students how Scrips were distributed, rescinded multiple times and in the end the Metis people were left disbursed from their homes and cutoff from both European and Indigenous Communities.

The reason that I have added these few bullets above is to help myself when reflecting upon this experience and blog postin future years and helping myself consider just a few things that I learned from this presentation.

An excerpt from Russel’s presentation that stood out to me was:

No one knows reconciliation like Metis people because we were created out of Europeans trying to make peaceful relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Metis would not exist without it. We know reconciliation is possible because is has happened before.

I appreciated that Russell mentioned this as it reminded me that there is hope for reconciliation in this world as it has happened in one form in the past. I know that reconciliation looks different for everyone; however, I feel empowered as I realize that it has happened before therefore it is not an impossible way of life!Photo Credit: blprnt_van Flickr via Compfight cc

KEY MOMENT from this presentation: I realized that I know nothing about Metis people, culture and histories. I have a responsibility to learn more so that I can speak appropriately as an advocate during in my Treaty Education of youth. In learning more I have committed to doing the following actions:

  • Watch the movie Places Not Our Own
  • Watch Ashes and Tears (The Gabriel Dumont Library has it
  • Research further the impacts that colonization has had on Metis peoples.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

Categories: ECCU 400 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Unsettled Classroom Visit – Claire’s Class

Late in January, I was reminded in one of my classes of an unsettled educator in the Prairie South School Division, who has developed a working and authentic integration process of Treaty Education into her modern 21st century grade 3 classroom. Her name is Claire Kreuger and I had the opportunity to go and observe an afternoon in her classroom in the first few days of February 2017.

But how did I get there? Let’s talk. After being reminded of Claire’s presence as a educator, I thought back to when I had first heard of this remarkable teacher. See, back in my 2nd year of my degree, I was fortunate enough to have Claire come and speak to myself and 150 other elementary education pre-service teachers during one of our lecture classes. I remember she spoke about the garden of hearts as well as some of her challenges that she is faced with as an educator. Later on in that same year, in another class, Claire’s classroom was brought up once again, this time in the light of environmental education. So, fast forward two years, when Claire’s name was brought up again, I knew I had to meet her. The remarkable thing about social media and the age of technology is that I used a simple 140 character tweet to ask for an opportunity that forever changed the way that I look at a 21st century classroom.

Within 3 hours of sending out a tweet to Claire, I received a response that she would love to open her classroom up and have me come observe. I was very excited and withing a few days, I was on my way to take hold of this new opportunity. This is where the knowledge that I have developed in my treaty walk so far kicked in. I realized that I was on my way to a school I had never been to before as well as I had never met Claire face to face. I decided that if she was going to open her classroom and her wealth of education wisdom to me, then I needed to arrive with something to thank her with. I headed to a local floral show as I thought that a few flowers would be a great thank you. Being the thoughtful person that I think I am, I decided to get carnations as they do not have a strong scent, in case her or any of her students has allergies. A thank you goes out to my mother for this knowledge, as she is allergic to almost every scent excluding the subtle smells of carnations.

Fast forward again, I have arrived at the school, wrapped flowers in hand along with my handy notebook and a pen. I enter the school, ask for Madame Kreuger. Upon arriving in her classroom, I was delighted to see 30+ students huddles on the floor in a semi circle around Claire. This was the beginnings of a drumming group that Claire was working to develop in their school. One of the strongest recollections from those first few moments in that classroom was the gentle, natural and abundant conversation about Indigenous ceremonies, history and content. These students were discussing the purpose of a round dance, sometime, that I still require to research further. After the transition from lunch to class time again, I was blown away at the wealth of knowledge that Claire’s grade 3 students had about treaty four and the peoples who live within in. The seamless integration of a round dance unit and quiz into English language period was remarkable and I felt that Claire has put in tons of effort to make treaty education a natural part of her classroom.

Needless today, the afternoon flew by and I felt that at the end I could now speak to a small portion of why Claire has the remarkable reputation that she has in the southern part of Saskatchewan. I could go on all day about the endless ways that Claire’s classroom challenged my settler mindset; however, I want to narrow in on how this connects to my treaty walk. For me, I will take this experience forward with me as it has helped me realize that I have a responsibility as an educator to make treaty education not only known, but a staple in my educational philosophy and daily practices in the classroom.

Once again I thank Claire for this experience and I hope that my classmates and other pre-service teachers or current teachers get an opportunity to observe and learn from Claire and the way she approaches Treaty Education in the classroom.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

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We Are All Treaty People – Visiting the Royal Sask Museum Exhibit

At the end of January, I had the opportunity to go to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum to take a look at the We Are All Treaty People exhibit. Due to particular circumstances that day, both my parents decided to join me on this journey. I have been to the Royal Sask Museum multiple times in the past four years; therefore I had a strong feeling that this exhibit would be located in the lower floor of the building. Upon arriving at the exhibit, I was slightly shocked to see that it was only a tiny corner of the room. In my mind, I thought that a topic as important as Treaties would be a larger exhibit than the one it was; however, I am aware that I should be thankful that the museum has a place where they could host these articles of the true history of Canada.

As a settler person whom is working towards unsettling, I was astonished to hear that the pictograph, that was created by Chief Pasqua, was originally meant to be taken to parliament as a written account of what Indigenous Peoples were promised in treaties in comparison to what they received; instead it was taken to a home and hung as a decoration for many generations. To me, this speaks to the disrespect shown towards Indigenous Peoples and their way of knowing. I am aware that at the time that many of the numbered treaties were signed, that Indigenous groups did not speak English; however, I feel frustrated by the idea that they were taken advantage of because of their alternative ways of communication and documentation of events; such as the pictograph, shown below.

Nevertheless, I digress. The whole experiences of looking at the pictograph and a copy of the original transcript of Treaty 4 was enlightening. This event contributed to my treaty walk as it gave me a better idea of how the treaties were used as tools of surrender against Indigenous Peoples. I know that as a treaty person, I have a responsibility to continue to talk about how treaties were negotiated, their original intentions from both parties as well as contemporary results due to their implementation.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

 

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A Perspective Shift: Additions to my Worldview

As a settler, my eyes have been opened to the idea that treaties were originally created to be a peaceful friendship between two groups. In part, many of the treaties were created, “not [as] land surrenders, but rather established commercial trade arrangements and reflected a desire on the part of the British to have military alliances.” (Chelsey Vowel, 2016, pg. 246) When trying to understand my role as a treaty person, I believe that it’s important to understand why treaties were originally signed and what the original intent behind them was.

Peace and Respect. These were the original intentions of settler relations with Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island. At first contact, the Europeans needed support from the Indigenous peoples in order to survive the conditions of Turtle Island.  So what went wrong? Why did the Europeans go from wanting a relationship with Indigenous groups to trying to assimilate them into ‘European society”. Well, what is comes down to is the ideals of patriarchy and colonialism. Europeans lack of respect for Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing/ living caused a breakdown in communication and therefore lead to the disintegration of the peaceful and respectful relationships between Indigenous Peoples and settlers.

Even though Indigenous Peoples have been cheated by, misled, or even hurt from the settler peoples, I am astounded by the resiliency, openness and forgiveness that emanates from survivors, decision makers and the general population of Indigenous Peoples who I have heard their stories or comments at this point in my treaty walk. I strongly believe that the greater populations of settler peoples have a responsibility to listen to Indigenous voices as they hold many valuable and respectable morals and ideas that I strongly believe should be integrated and adopted into the western worldview.

In this, I am making reference to the ideals of religion. I have a high respect for the idea I have heard mentioned by various elders or life speakers from different groups across Saskatchewan. This idea comes forth when a diverse group of people take part in a ceremony or experience together and someone refers to praying to a higher power. The common phrase that I have heard associated with this, in which I admire, is to, “pray in the way you were taught.” In my worldview, this means that there is no discrimination against your beliefs and values, but you are called to take part in this honourable experience in the eyes of a greater power (ie: God, the Creator etc.). Hearing and recognizing this common narrative makes me feel hope that as a part of reconciliation, that all people will come to recognize, and respect the differences that we have as a diverse nation and the fact that we should not discriminate against someone who may have a different belief then our own.

As a part of my treaty walk and my journey to becoming an educator, I believe that the ideas of peace and respect as well as openness, forgiveness and reciliency are elements that I would like to bring into my classroom. In doing this, I am able to develop students who are open minded, caring and stronger global citizen, which in turn will help our society move away from colonialism and patriarchy and work towards a more just and welcoming world.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

Categories: ECCU 400 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blanket Exercise

The blanket exercise was not a new topic for me this semester; however, I did not have the opportunity to take part in the exercise before this semester. As an educator, one of my most important goals for my students is to engage them in the learning process so that they can make meaning sense of the world around them and be interested in learning to the point that they understand that learning is a lifelong and enjoyable process.  The blanket exercise is one of those opportunities that would engage students in a meaningful learning experience about Turtle Island’s true history.

This semester, I have had the opportunity to take part in the blanket exercise twice; first as a part of my ECCU class and secondly as a part of the train process to facilitate the exercise. The first experience was very emotion filled for me. I learned about different concepts such as the enfranchisement along with the power struggle that Indigenous people were faced with in the past along with how they continue to be challenged by the impacts of colonization. During our debrief of the first exercise, I had to self-talk myself through some of the emotions that I was feeling in order to clearly reflect on the learning that I had just experienced. The second time I took part in the exercise, I started to think about how useful this experience would be to teach students about the history of Turtle Island along with the impacts that colonization has had on us all.

As an educator, I would love to use the blanket exercise in my classroom as a way to introduce to my student the experiences mentioned in the exercise. Since the exercise is a relatively quick paced recollection of the colonization of Turtle Island, it could not be used as a one-off for treaty education as students would miss out on much of the information that they should learn about. In saying this, I think that this exercise would be a great start to an inquire unit about the impact of colonization and the process of assimilation on Indigenous Peoples in Canada.  I am thankful that Kairos Canada has created this resource and that it along with other remarkable resources are free for educators to use with their students.

In regards to my treaty walk, the essential learning that I take away from the blanket exercise is that numbered treaties were developed in the past; however the impacts of them still is evident today and therefore I have a role as an educator to ensure that my students understand the treaty making process, the impacts of treaty and what they can do as a part of reconciliation.

I look forward to using this resource with my students to help them kick start their own treaty walk and learn what it means to be a treaty person.

 

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

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Understanding Symbols: Seminar 4

Another key learning from peer seminar groups was from seminar four which discussed symbols in treaty making. A powerful symbol that was discussed was the handshake. This symbol represented many things; however each one relates to a promise. I am aware that the handshakes or signs of promises made at treaty negotiations were not kept; however, I wonder what that says about the importance that settler people put on having a firm handshake. I remember when I was in my career guidance class in Grade 9 and our teacher asked us to practice handshakes so that one day when we went for job interviews that we would have a strong and firm handshake to show our confidence. After learning more about the symbolism behind handshakes, my idea of the importance of handshakes has diminished. I strongly believe that if handshakes were valued as much as we, settler people, pretend that they are then we would have done everything in our power not to break the promises that we made my shaking hands with out Indigenous neighbors during treaty negotiations.

Other symbols were brought up in seminar four such as the bible. This made me think about symbols that exist in my life and how people misconstrued them to be something else. For example, I have a tattoo on my left hip that includes a rosary. I have had many people ask if I have this symbol because of its association with religion and in turn they assume that I am a Christian. Well they are not entirely wrong, but this symbol is not for me; instead it is a replica of my grandmother’s rosary that I got when she passed away. I have the image tattooed on me in honour of her with little connection to the symbol as it pertains to religious beliefs.
During seminar four, I appreciated the opportunity to create a flag that represented me as a treaty person or my journey towards understanding myself as treaty person. As a flag is another form of symbol, let me take a moment to explain what my flag means in reference to its image below.

First, let’s talk about the background. In the background is a bunch of trees and blue sky. This represents my belief that in order to fully understand myself as a treaty person I must think about where I am from and where to go from there. My home town of Hudson Bay is located in the middle of the forest in Northeast Saskatchewan and trees are a natural symbol that reminds me of its geological location.

Secondly, let’s take a deeper look at the eyes and the book on this flag. The eyes represent my awareness and my openness towards learning about treaty issues both past and contemporary. The eyes also represent my curiosity that pushes me to want to learn more so that I can be a stronger educator. Also, the eyes represent the main part of my treaty walk, which is being open to opportunities and taking hold of those as frequently as I can.

Finally, the book represents the literature that I have taken up as a part of my treaty walk. This would be articles that I find online, books I have found in stores or even the literature shared with my by peers, life speakers, instructors or anyone else. I strongly believe that stories, whether written or verbally shared, are a key way to help myself understand who I am as a treaty person.

Symbolism is everywhere in our world. I have made a promise to myself as a part of my treaty walk, to inquire into symbols further so that I may be respectful of those symbols as well as able to teach an appreciation for symbols to my students one day.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

 

 

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Engaging in Peer Led Seminars: Traditional Healing

I have a great appreciation for learning from my peers as they have a wealth of knowledge and can easily relate to the struggles that I am faced with as a pre-service teacher. In seminar two, the topic of traditional healing was discussed. I found this experience enlightening because I was able to physically map out where my holistic health was at currently and brainstorm things that I could do to help make my circle ‘round’ again. In the picture below, is my drawing of my holistic balance of life as of February 2nd, 2017.20170202_195154

As you can see, I had a few areas that needed support; however, all of my parts of self could use some work. On a personal level, I enjoyed this activity brought to light by the Seminar two group as it helped me think about my self-care, which as an educator or student;sometimes I put on the back burner. As an educator, this could be a great activity to do with my students as it shows them that their actions have an impact on how they feel and think about themselves. I strongly connected to this activity when the metaphor of considering your holistic health as a ball and you would not want to have a lopsided ball it would not roll right. The same goes for your holistic health, we must make sure that all four quadrants of ourselves are in balance to make sure that we feel good. After completing this exercise, I started to think about my daily routines and activities. This helped me realize that I may not be physically ill; however, I needed to take some more time for myself to relax, rejuvenate and to get more sleep. With students this would also be a good activity as you could ask for the reasoning behind why the student picked each level for each quadrant and then ask them what they think they could do to improve it.

Thank you for seminar group two for bringing forward this idea to us as a class.

 

 

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Signs of Your Identity: Two Powerful Presentations by Daniella Zalcman

During the month of January, I took hold of an opportunity to listen to a new voice discussing the impacts of Residential Schools. This new voice was that of Daniella Zalcman, a documentary photographer from New York, NY: USA. For myself as a Canadian Settler, I feel that her voice is powerful because she is someone from another country, looking into Canada and reminding us that we need to admit that we have a past that many refuse to recognize still to this day, furthermore that we need to listen to the stories of those who have survived and initiate their Calls to Action. Daniella came to the U of R on two separate occasions, the first was to discuss her research and the making of her book, Signs of your Identity, and the second was to engage with several Residential School survivors in hopes to share some knowledge of what faculty members, teachers and pre-service teachers can do as a part of Reconcili-Action.

The first presentation took place on January 26th. During this time Daniella introduced herself as well as the book that she had just released entitled Signs of Your Identity. I appreciated that Daniella reminded us that she did not intentionally come looking for stories of residential school survivors, but was actually doing a research piece on the high HIV rates among Indigenous populations in Regina. After working with a family for multiple weeks, Daniella returned back to the US and did not publish her work as she realized that it was missing pieces and if this work was published the way it was, it would portray a negative view of these Indigenous peoples what she grew close with. Daniella returned at a later date and learned about Residential Schools and the experiences that occurred with in their or because of inter-generational trauma. This created the basis of her book which involved creating images that had an overlay of two images, one of a survivor, that was accompanied from an excerpt of the conversation that they had with Daniella. The next picture was that same portrait of the survivor with an overlay of a picture that represented something in their story. I found that these images were very powerful as it speaks to how trauma has an affect on who you are and the way that you live your life. I believe that every educator should look at these images to get a different perspective of how Residential Schools impacted and changed the lives of those who attended as well as the families of those who attended.

If you would like to see some of Daniella’s work from this book or would like to purchase this books, please take a look at her website linked here. This website also includes access to lesson plans and other educational resources for educators or anyone to access and use.


The second presentation by Daniella Zalcman took place on January 30th. Faculty, students and teachers gathered together at the U of R to listen to and ask question to a panel of Residential School survivors. I greatly appreciated that this panel was not focused on explicitly discussing what happened in Residential Schools, although that inherently came up, but instead it was focused on what can educators do to as a part of reconcili-action, referring to reconciliation, but actually doing something. This was a powerful experience for myself on my treaty walk as it allowed an opportunity to listen to authentic stories regarding residential schools and think about what actions I can take as an educator.

This panel was filled with 5 women who had endured so much throughout their lives. Their stories told about the inter-generational trauma that they had ensured or that they watched their families endure as well. A powerful quote that one of the women stated was, “People did not choose to live the way they do on the streets.” It stuck with me as it reminded me of the racism that many settlers speak of in Canada about how ‘indigenous peoples choose to live the way they do’. I know that this is not true and in fact that if white settlers had gone through the trauma of residential schools and the mistreatments since contact, that they too would be fighting a battle that is bigger than themselves. As an educator, I want to make sure that my students are educated on the real history of Canada from an early age, in hopes that they can develop an understanding for why many Indigenous peoples in Canada are faced with living on the streets or the poor conditions of reservations. I am also aware that my past statement leaves out those Indigenous peoples whom live in other conditions. I hope that our future generation will come to understand and respect all Indigenous people and those of other cultures as well.

Now to bring myself back to the discussion from the panel on January 30th. I was humbled by the fact that these five women who had experienced great trauma in their lives, were able to show such resiliency and positivity towards their future. On woman in particular was discussing the current issues for Indigenous peoples and she brought up that many children are still being taken away from their families and instead of being put into residential schools as they use to be, now they are being put into foster care. I had no realized that this was a large of an issue as it is until now. I can understand that the Government may think that they are protecting these children by taking them away from their families, but I wish they would take a moment and realize that this is another tool being used to assimilate and continue to perpetuate the impacts of inter-generational trauma onto another generation. By taking children away, we are causing them to lose their culture and their family connections. I don’t know how, but I strongly believe that the government needs to create a new structure where families can live together as a whole and receive the support they need to break this inter-generational trauma that we continue by taking children away.

For Learning: I plan to research more information about children who are taken away from their families today and the impact that this is having on them as the next generation.

Treaty Walk Realization: This will always be an ongoing part of my life. I can never start learning, because treaty relations will always exists as long as the sun shines, water flows and grasses grow.

Until Next Time,

Jenna deBoth
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A New Appreciation: Cleansing the Soul and Finding Balance

As a part of my treaty walk, I have been focusing on keeping my eyes open for opportunities that arise to further my education. I hope to take part in as many ceremonies and celebrations as I can this semester and further more as I continue on my never ending Treaty Walk. On January 12, our ECCU class had the honour of taking part in a smudging ceremony with Life Speaker Noel Starblanket. Before this point, I had the opportunity to take part in another smudge at a pipe ceremony in my second year of my degree. Even thought I was aware of what was about to occur during this experience, I still felt weary and anxious. Not because I was out of my element, one might say, but because I did not want to do anything that would be offensive. The format of this smudging for our class was a way to stand up, form a line and approach one by one to smudge ourselves.  This was very different from the smudging I took part in my second year as well as the next smudging experiences that I had, 2 weeks later at the beginning of a panel-discussion.

These two experiences were different in format as the smudging pot was brought around to each one of us in the room and was wafted onto us with a large feather. This was followed by individual cleansing by wafting smoke with our hands over our heads, heart and the rest of our body.

Having the three opportunities now to be involved in a smudging, I can honestly say that I feel very honoured to have been a part of these ceremonies. I strongly believe that as the smoke washed over my body that I took a moment to relax and focus on deep breathing and giving thanks. This is something that I as a settler, often forget to stop and do. I felt relaxed after the ceremony each time and I also felt focused. I am aware that my active listening skills were more engaged after each experiences; therefore I feel that I got more out of the discussions and conversations that occurred after the ceremony.

Disclosure: Even though I have taken part in three smudging ceremonies, I do not claim to be an expert or even in fact completely understand the symbolism of a smudge, however, these experiences have helped me gain a stronger appreciation and respect for this type of ceremony as well as I want to continue to learn about the importance of this type of ceremony as my Treaty Walk continues.

Until next time,

Miss Jenna deBoth

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My Settler Story

In order to think about my settler story, I must think about to where I am from as well as where my family is from. If you were to ask me to ‘categorize’ my heritage, I would tell you that the cultural roots of my family are connected to Holland, Germany, England and Canada. Below, I have created two simple family trees of my connection to my family members who made the choice to immigrate from other parts of the world to come to Canada, along with a bit of backstory to go with them.

The Rederburg Back Story

Grandpa (Howard Rederburg)

On my mother’s side, I have ties to Sweden and England.  My mother’s maiden name is Rederburg; however, when I research my family members before the 1850’s I have to look under the name Jacobson as this was our family name before this time. My great- great- great- great grandfather (not sure of his name) was in the military in Germany at one point. He met a man who’s last name was Rederburg. During this time, there was an abundance of Jacobson’s in Sweden, so he decided to change their last name to Rederburg.

My great-great grandfather Swan Rederburg made the choice to leave Sweden with his family and ‘settled’ in Wheaton, Minesota. At this time, the Canadian Government has parcels of land up for purchase throughout the prairies. Swan moved with his family by Wagon to Canada and purchased a piece of land by Midale, Saskatchewan. They wanted to be farmers and ‘own’ some land. One of Swan’s children, Oscar, or my great-grandfather, met a young lady by the name of Doris Sykes and soon they got married. Doris’s family was from Carievale, SK, which is where her family created their home when they came from England to Canada.

Oscar worked as a banker for a few years in Griffin, SK, before purchasing some land just outside of Benson, SK. Doris and Oscar had five children: Alfred, Clifford, Aida, Marion and Howard, who is my grandfather. Howard  attended the school in Benson until he was in grade 8 and then he started to work for a farmer. Soon, he wanted his own land. Starting when he was 16, every winter he would go to Regina and work for Sears as a transport truck driver.  As he spent the whole winter in Regina, he started to attend a youth group at one of the United Churches in the city. This is where he met Florence Hertzog, or my grandmother.   Starting going to a young people’s youth group at the united church in Regina. He met Florence Hertzog. Howard had some land that he and his brothers farmed and then after  they got married they bought more. They had three daughters; Theresa, Michelle, Debbie.

Grandma (Florence Hertzog)

My Grandma grew up without a father as he passed away when she was 2. His name was Russell and he came to Canada from Germany. Margaret Gerdes, was my grandmother’s mom. She came from England with her family. Margaret and Russell met each other on the boat coming to Canada. They eventually decided to live and raise a family in Regina, SK. Wayne, Roy, Harold and Florence are the four children of Margaret and Russell.

 

 

rederburg-side

The deBoth Back Story

Grandpa (Frank deBoth)

On my dad’s side of the family, I have ties to Holland and England. My great grandparents on the deBoth side, immigrated to Canada from Holland. Their names, Frank and Elizabeth deBoth settled in Saskatchewan and raised four children: Frank, Theresa, Fred and Elizabeth. My last name is often spelt “de Both” or “Deboth”, however, I have always spelt it “deBoth” as in “de-both-of-us”. This has caused me to have a more difficult time figuring out a backstory for this side of the family. My grandpa does not talk much about his parents, so I am still working to figure out more information about the deBoth side of my family.

Grandma (Mary Siddons)

My grandma’s parents, Elsie and James Siddons, moved from England to Canada. They chose Saskatchewan as their landing pad and raised 5 children: Penny, Mary, Gene, Gordon and Noreen. Since my Grandma and her siblings have passed away, I am still working to figure out more information about the Siddon’s side of my family as well.

deboth-side

Considering Myself As Settler

I was faced with considering myself as a settler when my group decided to pick the topic of the term settler for our group facilitation. I was intrigued by this topic because I still have difficulty calling myself a settler. During the preparation for this seminar, I read various materials regarding the term settler. One passage stood out to me and I used it as a part of or seminar as it helped me understand a bit more about what the term settler means to me.

Settler. The word voices relationships to structures and processes in Canada today, to the histories of our peoples on this land, to Indigenous peoples, and to our own day-to-day choices and actions. Settler. This word turns us towards uncomfortable realisations, difficult subjects and potential complicity in systems of dispossession and violence. Settler. The word represents a tool, a way of understanding and choosing to act differently. A tool we can use to confront the fundamental problems and injustices in Canada today. Settler. It is analytical, personal. and uncomfortable. It can be an identity that we claim or deny, but that we inevitably live and embody. It is who we are, as a people, on these lands. ”

” We are Settler Canadians.”

Lowman, E. & Barker, A. (2015); Settler Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada.; Fernwood Publishing, Black Point, Nova Scotia. Print. Pg. 2.

Reading this passage solidified for me that I am a settler. As a part of my treaty walk, I have been looking for opportunities to learn more and expand my learning or perhaps unlearn some of my colonial ways. In the opportunity of reading about the term settler, I was awoken to the idea that the reason that I have had great difficulty with calling myself a settler is because it disrupts my identity that was rooted in being a Canadian citizen. I have realized that I am a settler as my ancestors came from Holland and started a new life for themselves in Canad. After this reading, I tried to tell myself that the term settler is not a bad one for me to associated with; however, it is a part of my truth and my life story and in order for me to truly understand who I am, I must accept and adapt that term.

In saying this, I naturally bring up the topic of naming oneself. From the beginning of my ECCU journey until now, I have realized that I am a settler, but I am not satisfied with that term. The passion and connection that I have felt towards learning about and engaging with Indigenous Peoples worldview and knowledge has shown me that I am a Settler who wants to know more. One of my peers, April, named herself as a “Seeking Settler” and this far in my journey, I would say that this is the term that I would name myself as. However, I know that the more I learn, and the more I explore what it means to be a treaty person, that I acquire my own name for myself. That is all for now.

Until next time,

Miss Jenna deBoth

Categories: ECCU 400 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Notion of Unlearning

The other day, in a conversation with my classmate Jason, the term unlearning came up. I was intrigued by this term as I have always thought about learning since I am pursuing a career as an educator. The idea of unlearning sparked my interest because I started to think about having a wrong view or maybe a misinformed view about a topic. Later on in the day, as I attended a small smudging ceremony for class, this term was brought up again. Unlearning was directly related to the idea of learning ‘Canadian’ history in school and how many people have missed learning about treaties, treaty promises and the impact of treaties.

An introduction to this term provoked a thought in my mind that I need to reconsider my previous teaching about history in this country. Furthermore, I require a reflective lens about history when I am discussing it as this will ensure that I include all aspects of the history of this land.

The main reason I am divulging into the term unlearning is due to the fact that, through personal reflections, I have come to understand that our euro-western worldview has taught us history and ‘facts’ that are based on one side of the story. This settler story, holds great prejudice against indigenous peoples and lacks the complexity of these past issues. These “Canadian” historical stories show the depiction of Indigenous peoples as those who were in need of saving and “civilizing”.  Through my University journey, I realize that this is not the case and that in fact Indigenous people way of life before colonization and contact was complex, complete and meaningful.

I am fortunate to be a part of the Anti-Bias and Anti-Oppressive education program at the University of Regina which focuses on ensuring that all students and staff feel safe, respect and represented in their daily lives. This education degree has helped to open my eyes to the injustices that have occurred in the past and to do my part to “unlearning” the past and learn it from multiple perspectives so that I can better education my students some day. With this reflective view, my future students will hopefully not have to take this same “unsettling” journey as I because it will be a part of their lives growing up. This semester, I am challenging myself to have a reflective lens when I am analyzing the world around me.

For now, I leave you with this: My hope for this semester, is that I will have many moments when I have the opportunity to “unlearn” the colonial past and customs and take time to educate myself with multiple perspectives instead of having tunnel vision.

Until next time,

Jenna

Categories: ECCU 400 | Leave a comment

Rethinking My Own Identity: A Purposeful Planning Post

This semester, I was introduced to the concept of a treaty walk. I am aware that this can be taken in different ways. In my mind, a treaty walk is your purposeful planning to put yourself in experiences or expose yourself to new ideas that help you better understand what it means to be a treaty person and what your role in reconciliation is. With this in mind, I have collected some thoughts about what actions I plan to take this semester to help myself understand what it means to be a treaty person.

The first purposeful step was to research different events and activities that are happening in the local area, that I can attend. My classmate Shayla, was kind enough to share two events happening at the University regarding residential school experiences and understanding identity. These events are put on by Daniella Zalcman. I plan to attend each of these (January 26 & 30) as well as make connection to this topic in regards to my identity and how it relates to myself in the role of a teacher.

The second purposeful step is to listen for opportunities that arise in my daily life that can help me understand my role as a treaty person. By listening to the world around me, I open my eyes to learning experiences I would have missed otherwise. This concept arose from an instructor in my ELIB class. She spoke about looking for opportunities and being open to ones that are outside of your comfort zone because this is how you grow and experience the world fully.

For now, I leave you with this. I plan to continue to blog about my different experiences as they arise and their connection to my emerging identity as a treaty person.

Until next time,

Jenna

Categories: ECCU 400 | Leave a comment

Rethinking My Own Identity: An Introduction

For those who have made it this far on my blog and are still not sure, welcome to my blog. I’m Jenna deBoth and I have decided to change up my mindset. Throughout University, I have started to realize that I was very sheltered growing up. By this, I am referring to lack of experiences I had to self-determine my identity. Being a child in a small town meant that I followed in the beliefs and values of my parents. Not until I came to Regina was I submerged with various different and unique ideologies and perspectives.

My parents have always followed a fairly conservative christian belief system. When I was young, we regularly went to church and took part in various fellowship activities. As I started to get involved in extracurricular activities, I started to choose friends and dance class over attending church on Sunday Afternoons. My parents were very accepting of this as they wanted me to figure out where I fit into the world. Due to this, I started to pull away from our local Lutheran Church. I always felt that something would take its place, but throughout high school, nothing ever did. To make matters more interesting, during this time, I started to go through coming of age and trying to figure out what my place in the world is. In the chaotic blur of adolescence, I did not worry about have a religious belief so for a long time I often forgot about thinking about my were.

In the beginning of University, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people at the University in comparison to my small town high school, this caused me to revert to staying in my room and away from others. By second semester, I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and start to connect with people around me. I pursued a group on campus that got me involved in volunteer experiences. This opened my eyes to the number of different perspectives that existed in the world. Around the end of my 2nd year of University, I realized that I needed to figure out where I fit into our world. In theory, this realization was the true beginning of my search for my spot in the world.

Now, I want to clarify a few things. First, I have always been someone who has wanted to be a teacher and share my love of learning with the world. I realize that the explanation above could be interpreted as I had no motivation in life, but this is not the case. Basically, if you thought about my life as a puzzle, at the end of second year university, I was a 3/4 completed puzzle, but the rest of the puzzle pieces were missing from the box. The second point I wanted to clarify is that I know many people who know me would not believe it, but yes, at one point in my life (for about 6 months, but who’s counting…) I was an introvert and avoided people and interactions.

So, if you have stuck with me this far in this post, you might be wondering what values and beliefs of the past have to do with changing my mindset. Please, let me take a moment to explain.

Since the end of my second year of University, I have explicitly been exposed to information about Indigenous peoples in Canada. I had the opportunity to be a part of a Treaty Education workshop, along with my fellow classmates. On top of that, I took on a responsibility to not only learn about residential school experiences, but also I trained and eventually facilitated Witness Blanket experiences with various groups of school ages youth. Learning about Indigenous perspectives and worldview has become of great interest for me.

In the recent weeks, I have realized that I have a strong interest in these topics because I strongly relate to this worldview. I strongly believe that the world is interconnected and when something happens it causes a reaction. Growing up with a mother who works as a counselor, I have a strong respect for the four parts of health and I can always tell when one part of my self is lacking and how that affects me as a whole. I want to learn more about this perspective in hopes that it will be able to fill a part of that void in my understanding where my beliefs and values fit into the world.

For now, I leave you with this. I have realized that in order to make a change in your life or truly understand who you are, you must make a deliberate decision to try new things, expose yourself to new experiences to help yourself learn and grow. I look forward to learning more about my classmates, treaty education, indigenous perspectives and myself during this semester.

Until next time,

Jenna

Categories: About Me, ECCU 400 | Leave a comment

October 19th

Today was a very interesting day in my internship. I started off the day, struggling to get out of bed and I did not feel well. After I convinced myself to get motivated to eat breakfast, I headed off to the school. First period was prep which allowed myself, some time to relax and get ready for the day.

My first lesson was teaching about reading strategies. We have been using this very cool game that teaches students about reading strategies. It works really well on iPad. In my previous reading strategies class, the students took almost 15 minutes to get onto the site and start playing the game. That’s half of my whole lesson time. This time, I wanted to change it up so that students would be able to get on quicker. I realized that a QR code reader would speed things up, or so I thought. Turns out, on our iPads, we do not currently have a QR code reader (hopefully getting one soon) so instead we had to use the Samsung tablets. These tablets are a great tool… when they work. We had issues with our tablets and in turn, we ended up not getting to our activity quickly again this time. So, I have decided that we will play the game as a class next time so that I know it will get done. Sometimes, it is hard to have individualized technology activities when technology does not want to co-operate.
The chaos of the classroom did not end there. Soon, we transitioned into our Freak the Mighty paragraphs that we have been writing. I felt agitated during this lesson people students continually asked me the same question over and over, “what do I do next?” The interesting part is that I had created a step by step document and criteria list for this paragraph and we went over it extensively at the beginning of our writing stages. I have realized that this is a common theme among our students, “learned helplessness” or the need to be told what to do all the time. I stopped the class to redirect and inform the students about the resource that they have in their book that is there to help them do the best job that they can on this assessment. I felt very frustrated that I spent so much time explaining and creating that sheet, and then it was overlooked instead of being utilized. Anyways, lesson learned.

My math lesson today went well. I felt proud when I decided on the the fly, to do a refresher activity before sending students off to do their assignment. This helped me remember that I had two students who missed the instruction the day before and needed it in order to complete the assignment. I pulled the two students aside and taught them while others worked. In order to help these students get caught up, I made sure that I selected questions on their assignment that touched on each concept, but I lowered the amount of questions they needed to complete. I am proud of this decision today.

At noon today, we had out LUNCH ON LITERACY, which is basically a “Pack-a-parent” lunch with a twist. Parents come to meet in the gym with their child(ren) and eat lunch followed by reading books together. It was a great turn out and very fun to be a part of.

After lunch, I taught social and health. My social lesson involved watching a video about Tommy Douglas. This was a great alternative to researching for students as I noticed they were able to pick out way more information from the video, than they would have been able to get from reading a text. After last recess, was health, where I provided students with an activity where they got to draw their three favorite activities and then list the safety considerations that they needed to think about in order to stay safe while during that activity. I gave the students large pieces of old school printer paper and let them create a mural of their drawings.

I am looking forward to what the rest of the week has in store for me!

 

Until next time!

Jenna deBoth

Categories: Internship Reflections | Leave a comment

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