Going from “We Are All Treaty People” to “We Are All Related” in settler and Indigenous relations.

Presenters: Elliot Young

With the growing importance of settler and Indigenous relations, there is a need to build relationships founded in Indigenous knowledge. This is amplified with documents such as UNDRIP and the TRC Calls to Action, and social movements like Idle No More and #JusticeforColten. It’s imperative we move forward in a good way.

A step in this direction is teaching settlers that “we are all treaty people”. Educating settlers about the spirit of treaty and how it is applied today is a great step to building a relationship with Indigenous people. At its core, it is an easier concept to understand for settlers as it is an agreement between two parties. An agreement like this can be identified every day, such as a letter of employment.

To move this relationship into an Indigenous worldview, the concept of “we are all related’ needs to be taught. This term has teachings connected to the medicine wheel and explains why relations go beyond familial ties to the environment, land, spirits, and medicine. Land-based and experiential learning is integral to settlers and Indigenous people to understand the meaning of ‘we are all related’ how it can inform relationship building and education in several sectors and systems.


Breakout Sessions: 1:30pm – 2:45pm
Room: EES 221