New Indigenous “Treaty Teachings” Launched During Treaties Recognition Week
November 3, 2020
Carolyn King dreams of the day when every elementary school student in Ontario is learning about Indigenous treaties, territories and history using the tool kit she developed.
King, working in partnership with her Nation, the Mississaugas of the Credit, founded the Moccasin Identifier tool kit as a way to remind people that Indigenous footprints covered the land long before settlers arrived. During Ontario’s Treaties Recognition Week (November 1-7 2020) a new Moccasin Identifier curriculum is being launched free and online (at www.moccasinidentifier.com).
“We need to create better understanding of treaties and territories or the knowledge will be lost forever,” King, a former chief, says. “We use the moccasin as the symbol that identifies us and connects us to the land.”
Over the past two years a pilot Moccasin Identifier curriculum has been shared with thousands of students at hundreds of schools, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area. Feedback from teachers and students has been used to refine the curriculum and led to it being made accessible online.
In addition to the school curriculum, Moccasin Identifier stencil kits can be pre-ordered now and will be available for purchase by schools or individuals in the near future. The kits include drawings of historical moccasins used by Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Cree. The original moccasins are in Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, where early research for the program was conducted by artist Philip Cote. The stencils are used to create temporary or permanent paintings of the moccasin designs.
Since 2011, the Moccasin Identifier initiative has grown at a grassroots level, visiting schools and universities and being part of public events and workshops. Large public installations of the moccasin stencils have been done at Ontario Place’s Trillium Park, 16-Mile Creek Park in Oakville and on the Centennial College campus in Scarborough. The moccasin artwork is also on permanent display at Hamilton Health Sciences’ hospital sites.
“These large-scale versions are dramatic and help remind the general public of Indigenous presence on these lands,” King said. “Treaty teachings are important for all ages.”
Moccasin Identifier receives funding support from Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, The Greenbelt Foundation and the Two Rivers Community Development Centre.
Contact: Lindsay Hill, 905-517-1925, firstname.lastname@example.org