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Treaty Days

David Livingstone Community School has established its own school treaty, outlining the rights and responsibilities of students, parents/caregivers, staff and community members.

After studying the history of treaties in Canada, students and staff took the project to another level.

“We wanted to look at treaty education as a whole school at the beginning of the year,” said Vice-Principal Patricia Mainville. “Our teachers committed to treaty education from kindergarten to Grade 8.”

What began as establishing expectations of students in the classroom became a sweeping treaty for the entire David Livingstone school community.

“We wanted David Livingstone students and staff to view treaties as not just something that existed in the past; they exist today,” said Principal Tim Cox.

The document incorporates the Seven Teachings (love, truth, honesty, courage, respect, humility, wisdom) with the responsibilities and rights of all school stakeholders.

“We shared our classroom treaties with parents and the community, and from those discussions we ended up with our school treaty,” Mr. Cox said. “What we ended up with was a commitment as to how we were going to exist as a community school.”

Mr. Cox noted that one of the mandates of being a community school was engaging members of the community in the school setting; the treaty offered the perfect opportunity for community discussion.

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“The treaty has universal values that we can all incorporate into our lives,” Ms. Mainville said. “It’s no longer ‘us and them.’ This is something we are all invested in.”

By having a living, breathing treaty that is actively respected by all, the school has set an example to compare to other treaties.

“If we know that a treaty can work, then we can look at what’s happening to the treaties in places like New Zealand and Canada. Why isn’t it working?” Ms. Mainville said.  

David Livingstone unveiled its school treaty on May 29, during a special weeklong Treaty Days celebration at the school. The week included tipi teachings with Elder Bill Crompton, a school gallery walk, Indigenous games and a large community powwow.


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