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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
“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
“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.