It’s been just over a year now since I officially resigned from my permanent full-time teaching contract with the Prairie Valley School Division. Exhausted, depleted, I felt like a failure, unable or unwilling to find myself fullfilled in my new profession! I wanted to rock the teaching world, (or so I thought) , and stumbled hard out of the box — trying to fit-in, I was flying, by the seat of my pants, I felt overwhelmed and overworked, but I still had some fun days trying… But in the end I could not mend the feelings of inadequacy from within. I found myself having less and less to offer, and give. I gave away to feelings that I needed to part ways with my profession and just move on. I now work for local eavestrough, and home exterior construction company. Working with hands in the outdoors all day, through each of the seasons has been a refreshing change to say the least.
It’s just now, a year later, that I’m beginning to feel the inspiration to return to the world of education again. The inspiration that is now coming, in part, relates me to resurrecting this blog again and turning it into an inquiry blog around Community Based Education with a focus on Sustainability.
I seem to come upon this inspiration every time I visit Treaty Park, situated just behind my house in Fort Qu’Appelle, Sk. The park is site of the Treaty 4 monument, built in 1915, to commemorate Treaty 4.
It still seems puzzling to me that despite the focal point of the park being this grand old monument, this park was commonly referred to as “Cannon Ball Park” when I grew up here. There used to be war memorial cannon that was also sitting in one of the back corners of the park. I can tell you from growing up here, that there was and still today, a great deal of ignorance or shared understanding of our societal history since the signing of Treaty 4. In many ways the social realities of our history have been hard to face. The oppression and injustice brought on by the Federal Government of Canada, with the implications of the Indian Act and over a hundred plus years of Residential schools, stripping First Nations of their languages and cultural identities. Years continue to pass and the movement towards truth and reconciliation continues. We need to find the path towards collective healing and understanding.
It is with these and other thoughts that I lit up an incense stick, offered a prayer to all my relations and asked, ‘how can I help?’ How can I help bring about about positive change within my hometown community? How can I support and create bridges to the efforts of people like my friend Sheen Koops who committed to a two hundred day journey reflecting on treaties in her blog Treaty Walks. That’s when the inspiration started to come to me. My Roots of Education blog could be resurrected once again by exploring my own Educational Roots, within the place that I come from, by putting forth questions that will lead to a greater understandings for me and my community.