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Reflections from the Lab

29 Apr, 2020

Shift Lab 2.0 Prototype: We Are All Treaty People

What it is: Shift Lab 2.0 brought together core team members on a team to think about their relationship to the numbered treaties signed between various Indigenous nations and representatives of the British Crown.  These treaties were intended to shape the future of Canada, and much of Alberta, including Edmonton, falls under the jurisdiction of Treaty 6. So what does it mean to be “a Treaty Person” exactly?

Our team was comprised of local Indigenous peoples and settlers of diverse and minority backgrounds. After several sessions in the lab and deep listening with community, the core team generated several prototypes that focused on creating greater awareness of Treaty 6 by nudging people to act differently through multiple, community-based interventions.  

The prototypes: 

Coffee cup stickers: From the research around understanding Treaty, we learned that a Treaty medallion was shared between the settlers and the Indigenous Chiefs. The accompanying Treaty text states “As long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows… we are all Treaty people.” We adapted them to make the Treaty 6 Sticker.  The Treaty Sticker was used because it is a simple visual that can spark deep learning through the everyday act of getting a coffee. Along with the sticker, the team developed a website that contains various learning tools and resources for a deeper dive into understanding treaty relations. You will hopefully be able to find this sticker on coffee cups at participating cafes across Edmonton. Hopefully, this will scale to other areas too. 

Boardgame: In the spirit of building awareness and educating youth on Alberta’s history, the team is in the process of developing a boardgame in partnership with the Indigenous Knowledge & Wisdom Centre.The game is intended to share and explain details of Treaty 6 and the factors that shaped it from an Indigenous perspective. It is a cooperative, rather than competitive game, aimed at young learners. This prototype is in the latter stages of development. 

The aim: sparking curiosity: When people see a sticker on their coffee cups they may be prompted to find out more by visiting the website and explore more materials on Treaty. The board game adds to this awareness, particularly among youth, and provides a fun way to learn. 

Why it matters: 

Combatting racism can be hard, and it appears all over our city through the daily actions of people. At the Shift Lab, we learned that the more knowledge we have, the more tools we have to communicate with and support others. This is why creating awareness through “drip” campaigns matters. The combination of prototypes produced within the lab, followed by testing and validation  in communities will play a role in solving racism in Edmonton. 

By Aleeya Velji, Edmonton Shift Lab Steward

By |2020-05-20T16:37:12-06:00April 29th, 2020|Categories: Reflections from the Lab, What We're Learning, What's Going On|0 Comments

About the Author:

Addressing racism and discrimination continue to be identified as a critical piece of the puzzle in how we reach the big goal of ending poverty in a generation in Edmonton. Building on the work of many local initiatives, the diverse collective making up the Edmonton Shift Lab is stewarding an exploration to develop potential service, policy, system and community action prototypes that will help reduce racism as it contributes to poverty. We want to be bold and explore how to Shift ideas. Shift attitudes. Shift systems and Shift into new ways of solution finding with community.

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