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Treaty Words: For as Long as the Rivers Flow (Writing a Treaty)

SUBJECTS Geography/History, Language Arts, Social Studies
GRADE LEVEL Junior (4-6) / Intermediate (7-8) / Senior (9-12)
PLEDGE 1 - Protection of Water, 2 - Human Right to Water

Resources Needed:

  1. Treaty Words: For as Long as the Rivers Flow by Aimée Craft
  2. Full Lesson Plan by Kareena Butler for Annick Press, from which this lesson is adapted.
  3. Background information: A Treaty is a promise, an agreement, and the foundation of trusting and respectful relationships.


  1. Following the introductory lesson, Treaty Words: For as Long as the Rivers Flow tell students they are now going to write a Treaty by reflecting on their own relationship with Water and how their actions affect Water.


  1. Read, or have the students read, the Author’s Note at the end of the book. Have students discuss the quote, “What our ancestors promised was an equal and non-exploitative sharing of the land, for the benefit of everyone, including all the other beings that belong to the land as well: the trees, the rocks, the water, the four-legged animals, the winged ones, the crawlers, the swimmers, everyone!” as it applies to our relationship with Water.
  2. Ask students to list the gifts that Water shares to keep us alive, then list the gifts we give Water. Is this a balanced list? How is this relationship reciprocal? How can we make it reciprocal? Create a list of actions we can make to Water remembering the words renewal, responsibility, and reciprocity.
  3. Review what Treaty is as a relationship that needs to be put into action. Have students write their own Treaty based on their relationship with Water, including how they can improve and live their relationship with Water moving forward.

Follow Up Activities:

  1. See Full Lesson Plan by Kareena Butler for Annick Press for more lesson ideas.