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Showing posts from October, 2015

How Could We Let This Happen

As a social studies teacher here in Alberta, I have the opportunity to revisit Canada's past every semester that I teach. I studied Canadian and American history when I was in university and loved that each time I looked in the past I could find new narratives and perspectives that I hadn't considered before.

Unfortunately, what compelled me to find these new narratives was uncovering parts of Canada's past that I was never taught in my high school history classes. As I learned about residential schools, the Indian Act, the Chinese "Head Tax" and treatment of Japanese Canadians, among other events, I came to the realization that the picture of Canada as a tolerant and multicultural nation didn't fit with the facts of history. Rather, it is through the study of these events that it became clear to me that Canada is a country founded upon the attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples, exploiting immigrant labour and the creation of governments and institutions t…

Embracing Negative Moments

It has been an overwhelming start to the school year. On top of the whirlwind that is the month of September for teachers, our schools Instagram account that I created over the summer has received a lot of local media attention. It's been an interesting experience getting our students stories out into the public and we've really appreciated all the love and support from the community.

The increased media attention has led me to have some really interesting conversations with teachers and other members of our community that I feel I need to clear up. Although the point of our Instagram account is to highlight the positive moments that students create within the school, it doesn't mean that some of the negative issues that our students deal with are dissipating. Many of our students deal with the impacts of poverty, racism, and other forms of oppression. These issues can sometimes permeate our school when students are struggling with addictions and violence and bring those i…