The superintendent of the Burnaby Faculty District has issued an apology after a query on a Grade 9 social research check requested college students to explain how First Nations individuals benefited and took benefit of their relationship with colonizers.
“We frequently research the tragic results on the First Nations individuals of North America as a consequence of colonization. Nonetheless, lots of the individuals who had been right here weren’t simply victims. Many took benefit of their relationship with the colonists. Clarify among the methods the First Nations individuals of North America benefited from the relationships with European colonizers,” reads the query.
The query is paired with a sketch drawing titled “Innu at HBC Buying and selling Put up,” which reveals First Nations individuals being given weapons and boots.
Sofia Milandri, a 14-year-old Grade 9 pupil, supplied CBC Information with a replica of the check query, which was a part of a social research examination at Burnaby On-line colleges.
“The query was horribly worded and, actually, like most different questions on this course, it was a technique to attempt to trick us into justifying the actions of the colonizers,” mentioned Milandri who, as a substitute of responding to the query, submitted a paragraph explaining why it was inappropriate.
“If somebody units your home on hearth, steals all of your stuff, and takes your youngsters, you do not profit from that, so I form of acquired actually indignant.”
On Thursday, Burnaby Faculty District superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen despatched a press release apologizing for the query, saying she was “deeply saddened and upset to be taught that this query was placed on a pupil examination.”
“It’s inappropriate and, worse than that, this sort of query is dangerous and might be trauma-inducing for Indigenous youth and damaging to significant relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals,” learn the assertion, partly.
“This doesn’t characterize our values or the true influence of colonization on Indigenous peoples. And but it occurred.”
The assertion mentioned the college district is reviewing acceptable studying sources and might be reaching out to college students and households.
Milandri mentioned it wasn’t the primary time she felt her social research curriculum was outdated
“The hyperlinks to the sources that we’re supposed to make use of return to the early 2000s and, the questions which are introduced, they’re worded very insensitively,” she mentioned.
“Actually it seems like we’re simply studying easy methods to make excuses for colonizers and for a way horribly the Canadian authorities and the church buildings had been treating individuals…. If all the curriculum was presupposed to have modified to show us about Canada’s darkish previous, then why did not they modify it?”
In 2015,as a part of its closing report documenting the historical past and legacy of Canada’s residential faculty system, with 4 measures particularly centered on the schooling sector.
The TRC known as on governments to collaborate with survivors, Indigenous teams and educators to develop necessary, age-appropriate curriculum for Ok-12 college students about residential colleges, treaties and Indigenous contributions to Canada, and to fund instructor coaching.
Shannon Leddy, an affiliate professor with the College of British Columbia’s division of Indigenous schooling, mentioned the incident just isn’t remoted. In November, homework assigned within the Abbotsford Faculty District requested college students toabout Canada’s residential faculty system.
“It has the impact of upholding among the key mythologies about Indigenous individuals which were created as a product of colonization, together with the notion that Indigenous individuals did not actually have tradition or civilization previous to the arrival of Europeans […] and that Indigenous individuals benefit from the federal government,” she mentioned.
“These are colonial mythologies which are repeated repeatedly inside formal curriculums in colleges and in casual curriculums that occurs exterior of colleges.”
Leddy mentioned that since 2010, lecturers in B.C. have been mandated to take three credit of Indigenous schooling inside instructor teaching programs.
She mentioned that whereas the B.C. faculty curriculum has been up to date since 2015, curricular sources utilized by colleges differ between districts.
“I am actually glad when college students and fogeys react to those moments, as a result of it offers us a possibility to have this dialog,” mentioned Leddy.