Minister apologizes, says she supports treaty education
REGINA Saskatchewan’s education minister is apologizing for referencing her son’s homework in a speech which appeared to question how treaty education is taught in schools.
Bronwyn Eyre says she’s sorry if there was confusion about her position and says she is committed to treaty education.
“I regret bringing up my son, and, if there was any misunderstanding that was caused, absolutely regret that as well,” Eyre said Tuesday after speaking to the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.
Eyre said in a speech in the legislature earlier this month that “there has come to be at once too much wholesale infusion into the curriculum ... (and) too many attempts to mandate material into it both from the inside and by outside groups.”
She said her son, who is in Grade 8, brought home a history assignment that suggested all pioneers to Canada were ill-meaning.
When asked to clarify her speech, Eyre said it was about a broader discussion of curriculum. She suggested there might be too much “infusion” of First Nations history in schools.
Eyre told the school boards association that she is committed “to the 100 per cent mandating of treaty education in the province.”
School boards president Shawn Davidson said Eyre’s comments raise concerns. The association passed a resolution calling for a mandatory Indigenous studies course in Saskatchewan high schools, in addition to Aboriginal teachings already in the curriculum.
“It’s not about infusion into every subject matter. It’s about ensuring that things like social studies and history curriculums are consistent with the truth of the history of this country,” said Davidson.
He said the history he was taught when he went to school many years ago largely ignored treaty rights and Indigenous people.
“That was a different time and we’ve moved past that time.”