STATUS QUO ON CURRICULUM
REGINA Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre says treaty education will remain “status quo” in Saskatchewan schools, but she refused to comment further on her goals regarding an upcoming review of school curriculum involving First Nations issues in the classroom.
She has been criticized for remarks she made during a recent speech, in which she spoke of “too much wholesale infusion” across curriculum, before using an example of her son’s homework.
Eyre told the legislature her son copied down “as facts” that “European settlers were colonialists, pillagers of the land.” A copy of the assignment shows those words were not used. The assignment asked students to discuss different perspectives on land between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
In the wake of the speech, Eyre has said she was proposing a course dedicated to Indigenous history rather than infusing it into broader curriculum.
A review of Saskatchewan curriculum is to begin soon, but on Tuesday Eyre shied away from sharing her thoughts on the merits or faults of a single course versus infusion.
Instead, she told Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) members that mandatory treaty education — in place since 2007 — would remain in place.
SSBA president Shawn Davidson said there was “some concern expressed” over Eyre’s comments being “inconsistent” with existing First Nations initiative partnerships.
He said the curriculum review is “overdue,” and needs to happen.
Duane Favel, the Aboriginal council representative for the SSBA and the organization’s appointee to the curriculum review committee, said Eyre’s comments were “disturbing.”