STA­TUS QUO ON CUR­RICU­LUM

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - FRONT PAGE - D.C. FRASER With files from Alex MacPher­son dfraser@post­media.com

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.”

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