Min­is­ter apol­o­gizes for hurt­ful course ma­te­rial

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion David Eggen is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment about so­cial stud­ies course ma­te­rial given to an Al­berta stu­dent:

“I was ap­palled to see such hurt­ful and of­fen­sive ma­te­rial given to an Al­berta stu­dent. As Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, I want to sin­cerely apol­o­gize to this stu­dent, their fam­ily, and any­one else who may have been exposed to this in­sen­si­tive re­source. There is no ex­cuse for it – and there is no place for it in our schools.

“The legacy of res­i­den­tial schools is a dark pe­riod in our history, and we must jour­ney to­gether to­ward rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. It is vi­tal that this take place in a way that hon­ours and brings aware­ness to the ex­pe­ri­ences of res­i­den­tial school sur­vivors.

“As such, we must do all we can to en­sure this never hap­pens again. That’s why I have in­structed Al­berta Ed­u­ca­tion to con­duct a re­view of ma­te­rial used by the Al­berta Dis­tance Learn­ing Cen­tre to make sure the use of this re­source – and any oth­ers like it – is im­me­di­ately dis­con­tin­ued. Later to­day, the Deputy Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion will be con­tact­ing every school author­ity in the prov­ince to ask them to take proac­tive steps to pre­vent stu­dents from be­ing exposed to ma­te­rial like this. I will also be per­son­ally reach­ing out to the stu­dent who was sub­jected to this hate­ful ma­te­rial to apol­o­gize and is­sue an in­vi­ta­tion to a cur­ricu­lum round­table on In­dige­nous ed­u­ca­tion that I am host­ing next week.

“As the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, I be­lieve this un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion highlights just how im­por­tant the work we’re do­ing to up­date the K-12 cur­ricu­lum is. Some of the ma­te­rial still in our class­rooms to­day was writ­ten as far back as the 1990s, when the last res­i­den­tial schools were still in op­er­a­tion. Every stu­dent in Al­berta should be learn­ing about the pro­found dam­age and harm that was done to gen­er­a­tions of First Na­tions, Metis and Inuit chil­dren who were forced to at­tend res­i­den­tial schools – full stop.

“We will re­move this hate­ful ma­te­rial from our schools and we owe it to our chil­dren to give them the ed­u­ca­tion they need to suc­ceed in their fu­tures.”

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