A new history curriculum for schools will be rolled out this September with a new focus on Aboriginal Canadians.
Topics ranging from environmental stewardship to discrimination and the legacy of residential schools will be covered from kindergarten to grade twelve as a part of the emphasis on the history, culture and perspectives of indigenous peoples.
Tribal chair of the Tsilhqot’in Nation, Chief Joe Alphonse, is hopeful that the curriculum changes will help promote understanding and empathy:
“A lot of our history, we wouldn’t want repeated. So, the best way to do that and the best way to promote understanding is to have our beliefs, our history incorporated into regular school structures”
Alphonse is encouraged by the changes, something he calls a “step forward”
“I think its long overdue. We welcome that. It’s a small step, but its something that First Nations people have wanted for a long time. As a Chilcotin people, our nation has had a huge impact on how we look at British Columbia today.”
The changes were announced by Education Minister Peter Fassbender leading into the celebration of National Aboriginal Day this coming Sunday.