(Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK) – The culturally inappropriate actions of school teachers at a school in Quebec have once again brought up the need for teaching indigenous culture.  On the first day of school, teachers at the Ecole Lajoie school in Outremont, Quebec wore Indigenous costumes and handed out fake headdresses to Grade 3 students to welcome them back to school. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Executive denounces the actions of those teachers.

“This was a foolish and careless decision by the teachers at the Ecole Lajoie School,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “In this day and age of reconciliation we hope for a better thought out process in educating students on Indigenous culture. The incident further identifies the need for proper Indigenous cultural sensitivity training for educators in accordance to the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action. Indigenous culture needs to be properly taught to not just students but to the educators themselves and that education on culture must include our Inherent, Treaty and Indigenous peoples rights in all aspects of the curriculum being delivered.”

The FSIN emailed a letter to the school’s principal objecting to the August 29, 2016 incident. In the letter the FSIN called for the school to introduce appropriate culturally relevant training for the school’s teachers and staff. In addition, the FSIN advised the school to bring in an Indigenous Elder to offer guidance about the proper cultural protocols and traditions. The FSIN calls on provincial education systems to rise and meet the challenges set out by the TRC’s 94 Calls to Actions.

“The AFNQL agrees and supports the FSIN position and moreover, intends to remind the Quebec Government of its commitments to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report”, said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL).

 

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