Teachers’ unions, natives propose school initiative to combat racism

  • December 23, 2010
OECTA logoTORONTO - The head of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association is calling for a popular aboriginal play to tour Southern Ontario schools to teach students about tackling racism.

James Ryan joined Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and Isadore Day, Regional Grand Chief for Lake Huron Region and representative of the Union of Ontario Indians, in proposing an aboriginal education initiative that combats cultural stereotypes about First Nations students.

Ryan, Hammond and Day recently met in Sudbury, Ont., for a performance of Roseneath Theatre’s production of Spirit Horse, a play that brings hope and healing to a single-parent family caught between two worlds. The play completed a 33-community tour of Northern Ontario elementary schools, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education. There was also arts professional development for more than 460 teachers across the north which was part of the aboriginal education project.

“We recognize that there was a shortage of professional development (for teachers) with respect to arts programs,” Ryan said. “Because it was in the north, we thought it would be especially good to focus on the theme of aboriginal issues, First Nations and Inuit rights in general in Northern Ontario.”

Teachers and students in southern Ontario would also benefit from seeing the play, he said.

Children can be exposed to some of the issues affecting the aboriginal community through a play that tackles racism, Ryan said.

Ryan, Hammond and Day plan to approach the Ontario government and federal Department of Indian Affairs for funding, A 10- to 12-week tour in southern Ontario would cost about $600,000.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location