- Category: news
- Created: Tuesday, 15 October 2013 14:16
- Published: Tuesday, 15 October 2013 14:16
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Education on First Nations issues is important (Viewpoint: Winnipeg Free Press, Oct. 9)
There is unequivocal merit to the view that basic education in this country should include an understanding of Canada's political, social, and economic relationship with First Nations Peoples. The current socio-political landscape is implicated significantly by these historic relations, but misunderstanding and ignorance have too often been used as instruments of oppression that have silenced the voices of the First Nations.
James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is currently on an eight-day visit to Canada and will consult broadly with Aboriginal communities before authoring his report for the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report may in fact serve as the impetus for educators, policy-makers, politicians and communities alike to revisit the intransigent perspectives and perceptions that have contributed towards tense and dubious relations.
In efforts to sustain greater understanding and to dispel myths, our country will be better served in establishing itself as a nurturing place that honours the cultural, ecological, social, and inter-relational contexts of living and learning. Anaya's visit has drawn international attention. It may be sensible for us to be particularly mindful of how his observations related to fundamental human rights might inform a broader inclusion of basic education from coast to coast.
Dr. Lorenzo Cherubini, professor and director, The Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research & Education, Brock University