Editorial: Social studies lesson keeps us mindful

Celebrate Canadian pride but remember the more challenging history as well

Canadians have a lot of reasons to be proud of their country. We are indeed the envy of many other global residents for our quality of life here at home – things like public health care and other social programs, a strong school system, democratic government, relatively clean, peaceful cities and a willingness to step up internationally when needed.

We are proud of our history, too, remembering each Nov. 11 the sacrifices made a world away, in addition to our contributions to fields of medicine, science, literature, entertainment and sports, among others.

But our collective past is not all rosy, and while we agree wholeheartedly with the need to celebrate our successes, we commend two local social studies teachers for challenging their students to look a little deeper.

Spurred on after reading the Truth and Reconciliation report, Kerry Quinn approached fellow teacher Catherine Beaulac with the idea of tasking their Grade 7 students with making a museum for marginalized groups in Canada. In the process, they learned about women’s rights, First Nations residential schools, Japanese internment camps, the Chinese head tax, the Acadian expulsion and LGBTQ issues.

“I started to think about how I hadn’t learned about residential schools until I was at UVic. I thought, that’s a long time that I was living in this country and not knowing this really dark, important chapter of our history,” Quinn reflected.

Pleased with the students’ interest in and response to their studies, the teachers hope to continue and expand the project moving forward.

It’s a lesson all Canadians could do with remembering. We are a country of many wonderful elements, but to ignore our less-than-glorious past does a disservice not only to those directly affected, but also to the country as a whole.

Hats off to these teachers for challenging their students, and to the students for rising to the task.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria’ Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A property at 1224 Richardson St. in Victoria is the subject of a rezoning application that seeks permission to build three low-rise buildings with 24 units, including four that would rent for below market rate. (Google Streetview)
Victoria development in Fairfield features subsidized housing element

Public hearings this Thursday (Jan. 28) for proposals on Richardson Street and Heywood Avenue

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VIDEO: Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

Victoria police will be making numerous arrests throughout the day Jan. 27 as part of its #VicPDWarrantWednesday project. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Victoria police’s #WarrantWednesday makes 11 arrests and counting

VicPD says arrests part of warrant enforcement project

A tip from the public helped Victoria police located and arrest wanted men Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Tips lead police to arrest convicted killer, robber near downtown Victoria

Two men were at large after failing to return to community facility

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

Most Read