When grade five students hit the books next week — for the first time they’ll be learning about residential schools.
One first nations advocate says it could have a huge impact the next generations understanding of aboriginal issues.
“Anyone who’s studied history, we know that in order to understand our contemporary world right now, we have to understand what’s gotten us to where we are.”
That’s Jo-Anne Chrona of the First Nations Education Steering Committee.
She says it’s the first time a cohort of B-C Students will go through the bulk of their schooling understanding the darker side of Canada’s history.
Chrona says by introducing the topic early — it can now be fleshed out in later years.
“And then the additional things those students learn through subsequent grades can build a deeper understanding of aboriginal people in Canada.”
Chrona stresses that the idea will be introduced gently to young students — saving more traumatic topics like sexual abuse until they are older.
Adding the legacy of residential schools to the curriculum was a key recommendation of this year’s truth and reconciliation commission report.