Posts tagged ‘History of Canada and Quebec’

September 25, 2018

Infographic: Where Do Political Parties Stand on Quebec’s non-inclusive History Curriculum?

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June 20, 2018

Positive Changes Regarding Indigenous History; Stubborn Refusal to Fix Serious Problems with Representation of Minority Groups

CBC’s Mike Finnerty discusses the most recent changes with the Quebec history curriculum and the changes that still need to be made:

Press release:

June 18, 2018
Montreal, QC – The Committee for the Enhancement of the History Curriculum in Quebec (ComECH-Quebec) will
hold a press conference at June 19th at 8:30AM at the English Parent’s Committee Association office (7875 Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse). We will respond to a memo the Ministry quietly sent to schools on May 31st announcing that the secondary three History of Quebec and Canada textbooks distributed to schools in the fall of 2016 would be replaced next year in order to better respond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“While we are encouraged that the Ministry seems to be taking concrete steps to listen to Indigenous communities, Image result for inclusive history quebecwe hope that it is the entire curriculum program that will be fixed and not merely the textbook, as was the case with the Sec 4 program” said ComECH-Quebec chairperson Robert Green. “We also hope that the Ministry is not intending to cherry-pick the TRC Calls to Action and leave out important recommendations such as the call to establish senior- level positions in government at the assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to Aboriginal content in education.”

The members of ComECH-Quebec will also describe their frustrating experience attempting to convince the current
Government of Quebec to address the very serious problems with the curriculum’s depiction of Anglophones and
other minority communities.

“We met with Greg Kelley, the Premier’s liaison to the English community and we had two meetings with
representatives from the Ministry” said Green. “We provided page references showing how this curriculum demonizes Anglophones, omits much of the history of Black Quebecers, reinforces negative stereotypes about Muslims, whitewashes Quebec’s history of xenophobia and antisemitism and fails to acknowledge the positive contributions to Quebec society of any of its minority groups. Not only did this government refuse to take action to fix these problems, it refused to even acknowledge that these were problems to begin with!”

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February 20, 2018

Black history gets short shrift in new Quebec textbooks

Published Feb 15, 2018 in the Montreal Gazette

By Robert Green

It seems a year doesn’t pass where we are not painfully reminded of the ignorance that large segments of our population have with respect to the history of black people living in the territory we now know as Quebec. From opposition to changing racist place names, to the public defence of the all too frequent donning of blackface, to the denials of the need to address systemic racism, in each case we hear a familiar refrain: Quebecers are not racist, and to suggest otherwise amounts to Quebec bashing.

As a teacher of Quebec history, I am always saddened by such reactionary sentiments. If we knew the truth about our own history, I believe such insensitive and defensive reactions would be far less frequent. Others might instead open their minds to the perspectives of their black fellow citizens, and in the process, help to create the kind of society where the voices and contributions of all citizens are valued, regardless of ethnicity or skin colour.

Indeed, this very sentiment was expressed in the preamble of the National Assembly’s 2006 proclamation of February as Black History Month in Quebec. It states that raising awareness about black history “helps to encourage the full participation of all in Quebec society, to promote inclusion and openness to pluralism and to strengthen intercultural rapprochement between all Quebecers.”

When the new government-approved Secondary 4 history textbook arrived in November, I was therefore curious to see to what extent it would reflect the National Assembly’s powerful words.

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May 6, 2017

CBC Daybreak on the call for a new inclusive History curriculum in Quebec

Members of ComECH-Quebec at May 2nd press conference.

Kativik School Board’s Robert Watt and ComECH-Quebec Chairperson Robert Green discuss the problem’s with Quebec’s recent History curriculum reform and the online petition calling for a new inclusive curriculum with CBC Daybreak’s Mike Finnerty:

 

Liberal MNA David Birnbaum attempts to defend the curriculum reform:

News release from Kativik School Board: The new History of Quebec and Canada curriculum is unacceptable

News release from ComECH-Quebec: Reforming the Reform: A Call for a New Inclusive History Curriculum

March 15, 2017

Podcast: Fundamental Problems Remain Following Latest Tweak to Quebec’s History Curriculum

Teacher Robert Green discusses the fundamental problems that remain with the Couillard Government’s latest tweak to the Secondary 3 and 4 history curriculum with CBC Radio Noon:

…and with CBC Home Run:

September 18, 2016

Quebec’s rotten history curriculum is fault of both PQ and Liberals

By Robert Green | Published August 30, 2016 by Ricochet.media

Horrified by the Parti Québécois’s proposed Charter of Values and the conservative ethnic nationalism it represented, the election of 2014 saw large numbers of Quebecers turn to a corrupt, austerity-mad Liberal Party, hoping it to be a lesser evil.

https://images.thetrumpet.com/53875b37!h.300,id.10734,m.fill,w.540This fall, high school students throughout Quebec will reap the consequences of this short-sighted political calculation as they are subjected to a dogmatic, exclusionary and politically regressive history program that is as much the product of the PQ’s conservative ethnic nationalism as it is the Liberal Party’s myopic obsession with public sector austerity.

An ideologically driven reform

The genesis of this reform begins with the lobbying efforts of la Coalition pour l’histoire, an organization founded by nationalist historians Éric Bédard and Robert Comeau with the support of organizations such as la Fondation Lionel-Groulx, le Mouvement national des Québécois, and la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal. Despite the fact that Quebec’s current curriculum contains numerous and frequent references to Quebec nationalism and the Quebec nation, the coalition sees it as its mission to stop what it calls the “denationalization” of Quebec history.

The politics of this coalition were laid bare in 2013 when the organization refused to meet with the members of the initial committee set up to reform the curriculum, because of the “divergent views” that would be present. Evidently the coalition members wanted a committee as monolithic in its composition as the view of Quebec society they sought to impose on Quebec’s students.

The PQ education minister of the day, Marie Malavoy, subsequently decided to meet privately with a small group of coalition supporters. Cancelling a meeting of the larger, more diverse committee was a telling indication of the direction she was intending on taking the program.

In an open letter published by Le Devoir, the leadership of L’Association québécoise pour l’enseignement en univers social (AQEUS) scolded the minister for taking her advice from a committee of nationalist historians that not only excluded any participation from teachers and pedagogical experts, but also prevented one historian from participating because of his activism with Québec Solidaire. They also accused the minister of “instrumentalizing” the teaching of history for “purely partisan and political ends.”

Though the report that would serve as the basis for the PQ’s pilot program did eventually involve a modest process of consultation, the end result clearly reflected the coalition’s desires for the program. Coalition spokesperson Robert Comeau was quoted in Le Devoir as being “very satisfied.”

Minorities omitted from history

So what exactly is so problematic about the proposed reform? To answer that question, one must consider the things that have been omitted.

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June 18, 2016

Quebec’s History Program Chaos

By Robert Green

This was an eventful week for Quebec’s History program. Thursday the Gazette published two excellent articles by Marian Scott about the reactions to the Education Minister’s flip-flop on his previous commitment to put the controversial new History curriculum on hold, and the decision of the English School Boards to implement this curriculum:

English school boards criticized for adopting Quebec history curriculum

Quebec lags in diversity education, comparison of history programs shows

I spoke with CJAD’s Tommy Shnurmacher about the History reform:

Later Thursday the CBC broke the story of the leaked essay question on the provincial History exam and the Ministry’s decision to not count the question:

Quebec students launch petition after history exam leak

I spoke with CBC Homerun’s Sue Smith about the history exam leak:

Friday the Gazette’s editorial board weighed in on the decision of the English School Boards to go ahead with the implementation of new History curriculum:

English school boards are failing history

June 4, 2016

CBC on Quebec’s Controversial New History Reform

An interview and an article from June 3rd:

https://images.thetrumpet.com/53875b37!h.300,id.10734,m.fill,w.540The Interview:
Robert Green speaks with CBC’s Sue Smith about the Couillard government backtracking on its commitment to postpone the implementation of its controversial reform of the province’s History curriculum. Stream the interview below or click here to download the mp3.

The Article:

Read Ben Shiller’s excellent article: English school boards to use controversial history course next year.

June 3, 2016

Quebec’s non-inclusive new history curriculum is a missed opportunity

By Robert Green | Published by Montreal Gazette June 1, 2016

Earlier this year, Quebecers learned of a reform to the province’s history curriculum that provoked a great deal of concern. Not only was the role of Quebec’s anglophone community reduced to that of a comic book villain intent on impeding progress, indeed the contributions of all of Quebec’s minority groups seemed to be systematically excluded. There was nothing about the anglophones who participated in the 1837 rebellions or organized some of Quebec’s first labour strikes; nothing about the struggles against discrimination faced by Jewish and Italian immigrants; nothing about the contributions of more recent immigrants, like the Vietnamese or Haitian communities.

However, perhaps the most significant omission had to dhttps://images.thetrumpet.com/53875b37!h.300,id.10734,m.fill,w.540o with the First Nations. This reform was being developed at the very moment the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made its recommendations. Specifically the TRC recommended that all levels of government “Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.” Quebec had a real opportunity to be the first province to implement the recommendation. Instead, by ignoring the TRC and refusing to engage in any meaningful consultation with First Nations communities, Quebec instead chose to reinforce the colonial pattern of relations that has existed for hundreds of years.

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