Understanding and Finding Our Way - Decolonizing Canadian Education
All Canadians are responsible for reconciliation. Teachers have a unique opportunity to contribute by advocating for change to help eliminate inequality and racism. Understanding and Finding Our Way – Decolonizing Canadian Education is a powerful film that exposes public education inequities in Canada and challenges viewers to decolonize education.
The film was produced by Dr. Verna St. Denis, an internationally renowned scholar in anti-racist education. It was directed by award-winning filmmaker Alison Duke following appropriate protocols and under the guidance of Elder Mary Lee. The 32-minute film is divided into three parts.
Part one – kiyâskiwâcimowina (myth)
Explores the myths that “everyone is equal in Canada. Canada does not have a race problem. Education is the great equalizer. Education is neutral.”
Part two – tâpewêwin (truth)
Exposes public education inequities and explores the need for system change through an anti-colonial lens.
Part three – ôte-nikâniyihtamawin (hope)
Inspires hope that, together, we can create public education systems that support the success of all students.
Warning: Content may be difficult for some viewers. The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day. Members of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation can also access support from the Member and Family Assistance Program.
This film was created through the support of the Dr. Jennifer Simpson, Principal Investigator of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council grant: Building and Mobilizing Knowledge on Race and Colonialism in Canada.
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is humbled to work with and learn from Dr. Verna St. Denis, Shelly Tootoosis, Elder Mary Lee, local Indigenous leaders and educators, and in partnership with the Universities of Saskatchewan and Waterloo.
For more details about the film and why it was created, check out the June 21 Film Debut (Recorded Event). Professional learning resources and discussion guides are being developed and will be shared online as available.