Surviving School : Unrepentant

Unrepentant , produced in 2008, stresses that the issue of racism and prejudice against First Nations people continues today. While researching infomation regarding my local school system I came across this sobering video regarding residential schools, in particular in Port Alberni but also other areas. It follows the story of a United Church minister, Kevin Annett who chooses to expose the tragedies of the local residential school. He is removed from the church and his family is destroyed all in an attempt to silence him. It is the continuing sage of injustice regarding the schools. This was happening in the face of many lawsuits being filed regarding abuse in residential schools. It’s striking that so many people barely survived school, many of whom are the parents and grandparents of the students in my school district. It is certainly critical that teachers organize the classroom with this in mind. To my mind, school is not supposed to be about survivial. It’s supposed to about learning and sharing and growth. It also strikes me that this is part of the deep-reflection on my own culture and even though I didn’t move here until 1998, I may represent that culture, because I’m a non-aboriginal teacher. The critical point for me is that this happened recently and is ongoing and it is part of the key to student engagement. Annett continues to write on the subject in an attempt to tell the truth in spite of ongoing attempts to discredit him.

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