We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them right

What can be said of those who deny the past and ignore the inherent human rights of their neighbours?

We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them rightIt’s a normal human reaction not only to acknowledge when we’ve done something wrong but to seek to make reparations and heal the relationship with the person we’ve harmed. This is also true on a societal level. As I complete teaching my unit on the residential school system in Canada, I ask students to reflect…

Want justice for Indigenous children? Then demand it

Governments will only do the right thing if we, as Canadians, demand it

Want justice for Indigenous children? Then demand itI try to be optimistic and embrace the truth that “the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.” When I examine how the Canadian government treats Indigenous children, however, it’s hard not to be cynical. I began teaching my Social Justice 12 unit on residential schools by watching Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology…

Systemic racism is embedded in our economy

We pass laws for unjust taxes, reward unscrupulous businesses and hold money back from our children

Systemic racism is embedded in our economyIn a 2016 interview, CBC journalist Peter Mansbridge confronted children’s advocate Dr. Cindy Blackstock with this statement regarding public funding for Indigenous programs: “Billions of dollars have been spent in trying to come to grips with the situation that so many Indigenous Canadians face. And of those billions, it’s on the record that some of…

Only truth will put us on the path to reconciliation

We must educate the many Canadians who don’t know what happened to our Indigenous neighbours

Only truth will put us on the path to reconciliationI’ve been teaching high school students about Canada’s residential schools for a number of years. Indigenous content has recently been given a more prominent place in the British Columbia curriculum, and this has had an impact. Students now come to my class with some understanding of this tragic chapter in our history, and we’re able…

Roots of happiness are found in service to others

Positive, hard workers are in high demand. And it’s easier to be dedicated to a meaningful cause

Roots of happiness are found in service to othersBengali poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore made a profound statement about finding your purpose in life: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” This seems contradictory to much of what we hear about finding happiness. The consumption-driven media continually…

The Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s team

Just like Canada, baseball has a way of bringing diverse groups together

The Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s teamThe Toronto Blue Jays are often referred to as Canada’s team because they’re the only Major League Baseball organization in the country. This season they’re playing the most exciting baseball we’ve seen in years, and even though their ranks don’t include many Canadian players, they certainly look a lot like Canada. There are as many…

Yes, we’re free – free to make decisions for the good of all society

It’s terrifying to see the chaos that has ensued due to social influencers spreading misinformation

Yes, we’re free – free to make decisions for the good of all societyThere has been a great deal of controversy in recent weeks in fortunate countries where citizens have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Many feel it’s a violation of their freedom if they’re required to be immunized. Such thinking contradicts an important life principle made clear by Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. He said, “Freedom is…

What can we expect from our leaders on Indigenous issues?

The parties' records over the last 13 years are revealing

What can we expect from our leaders on Indigenous issues?If Canadians are as concerned as they claim about the increasing number of unmarked graves found near former residential schools, the 2021 federal election will be pivotal. Each of the major political parties displays a clear track record exposing their views on Indigenous issues, domestically and abroad. The residential school apology on June 11, 2008,…

Why I can’t get enough of Ted Lasso

A silly, unrealistic comedy about real life

Why I can’t get enough of Ted LassoI’m not a big fan of fiction in any format. I prefer that writers clearly elaborate their theories or explain what’s actually happening in the world. I’ve also never been particularly influenced by the latest draw in popular culture. Given my disposition, I was surprised to find myself binge watching the hit comedy Ted Lasso…

Have faith in our children to create a better world

Giving our children the tools to move the world forward is the most valuable investment we can make

Have faith in our children to create a better worldAmerican musician and songwriter Louis Armstrong wrote, “I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” As an educator, parent and adult functioning in our society, I can think of no higher ideal than this. It’s an empowering, humbling…
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