Reconciling with First Nations begins in the classroom.
British Columbian education then:My own 1970s education taught a version of Aboriginal culture and history that ran to little more than teepees, igloos and the fur trade. That truncated account supported the story mainstream Canada still likes to tell itself over beers after work. Since beginning this project, I've heard variations on it from valley rednecks and urban sophisticates alike. The story goes that before the settlers arrived there weren't many people here and they weren't really using the land. The government created reserves and gave Aboriginal people the benefits of technology and education. Usually the conclusion is some twist on how it all happened a long time ago and Aboriginal people should get over it.And now:A broad-based inclusive approach to Aboriginal content in the curriculum means that students of every cultural background are learning more about indigenous culture than ever before. In an e-mail, Education Minister Shirley Bond explains that, "All students benefit from having a greater understanding of Aboriginal perspectives. They learn more about where they live and who their neighbors are and they have an opportunity to broaden their understanding about some of the issues facing Aboriginal communities."