(Robin DeAngelis (CBC)) Premier Kathleen Wynne had a chance to visit Sudbury post-secondary institutions, and discovered that government changes to enhance the teaching of Indigenous history don’t always make for happy students.
Wynne was responding to engineering student Kaella-Marie Earle, who pointed out Laurentian’s mandatory Indigenous Studies courses had inflated classes from dozens of students a few years ago, to over a hundred, with minimal increase in faculty members.
"Because of this massive gap in knowledge on Indigenous culture and people, [Indigenous students] turned from student to teacher," Earle said. "So they’re missing the opportunity to build their university education."
"I was wondering, what is your plan to address this?"
Wynne said the knowledge gap was precisely the reason she worked to overhaul the elementary school curriculum to incorporate more knowledge of treaties, residential schools and culture.
But Indigenous students, Wynne said, should not feel any extra pressure.
"You’re caught in this moment where change is happening, and I think to the degree you can take on that role, you should take on that role," Wynne said.
"To the degree it’s not good for you, you need to say ‘no, you need to go find this out yourselves,’" she said.
"You don’t’ have to take on the burden of teaching non indigenous children. Only as far as you want to."
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