University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Saying Nothing is Saying Something": The Act of Speaking Out

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing." -Edmund Burke
This quote rings true for the countless injustices that take place on our planet everyday. Although we may not agree with racism, sexism, violence, wars, genocide, corporate crime, etc. etc. our power to stop these things is lost when we do not exercise our right to speak out against them.

Racism has been granted institutional and systemic power through history because not enough people speak/spoke out against it.

Speaking out is all to often regarded as too 'political' and too 'extreme.' However, we forget that remaining neutral, or remaining silent is an extremely political act as well. The oppressor uses this silence to his or her advantage. By saying nothing we encourage the status quo.

Jason Carney does a beautiful job expressing how the act of silence has worked to shape his life. Check out "My Southern Heritage":

USASK Indigenous Studies Portal

"The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal) connects faculty, students, researchers and members of the community with electronic resources: books, articles, theses, documents, photographs, archival resources, maps, etc.

Visit http://iportal.usask.ca/ to check it out!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lesson Idea - Western Borders and Indigenous Sovereignity

Learning about Indigenous Sovereignty through the experience of the Iroquois Nation Lacrosse Team

This lesson idea came out of a current event that students may or may not be familiar with.
It suits many subject areas: Social Studies, Geography, Native Studies, History, Social Justice, English

Lesson Framework:

Objectives- Students will develop an understanding of how European land conventions (borders, land division, private property) are given power above Indigenous rights to land and ways of regarding land.
Outcomes- Students will begin to deconstruct how/why European institutions are socially accepted and often unchallenged. They will begin to rethink how Indigenous land rights are dealt with internationally. They will begin to formulate an understanding of Indigenous sovereignty.

Background Info:
In late July 2010, the Iroquois Nation Lacrosse team, based out of the traditional Iroquois land area (on both sides of the Canadian and American border), was refused entry to Britain as they offered officials documentation issued by the Iroquois Confederacy. Because they did not show American or Canadian passports, the players were not allowed into the country.

You can access more information on this issue on CBC and YouTube:

Article: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/07/14/us-iroquois-lacrosse-team.html


To learn more about the Iroquois Confederacy visit the social studies section of BrainPop (a subscription is needed, ask your administrator- your division likely has one)

To further expand on this concept share the story "Borders" by Thomas King with your students.

Where you go with these resources is really based on your subject area, students and teaching style. I hope you can make use of this lesson framework!

Indigenous Education and Race- The missing discussions

Finding a Place for Race at the Policy Table: Broadening the Indigenous Education Discourse in Canada Tracy Friedel (UBC) January 2010
"This publication is part of the Aboriginal Policy Research Series, which focuses on public policy issues affecting Métis, non-status Indians, and other Aboriginal peoples residing off-reserve. The series is produced in a partnership between the Institute On Governance (IOG) and the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians (OFI)."

This informative publication focuses on the need for a discussion about race and the effects of racialization on Canada's Indigenous population in the Canadian Education system.

Canadian education systems have typically addressed issues of 'race' and culture through multicultural curricula add-ons. Current Anti-Racist research has determined that a multicultural approach to education lacks the ability to combat racism and/or eliminate the power and privilege lighter skinned citizens are afforded in our society.

The author concludes with several recommendations promoting the need for anti-racist education.

This publication is a definite must read for educators!! Pass it on to other teachers and administrators!

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