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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Islamophobia resources

Western society, especially the media, focuses on the cosmetic issues of the burqa and the hijab instead of real social, political and economical issues that are occurring in Middle Eastern countries. Muslim and Islamic people in our society are constantly vilified in the media. Here are a few useful links that you can use in your classroom.

See Yemen Through My Eyes

Dylan Ratigan Discusses the problem with the media portrayal of Muslims


Scholar Edward Said discusses Orientalism

Documentary - Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a people

Noam Chomsky on Terrorism

Maz Jobrani: A founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, Maz is an Iranian-American comedian touring with his solo comedy show Brown and Friendly.


Hamdan, A. (2009). Muslim women speak: A tapestry of lives and dreams. Toronto: Women’ Press.

Hasan, E. (2010, March/April). Blanket condemnations: Contested feminisms and the politics of the burqa. Briarpatch. 39(2), 16-19.

Joya, M. (2009). A woman among warlords: The extraordinary story of an Afghan who dared to raise her voice. New York: Scribner.

Mernissi, F. (2005). Conclusion: Women’s liberation in Muslim countries. In W.K. Kolmar’s Feminist Theory: A Reader. Boston: McGraw Hill.

Said, E. (1979). Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.

Sensoy, O., & Marshall, E. (Winter 2009/2010). Save the Muslim girl. Rethinking Schools. (14-19).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shannen's dream

Once students understand what racism is and how it works to justify racial inequality and the oppression of Aboriginal peoples, they will be able to use a race and power analysis to understand current injustices such as the state of First Nations schools in Canada. 

For more information and teaching resources see:

A Report Card No Parent Would Accept

Photo: Liam Sharp
Shannen Koostachin’s plea for a decent school for Attawapiskat would not surprise children on many reserves across Canada. In northern Manitoba, students from the Bunibonibee First Nation could not attend regular classes this year because their school is contaminated with mould. Lake St. Martin First Nation students evacuated a school infested with snakes a decade ago and still go to class in portables while awaiting a new school.
Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser has reported serious problems in educational funding at INAC several times since 2001 and told a Senate committee in November 2009 that she has seen little improvement over the decade. The Parliamentary Budget Officer supported complaints of underfunding in a special report on capital spending in First Nations schools last year. Only 49 percent of schools were listed in “good condition”; 77 schools were housed in “temporary structures”; and 10 schools were closed due to their condition. More than 20 percent of the schools were described as “not inspected.” Comprehensive reports from INAC and its independent critics are all available online.
Charlie Angus, the NDP MP for Timmins–James Bay and a long-time advocate for a new school for the Attawapiskat children in his riding, introduced a motion in Parliament this fall to guarantee equality of education for First Nations students. For more information, see www.shannensdream.ca.
“In provincial schools, there are guarantees by law and regulation on everything from curriculum to class sizes to the quality of the school building and the square footage of classrooms,” says Angus. “That doesn’t exist in Indian country. You get what Indian Affairs gives you.”
Linda Goyette

Mickey Mouse Monopoly Disney, Childhood & Corporate Power

One of my former students sent this link to me. Thanks Jocelyn! The Media Education Foundation's study guide for the film provides excellent anti-racism and anti-oppressive teaching resources/discussion questions for children (with some modifications) and youth. Mickey Mouse Monopoly part one (all five parts are on YouTube):
Mickey Mouse Monopoly youtube playlist

Media Education Foundation (click on study guide):
The Disney Company's massive success in the 20th century is based on creating an image of innocence, magic and fun. Its animated films in particular are almost universally lauded as wholesome family entertainment, enjoying massive popularity among children and endorsement from parents and teachers. Mickey Mouse Monopoly takes a close and critical look at the world these films create and the stories they tell about race, gender and class and reaches disturbing conclusions about the values propagated under the guise of innocence and fun. This daring new video insightfully analyzes Disney's cultural pedagogy, examines its corporate power, and explores its vast influence on our global culture. Including interviews with cultural critics, media scholars, child psychologists, kindergarten teachers, multicultural educators, college students and children, Mickey Mouse Monopoly will provoke audiences to confront comfortable assumptions about an American institution that is virtually synonymous with childhood pleasure. Sections: Disney's Media Dominance | Disney's Gender Representations | Disney's Race Representations | Disney's Commercialization of Children's Culture

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Louis Riel Day (the third Monday of February)

Happy Louis Riel Day!

Many teachers continue to use the term rebellion when referring to Metis resistance and focus on Riel's sanity instead of what he was fighting for and why. The oppression of Metis people continues to be an untold story in most classrooms.

In honour of Riel here are two useful websites:

Gabriel DuMont virtural museum
Virtual Museum of Batoche

Louis Riel Day

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