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.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Girl benched by high school basketball coach for speaking Menominee - and links to Residntial School teaching resources

Middle school girls hoops player benched for a game for saying ‘I love you’ in native language http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/middle-school-girls-hoops-player-benched-game-saying-155532292.html  This story could introduce students to lessons on the the historical context and significance of Indigenous languages, beginning with the horrific policies of residential schools.  For residential school resources see: 

Film: Muffins for Granny (2007)

Film: Sleeping Children Awake (1993)

Film: A Windigo Tale (2009)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YK6RDnGH3E (movie trailer) 

Film: The Fallen Feather: Indian Industrial Residential Schools (2007)

Interactive Website: Where are the Children

St. Patrick's Day: Beyond green and pots of gold

On St. Patrick's Day we often celebrate with a green beer or tell our kids about leprechauns and pots of gold. It seems, however, that few students are taught about the history of Irish racialization, both as inferior and superior.

"What is not often taught in schools or known by the many who routinely celebrate St. Patrick's Day, is that throughout the Irish 'Potato famine' there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad." Excerpt from The Real Irish American Story not Taught in Schools (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/15-4)

"Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century, Irish Americans managed to a great extent to enter and become part of the dominant white culture. In an attempt to secure the prosperity and social position that their white skin had not guaranteed them in Europe, Irish immigrants lobbied for white racial status in America. Although Irish people’s pale skin color and European roots suggested evidence of their white racial pedigree, the discrimination that immigrants experienced on the job (although the extent of the “No Irish Need Apply” discrimination is disputed), the simian caricatures they saw of themselves in the newspapers, meant that “whiteness” was a status that would be achieved, not ascribed." Excerpt from Irish Americans, Racism and the Pursuit of Whiteness (http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2010/03/17/irish-americans-racism-and-the-pursuit-of-whiteness/)

For more in-depth analyses of the making of Irish whiteness see: David Roediger's (1991) The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class and How the Irish Became White (1996) by Noel Ignatiev.

* Historical cartoons of Irish racialization (for students to deconstruct) can be found through a Google image search of 'Irish racism.'

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tim Wise March 15, plus video clips from his 2011 Saskatoon lecture

For more information and video clips from the Tim Wise 2011 series see the City of Saskatoon's website:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

STARS Conference 2012


Tonight It's Poetry in conjunction with STARS presents:
TIP Special Social Justice Showcase featuring Ahmad Majid!
Join us as we kick off the conference with an amazing evening of spoken word!
Come out to Lydia's on March 22 at 7:30pm. $5 cover.
More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/333639460019597/

2012 STARS Conference Presenters!
With special guests

Dr. Pricilla Settee
Award Winning Professor in the Department of Native Studies
Activist, Writer, and Speaker on Indigenous and Women’s Issues Around the World
Sheelah McLean
Educator and PhD Candidate in The Department of Educational Foundations
Fearless Anti-Racist Educator and Tireless Advocate

Dr. Priscilla Settee – 9:30 Rm 1004
Creating Hope, Creating Justice in Difficult Times
Top down, politically constructed states of neo-liberalism and economic downturns has created a public sense of loss of hope at the grass roots. A loss of hope can lead to victimization and marginalization of certain groups, youth, soul support families(women in particular), the unemployed, minority groups and Indigenous peoples resulting in feelings of disenfranchisement, anomie, isolation and even bitterness. Settee’s presentation will focus on the need for building societies based on understanding and solidarity to combat invisible and visible “enemies”. Settee will discuss the positive impacts of getting to know the “other” as a means of creating a more just and equitable society thereby creating societies of trust, validation, acceptance and ultimately solutions to build strong unified communities.
Dr. Priscilla Settee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of Cumberland House Cree First Nations from northern Saskatchewan.
Dr. Settee has initiated a number of projects locally and internationally, including a CIDA(Canadian International Development Agency) project with the University of San Marcos in Peru. This project supported Indigenous Amazonian and Andean students make the transition from their home communities to the university. She works in the city of Saskatoon in a number of capacities including the parent’s council of Oskayak High school and as a member of the Iskwewak group which focuses on disappeared and missing Indigenous women. She has served as a board member of paved arts incorporated. She has developed youth leadership programs and internships which creates activities in the local(Saskatoon’s annual Indigenous music festival) and international context(Fiji, the Philippines, Hawaii internships). Settee has published many journal articles and book chapters. Her second edited book(Coteau Publishing) called The Strength of Women, Âhkemêyimowak documents the stories of women who have struggled against negative forces to create a world of peace, harmony and safety for their communities.
In 2008 Settee was awarded a Global Citizen’s award by Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation and was twice nominated for a teaching excellence award by her students. This year she has been nominated for the University of Saskatchewan Provost Award for teaching excellence in Aboriginal Education.

Sheelah McLean – 3:00 Rm 1004
On Being Canadian
What is the dominant story of nation building in Canada? How does this story take shape in the various symbols and narratives that produce our identities as Canadians? Drawing from artistic representations of the Canadian landscape, this presentation will investigate how Canadian ethnoscapes produce White heteropatriarchial spaces and citizenry, thereby erasing Indigenous peoples, histories and territories. How does this story continue to play out in our institutions, schools and classrooms? What can we do as community members and educators to disrupt the grand narratives that reproduce systemic oppression?
Sheelah McLean is currently a PhD candidate in integrated Antiracist education. She has been a teacher in secondary and adult education for 20 years, and an instructor at the University of Saskatchewan for 7 years. Sheelah has also worked as an Antiracist mentor and activist within the community through various research projects and committees which address racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and classism. Her goal is to work on projects that bridge scholarship, policies and praxis in order to to address the issues faced by marginalized groups, particularly focusing on the historical legacy of oppression experienced by Aboriginal peoples within a White settler society.
-- Also Featuring --

Session 1: 10:45 – 11:45
Dr. Verna St. Denis – 1004
Indigenous teachers and students as interlopers in Canadian public schools.
Although much political and scholarly attention has been placed on the colonial violence perpetrated though educational policy and practice against Indigenous people in Canada through the history of residential schooling, we pay less attention to the on-going colonial violence perpetrated against Indigenous people through publicly funded schools in Canada. Critical race theory and the growing body of literature that theorizes space and spatiality as central to racializing processes and practices are useful in challenging the widely held assumption that public schools are race neutral spaces. Considering the broader historical and political context of schooling and schools highlights how public schools in Canada have been produced and are continually reproduced as white spaces. The contemporary popularity of multiculturalism in Canadian education ostensibly serves to cultivate recognition of the belonging of 'cultural' others, but continues to perpetuate whiteness as the taken-for-granted position from which the acceptance of difference is brokered. When public schools are examined from the perspectives of Indigenous people, the enabling historical and current racial and spatial technologies that contribute to the erasure of Indigenous teachers and students becomes evident. Drawing on qualitative interview data collected over the past fifteen years on the experiences of
Indigenous teachers in public schools this paper seeks to theorize the way in which racial ideologies are embedded in and define organizational space and how racism is constituted through school policies and procedures that result in producing Indigenous teachers and students as interlopers in public schools.
Bio: Dr. Verna St. Denis is a Cree and Metis woman from Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation, Saskatchewan. She received her PhD in Anthropology of Education from Stanford University, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations. Verna has received many honors during her career, which most recently include the R.W.B. Jackson Award (Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association Most outstanding English language journal article, May 2008) for her article, Aboriginal education and anti-racist education: Building alliance across cultural and racial identity.

Jebunnessa Chapola – 1039
Labour Migration, Inter-ethnic Relations and Empowerment:
A Study of Khyang Indigenous Garments Workers, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Bio: Jebunnessa Chapola grew up in Bangladesh. She attended post secondary institutions in Bangladesh, Sweden, and Norway. She has a Bachelor of Social Science (Sociology), a Master of Social Science (Sociology), a Master of Philosophy in Gender and Development, and an International Master of Science in Social Work. Jebunnessa has worked as a research assistant and senior researcher in Bangladesh. Jebunnessa worked as a research officer with the Community University Institute for Social Research (CUISR) here at U of S since the fall 2010. She has presented several papers at international conferences, and has worked as a volunteer on several community projects. Currently she is a board member of International Women of Saskatoon (IWS).

Janelle Digney, Reece Digney, Mark Roney, Angela Yedersberger – 1022
The Affordable Housing Crisis
Property value has risen substantially because of high population growth in Saskatoon in recent years. We will discuss how people from marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by housing market trends and how a lack of policy and programs only enhance these effects. We will review a budget created through minimum wage and the average housing costs in the city of Saskatoon to create an awareness of the issues that are faced when on minimum wage. The presentation will then move onto discussing the feelings, struggles and oppression that could be felt when facing this adversity. Small groups will be made to discuss the struggles of single parents, minimum wage workers, university students, homeless people, and a student with minimum wage parent(s). The small group discussion should be encouraged to be an open forum with experiences given from presenters to promote a safe environment. The small group discussion will be brought back into large group discussion where the small groups will share their main discussion points and the large group will be encouraged to provide their own input into the discussion. The presenters will discuss programs that exist in Saskatoon to help alleviate the housing crisis and the benefits and failures of these programs. The presenters will discuss the lack of awareness in the province that creates indifference and lack of ability to truly empathize. Knowledge is key when developing awareness and we will emphasize that through our presentation, our website, and educational pamphlets we hope to raise awareness of the real issues involved. Our efforts will hopefully, alleviate the feelings of indifference and create a more accurate consciousness.
Bios: Angela Yedersberger is in her final year at the College of Education and is currently on the Prairie Spirit School Division’s sub list. She is a proud mother of two children; Noah, who is 6 years old and currently in Grade 1, and Aliya, who is 4 years old and currently in Preschool. She had a great experience interning at Clavet Composite School and is looking forward to being a full-time teacher.
Reece Digney is completing his bachelors of education at the U of S, majoring in Industrial Arts and minoring in art and art history. Prior to entering into education at the U of S, Reece has been working to complete an automotive mechanic apprenticeship.
Janelle Digney is an education student at the U of S completing her degree this April. Her primary teaching area is History and secondary area is English. Janelle also holds an arts degree in History from the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Geraldine Balzer – 2014
Considering our words
Language is powerful and can both reflect and shape our thinking. This presentation will consider the language of racism, sexism, and hate. Can we shift attitudes by changing the language we use? What strategies can teachers use to challenge students to interrogate their language choices?
Bio: Dr. Geraldine Balzer is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. Her experiences teaching Inuit students led to her interest in decolonizing pedagogies and transformative education. Her teaching focuses on ways of disrupting the hegemony of standard English and embracing the diversity of Englishes within our world, incorporating Aboriginal and postcolonial literature into secondary classrooms, and preparing teachers to be advocates of social justice.
Session 2: 12:45 – 1:45
Dr. Lynn Caldwell – 1004
"What's the question? What difference do the questions make?"
This workshop will focus on the questions we ask, the questions we are asked, and the questions we wish were asked about anti-oppressive education, about oppression, about race, about racism, and about anti-racism. We'll ask questions in the workshop, and focus on identifying questions that lead to change.
Questions do make a difference, but what kind of difference they make will be a focus of the presentation and activities in this session.
Bio: Lynn Caldwell teaches and learns in various places connected to the University of Saskatchewan, including as a sessional lecturer with the Department of Educational Foundations.

Michelle Sanderson – 1039
Anti-Racist Strategies for Administrators
This session will describe what racism looks like in schools, how it affects children and name concrete anti-racist strategies for administrators.
Bio: Michelle is from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. She is a jingle dress dancer, an elementary teacher with ten years of experience at the K-8 level and a single parent of 3 children. Michelle is currently a graduate student in Educational Foundations with a specialty in Anti-racist/Anti-oppressive education at the U of S and is the Cree teacher at Muskeg Lake Kihiw School.

Angela Schindelka, Leny Mansuy, Megan Reist – 1022
Barriers to Anti-Racist Education in Saskatchewan
This interactive session will work to identify and deconstruct barriers to the use of anti-racist pedagogy in Saskatchewan schools and propose ways to overcome such barriers so that we may all use anti-racist practices more effectively in our classrooms.
Bios: Megan Reist is in her final year of Education. Through her time in the College of Education she has developed a passion for anti-racist/oppressive practices. She is looking forward to beginning her career as an educator.
Leny Mansuy is in her final year of Education with a focus on Elementary Education. Her passion for children led her into the field of teaching and her desire is to impact the lives of the students she teaches. She hopes to impact her students to think differently about issues of race, inequality and other issues surrounding Social Justice.
Angela Schindelka in her final year of Education and is eager to use anti-oppressive pedagogy in secondary classrooms.

Becky Kuffner – 2014
Hegemony and the Advancement of the Status Quo
Session 3: 2:00 – 2:45
Dr. Paul Orlowski – 1004
Teaching for Social Justice & Political Ideology
The major aim of Teaching for Social Justice is to lessen the suffering of people marginalized by various identity markers such as their race, gender, sexuality, social class, religion, culture and/or mental and physical ability. Many students come to see that there is privilege associated with hegemonic norms around these same markers. Yet, many of these people do not make the connections to political ideology. They may identify with one or more oppressed social groups, and then vote for a political party that supports various forms of oppression (or not vote at all). The presentation will address this disconnect.
Bio: Paul Orlowski taught in BC high schools for 20 years. He received his doctorate from UBC in 2004, and has worked in Teacher Education ever since. Paul was the department head of the Teacher Education Program at the University of the Fraser Valley in BC, and is currently on faculty at the U of S College of Education. His research interests are in anti-racist education, critical media literacy, teaching for democracy, teaching for class-consciousness, and critical pedagogy.

Ryan Jimmy – 1039
The stories we share and the spaces we create
This session will be a narrative of my life experiences as a First Nations person who also identifies as being gay. The session will embody the importance of "Otherness" and how I have come to understand it, interpret it, and "use" it to guide my teaching practice. My hope is that by sharing my story I can inspire individuals to listen with their hearts, as all of us must work together at dismantling oppression in the classroom.
Bio: I grew up on the Onion Lake First Nation and graduated from ITEP last June. I recently completed a temporary full time teaching position at Sakewew High school in North Battleford and now sub for the school. While being a first time teacher this year I also balanced being a first year graduate student. The classes I have taken and currently taking are Educational Foundations 898: Indigenous Knowledge in Education and Educational Foundations 881: Education, Wisdom, and Nature. As a graduate student in Ed. Foundations I have come to value my negative experiences with racism and homophobia as events that have taught me the importance of listening to others with not only good ears but a compassionate heart.

Ahmad Majid & Zoey Roy – 1022
Pride and Poetry: Arts for Social Justice
Come and listen to the inspiring stories of spoken word artists Ahmad Majid and zoey Roy as they share the impact that engaging with the arts has had on their personal experiences. Participants will see examples of anti-oppressive poetry and engage in their own anti-racist writing exercise. Please bring a pen and paper.
Bios: Ahmad Majid, feature at the STARS conference Thursday night poetry kick-off, is a member of the Saskatoon's own Slam Team! He has been writing poetry and rap songs since he was 14, but only in the last few years has he brought his words to life on stage. Being an Iraqi Canadian in a post 9-11 world has influenced his work to be focused on social and political awareness and change. His influences include rap artists such as 2pac, Immortal Technique, and Blue Scholars, as well as spoken word legends Shihan, Black Ice, and Suheir Hammad. Ahmad is currently attending the University of Saskatchewan achieving a dual degree in Sociology and and Political Studies
Zondra Roy, "Zoey" or "Pricelys" is 22 years old from Prince Albert Saskatchewan. Her family is originally from a remote community in northern Saskatchewan called Black Lake Denesuline Nation. She is now working in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as a project leader for CRU Youth Wellness Centre where she does outreach in high schools within the core neighborhood as well as workshops around Saskatoon when required. Zoey is a spoken word poet, a hip hop artist, a photographer, an event coordinator, an ambassador for Saskatchewan and Canada's first nations people, a sister, an auntie and a daughter. Zoey uses hip hop, poetry and photography as a way to reach out to people, often being a bridge for situations that are ever present to her. She aspires to be a social entrepreneur in economic development to create opportunities for the marginalized and disenfranchised populations that has been the roots of her existence and generations before her. Zoey hopes to create change within the northern rural and remote communities and she can sure use your help. "The Legacy is The Process."

Larraine Ratzlaff – 2014
Making the Familiar Strange
In order to ensure equitable, quality educational experiences for newcomer youth, mainstream classroom teachers must examine what they take for granted or believe is natural and how it may in fact, NOT be what their students take for granted or believe is natural. Teachers must reflect on how the dominant culture (their culture) looks through the eyes of newcomer students; how strange it appears and how unfamiliar it is. As culturally responsiveness educators, they will, create opportunities for the students to learn about their culture in similar ways. In developing their own intercultural awareness and becoming culturally responsive – mainstream teachers can provide rich, intercultural learning opportunities in inclusive classrooms where students learn many ways of knowing and hopefully, more humane ways of relating. This session will offer participants an overview of mainstream classroom cultural biases and some strategies for becoming culturally responsive teachers who can make the familiar strange and find that liberating!
Bio: Larraine Ratzlaff is a high school English as an Additional Language Teacher at Bethlehem Catholic High School. Besides her passion for all things-TEAL/TESL/TESD, her long-time interest has been on developing inclusive schools that challenge, rather than mirror, the status quo and in which social justice and citizenship are valued above all.

Also Featuring!
Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA)
Anti-Racism Film Festival
4:00 - 5:30
With Guests
Marcel Petit and Dr. Simonne Horwitz


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