author: matt wincherauk | editor-in-chief
“The Internet is a “wonderful” place full of puppies and kitties, but the fact is that pages like UR Confessions has allowed for people to get away with this kind of stuff and avoid the repercussions.”
About a week ago, the UR Confessions page published a post that talked about Treaty Education and its place within our education system at all levels. The post was rather brief, but had a divisive and blunt message: Treaty Education has no place in our province’s school curriculums. Here is a small sample of the post that was soon deleted afterwards:
“In response to the teacher who wants Treaty Education integrated, you really think that it will work? No. Just do what I do. Don’t teach it at all. It’s a waste of time. The Chinese, and the blacks, also cultures horrendously treated here in Canada, don’t get their own curriculum, as such, neither should First Nations people. It’s a farce. Nobody cares about treaties. If they stopped bring [sic] it up we could move passed [sic] it.”
All right, where to start first? Well, we could start with the fact that UR Confessions is a horrible, terrible place, much like every other confessions pages on Facebook. Pages like this allow people to divulge their most racist and sexist thoughts on to the Internet, behind the safety net of anonymity. The Internet is a “wonderful” place full of puppies and kitties, but the fact is that pages like UR Confessions has allowed for people to get away with this kind of stuff and avoid the repercussions. Of course, not every confession is like this, but the fact that they encourage people to do this and give them the motivation to post offensive and terrible things like this is just gross.
It’s sad to see that this sort of thing is attempting to be passed off as simply opinion, when it’s nothing more than hate and laziness. Preferring the Rolling Stones to the Beatles is an opinion, thinking that Treaty Education is not worth our school system’s time is not. Our school system has a duty to educate, and the reality is that First Nations’ rights and ways of life have hit a crisis in our country. In recent months, we have seen the tragedies that have occurred in Northern Saskatchewan, and it is clear that we have an epidemic on our hands. The idea that we could just ignore this level of crisis and move on is not only ignorant, but also clearly incredibly dangerous to the well being of so many people. Treaty Education might not be every person and teacher’s idea of exciting teaching material, but you cannot deny its importance, and take the decision not to teach it into your hands because of your own prejudices and laziness.
It is nothing new, but the fact is that with the expansion of groups like the alt-right, the election of Donald Trump, and the movement for anti-political correctness has had a severe effect on our society. Our confessions poster has not only shown his shortsighted and racist nature, but also serves as a reminder that while steps have certainly been made in the right direction, there’s a significantly long way to go in terms of Treaty education and awareness of the numerous issues that face First Nations people in Canada.