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Public perspectives on curriculum reform for truth and reconciliation in Canada

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Canada, curriculum reform, public opinion, school reform, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Abstract (summary)

The implementation of school reforms to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples provides an opportunity to explore what Canadians think is important in framing their identities and values. This paper draws on data from a survey of public perspectives on education for reconciliation activities in two Canadian provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We consider the broader community context within which schools are located. By examining public perspectives, we are able to assess how curricular initiatives related to reconciliation are understood by community members, both as a priority in itself and in relation to other key curricular areas. Informed by critical race theory, our findings suggest that reconciliation is restricted to activities that do not involve extensive change to existing curricular and ideational frameworks. These perspectives exist alongside extensive opposition to reconciliation justified by claims that Indigenous experiences and perspectives are receiving undue attention relative to more pressing educational priorities. Our findings suggest that aims to transform dominant understandings about Canadian history and identity remain far from being fulfilled.

Publication Information

Wotherspoon, T., & Milne. E. (2023). Public Perspectives on Curriculum Reform for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. 23(1), 29-48.


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