May 17th, 2024

Today’s SACPA to discuss Alberta’s colonial history in K-4 curriculum

By Greg Bobinec on December 3, 2020.


The Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) will be discussing today the importance of residential schools being acknowledged in primary schools at all grades with Maura Hanrahan from the University of Lethbridge.
Canada’s Indigenous people have suffered many injustices as a result of colonization, with the residential school system being one of them, SACPA noted in a news release. Most First Nations, MŽtis and Inuit people today are themselves residential school survivors or the children of those who survived, while many did not. These schools were sites of physical and sexual abuse, children were taken away from their parents and from normal family life.
Processing and recovering from ongoing trauma are difficult lifelong undertakings, yet residential school syndrome was not even recognized until recently, noted the release. First Nations, MŽtis and Inuit children left these schools and tried to get on with their lives, carrying overwhelming emotion burdens, along with untreated anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Hanrahan is the board of governors Research Chair Tier II, co-ordinator of the Canadian Studies Program, and associate professor in the Department of Geography & Environment at the University of Lethbridge. She is also an adjunct professor with the Environmental Policy Institute, Memorial University.
Hanrahan will be discussing why residential schools should be acknowledged in primary schools at all grades, being residential schools are an important part of Canada’s history. She will also discuss residential schooling education being a crucial part of decolonizing efforts, as well as why the provincial government is proposing eliminating the topic from K-4 curriculum, while many non-native students are unaware of residential schools.
SACPA will be hosting its live presentation and discussion today at 10 a.m., on SACPA’s YouTube Live link: Questions on the presentation can be asked in the chat feature on YouTube, in which you need an account to access. For further information on this session, past or future presentations, visit

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