An Anti-Racism Community Roundtable has been created to form an action plan meant to strengthen the K-12 curriculum and make sure the culture, beliefs and ancestry of all students and staff are understood.
“There is no place for racism, discrimination or intolerance in British Columbia – in our schools or anywhere else,” said Premier John Horgan. “We are bringing important voices to the table to help us bolster culture-based learning in the education system and build a better and more inclusive future for B.C.”
The B.C. Government said that community leaders from a wide range of groups have been brought together by Rob Fleming, Minister of Education to help better understand the impacts of racism on students and provide input on anti-racism policies and programs.
The first meeting of this group was held on Friday, July 24th.
“Now is the time to listen, learn, engage and act,” said Fleming. “We are committed to working with community and education partners to build a meaningful and lasting anti-racism action plan to ensure schools are safe and welcoming places where diversity is celebrated.”
According to the Province, this discussion is the first in a series that will guide the decisions made by the ministry and its education partners to work towards understanding the barriers faced by Indigenous students and students of colour. The First Nations Leadership Council, the First Nations Education Steering Committee and Métis Nation BC have been included to help set up an Indigenous table and co-develop its approach.
“Through this roundtable, we are hopeful for a more inclusive tomorrow by supporting students, families and educators today,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services and responsible for Multiculturalism. “By listening and learning from the experiences of others we can all work together to build an environment that is understanding and respectful of our differences.”
Currently, B.C. has several new Indigenous-focused courses that are available for students as part of the B.C. Graduation Program, such as Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12, B.C. First Peoples 12, and expanded course options for English First Peoples 10 through 12.