McGill Blog and Stuff

"Art is anything you can get away with." – Marshall McLuhan

Educational Rationale

The emergence of Indigenous issues in mainstream media that has nothing to do with a major crime, but rather of a social issue, is a massive shift in Canadian politics. It marks a new sense of openness that was not here before. Its highlights include the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, inquiries into murdered and missing Indigenous women, and an inquiry into the water situation in Grassy Narrows. However, these issues are not new. Grassy Narrows First Nation’s water has been polluted for nearly 50 years, and residential schools had been in existence for over a century (1876-1996). With this comes a new understanding of history as uncovered by the TRC, a shared history that must be spoken of and understood, so that social injustices may also be understood, and so that we can promote tolerance and awareness both in and out of the classroom. Steps have been made toward reconciliation, but it is up to the education of future generations to ensure they continue those dialogues. The Indigenous youth’s video “Home to Me”¬†demonstrates how new media can reach a wider audience, and how democracy facilitates discussion of all social issues, whether they affect the majority, the minority, or both. It opens the door to discussion of socio-economic status, class struggle, and assimilation, as well as other issues affecting minorities and under-represented groups. Most of all though, in terms of education, it demonstrates to youth that they do have a voice, and that their voice can be heard, and that they can indeed make the world a better place by speaking out about the issues.

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