British Columbia may see some changes in their secondary school curriculum. It’s an exciting change and a step towards reconciliation as schools may require Indigenous studies for students to graduate.
For the 2023/2024 school year, BC Education wants to change the curriculum a little bit. In collaboration with Indigenous communities, schools in BC will potentially introduce some new classes. The ministry of education feels that this is an effective step towards making amends and that students will be all the better when they develop a deeper understanding of this history.
Residents of BC will know by August 2022 if these new courses will be implemented. For the time being, the ministry is collecting feedback. Indigenous studies are already offered in post-secondary institutions, but so far there is no mention of what could potentially change for them. There may be a chance that language courses will be introduced, but there is no announcement yet.
Potential New Courses
- BC First Peoples 12
- Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12
- English First Peoples – Literacy Studies 10
- English First Peoples – New Media 10
- English First Peoples – Spoken Language 10
- English First Peoples – Writing 10
- English First Peoples – Literary Studies & New Media 11
- English First Peoples – Literary Studies & Spoken Language 11
- English First Peoples – Literary Studies & Writing 11
- English First Peoples 12
The above courses are most likely going to be alternatives to the regular English 10 to 11 courses. It allows students to improve their written English communication while exploring an important aspect of Canada’s history. Overall, students need 80 credits to graduate, but 4 of those must be an Indigenous-focused course.
BC Education will also hold language courses that range from grades 5 to 12. These are not likely going to be mandatory after grade 8, much like French. Some of the languages that will be taught are
- Upper St’at’imcets
- And many more languages!
Why does this matter?
With any change, there’s always opposition. Some might find this useless, or even a backwards step. In fact, the opposite is true. Canada has a long history of oppression towards the original inhabitants of the country. Introducing these courses is a step towards reconciliation.
As a result of the oppression, Canada’s culture isn’t as established as other countries. Through these courses, students can now actually make a connection with how Canada was before the settlers arrived.