Ottawa – The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) has joined the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones (FNCSF) (National Federation of Francophone School Boards) in notifying the CBC ombudsman of their deep concern about the educational value of the series The Story of Us.
“We are concerned that the CBC wishes to give the series exposure in elementary and secondary schools across Canada via its Curio platform,” says CTF President Heather Smith. “Our organizations are unable to vouch for the educational value of the series in its existing form,” she adds.
The two organizations believe that because of its historical omissions, for example the deportation of the Acadians, its less than flattering depictions of emblematic Francophone figures from the history of Canada and the near-absence of comments by Francophones, this series offers an Anglo-centred version of the story that is far from being a shared or inclusive one.
They will therefore be recommending that their members refrain from using the series unless the CBC makes changes to avoid exposing students to an incomplete and distorted history of our country.
Echoing a recent suggestion by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada), the CTF and the FNCSF point out that interviews with Acadian and Francophone leaders and historians could be incorporated into the material for distribution to schools.
“If the series’ primary target audience is the English-speaking public, as the CBC has indicated, it is essential that English-speaking Canadian elementary and secondary school students have access to an account that gives appropriate prominence to Francophones and Acadians without taking liberties with history,” says FNCSF President Melinda Chartrand.
Founded in 1920, the CTF is a national alliance of provincial and territorial Member organizations that represent nearly 232,000 teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of the 32-million member Education International.
The FNCSF represents the 28 Francophone and Acadian school boards across Canada in minority situations. These entities provide educational services in French to 160,000 students attending nearly 650 educational institutions.
Valérie Morand, Manager, Communications, FNCSF/RNDGE: 613-744-3443 or 613-327-2308 (cell) email@example.com
Francine Filion, Director of Communications, CTF: 613-688-4314 or 613-899-4247 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org