We failed to capture, correct, and create a learning opportunity on an important matter.
We allowed a written comment on a classroom project to be posted in the school that incorrectly recounted the history of Indigenous people in Canada, and by doing so, we allowed an inaccurate, harmful colonial view to sit unchecked in our learning environment.
This comment is not reflective of Balmoral Hall School’s approach to education, and we should have corrected it immediately. We understand that we must be accountable for our actions, and we take seriously the responsibility that we carry to help shape the way our students view the world around them. We are sorry.
We are not going to repeat the exact words, but we will do better to ensure that our students are provided with access to resources that are reliable and credible and that support their learning.
Today, we have —
Removed all of the projects (as we had previously planned to send them home with students prior to this weekend).
Spoke with Grade 5 students to ensure our learnings from this situation are shared openly.
Reached out to an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper in the Balmoral Hall School community for guidance.
Met with faculty to discuss how we need to take time to better review students’ work with a modern lens.
As former Justice and Senator Murray Sinclair says: “Education got us into this mess, and education will get us out.”
Balmoral Hall School is working to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community in several ways. We have commissioned a report on equity and inclusion and assembled a sub-committee of our Board of Governors to support this work.
In the fall, we hosted an employee professional development day led by one of Manitoba’s leading educators of diversity and inclusion, Michelle Jean-Paul, Assistant Superintendent of Staff Services, Louis Riel School Division.
We have just completed an engaging full-day workshop for employees, alumnae, parents, grandparents, and students on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The day opened with direction and advice from an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper. The recommendations coming from that discussion were incredibly visionary and far-reaching. We are very excited by the ideas generated that day.
As parents, grandparents, employees, alumnae, and students, you should always feel welcome to tell us where we can improve.
We are here as hosts to the children’s education, and we are always looking for ways to be better hosts.