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B.C. teaching material that references 'squaw' 39 times pulled for review

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September 18, 2017 - 3:12 PM

VANCOUVER - A package of education materials used in B.C. secondary schools has been removed for review after a First Nations woman learned her 14-year-old daughter had been asked to define the word "squaw," an offensive term for a First Nations woman.

A woman took to social media to express her outrage over the weekend about exercises of "violent colonialism" that her daughter was being asked to complete at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver.

The material centres around the book "Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush," which was originally published in 1852 and has language that a teaching guide developed in 2016 describes as racist and discriminatory.

The word squaw shows up in the original publication 39 times, and an exercise asks students to match the term with its "appropriate language" definition, which in this case is "an Aboriginal woman."

Second Story Press, which publishes the teaching material, says it has removed the material for review and sincerely regrets any pain it has caused.

A single-sentence statement from the Vancouver School Board, where the book is used, says the board is looking into the context in which these materials were used in the classroom.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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