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Remembrance Day—November 11, 2020

Greeting card for Poppy Day , Remembrance Day.

Every year educators—education workers and teachers—are asked by students, “What are we remembering?” Sometimes they do not ask directly, but the things left unsaid indicate they are often complying with what is “expected” during ceremonies, assemblies, announcements, or lessons aimed at ensuring we will remember. It acts as an uninformed remembering and therefore it has limited impact.

However, the fact is what we remember and why we remember is incomplete. This Remembrance Day, all educators are encouraged to reflect and change our practices, we are encouraged to give thought to the what and how of remembrance. We must acknowledge the fact our traditional approach to this observance leaves out certain groups. The legacy of colonialism and racism has not only created an incomplete and biased understanding of our history, it has created a system where many people, including educators and students are, as Toronto Star Contributing Columnist, Jagdeesh Mann wrote in 2019, only getting a “whitewashed” Canadian History. More recently, organizations like the Ontario Black History Society have rightly called for the end of #BlackedOutHistory in this provinces’ curriculum.

Many Educators in Ontario are committed to improving how and what is taught in Ontario’s schools. That deserves to be acknowledged, celebrated, and replicated. As you prepare for Remembrance Day this year, please, take the time to reflect and ask yourself who is not being remembered. Whose history is not reflected in your virtual event, lesson, or activity? How do you think that makes them feel? It could be a reason your colleagues and students do not seem as engaged and interested today, this month, every year. Then ask yourself how to rectify this absence of experience and history.

Adopting an equity-informed approach to Remembrance Day and, more generally, education, is long overdue. Thankfully, numerous organizations and resources can help us all on our journey to create a more accurate, inclusive, and respectful Remembrance Day. The resources below are not meant to be an exhaustive list but are a sample of the many available to help educate and support our members develop an equity-informed approach to their Remembrance Day practices.

Online Events:
CTV News
Canada remembers online: Virtual events to commemorate this Remembrance Day
November 6, 2020

Kojo Institute
November 5, 2020

CTV News
Special projects honour black and Indigenous veterans
November 11, 2017

Black Canadian Contributions
Black Canadians fought racism, discrimination to serve in Second World War
November 8, 2020

Global News
‘They fought to fight’: How Black Canadians battled racism to serve the country
November 11, 2019

Facebook Groups


Chinese Canadians:
Vancouver Courier
Remembrance: Chinese-Canadian veterans fought for acceptance
November 9, 2019

Veterans Affairs Canada
Heroes Remember — Chinese-Canadian Veterans

The story of Canada’s code talkers

Veterans Affairs Canada
Indigenous Peoples

Peuples autochtones

Remembrance Moments: Indigenous Veterans (Video)

Jewish Canadians Contributions:
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jewish Canadian service in the Second World War

LGBTQ2SI Contributions:
Rainbow Veterans of Canada
Twitter – @CanadaRainbow

Facebook –  Rainbow Veterans of Canada / Vétérans Arc-En-Ciel du Canada

Legion Magazine
Rainbow veterans seeking recognition
November 21, 2019

CTV News
Ontario group to honour LGBTQ veterans in Remembrance Day ceremony
November 10, 2019

South Asian Contributions
Has India’s contribution to WW2 been ignored?
June 16, 2015

Toronto Star
Race politics whitewashed Canadian history. It’s time to recognize India’s contribution to the First World War
July 20, 2019

Canadian Women’s Contributions:

Veterans Affairs Canada
Women Veterans

Remembrance Moments: Canadian Women and War (Video)

Online Events:
CTV News
Canada remembers online: Virtual events to commemorate this Remembrance Day
November 6, 2020

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