New Article – Schooling in Western Canada, 1870–1923: An Anti-racist Interpretation

Jason Ellis’s new article “Schooling in Western Canada, 1870–1923: An Anti-racist Interpretation,” is now available in open-access format. With an audience of teacher candidates in mind, the article “tells the stories of non-British White settlers, Chinese Canadians and Japanese Canadians, and Indigenous peoples,” arguing that their schooling experiences in this period “are branches of the same tree” – namely publicly supported schooling, which was “racially unequal” from its inception. And yet, the article also argues, these groups include many families who wanted schooling – “at times, they all demanded it – because they believed it was the best chance the next generation had to thrive in Canada, a society these families intimately recognized treated their children as inferior because they were not racially of British origin.” As an anti-racist history of the topic, the article “looks unflinchingly at the harms” racially unequal schooling caused and at the “the educational privileges that trickled down to White settlers,” but that never reached other racialized people. The article offers several lessons that “help teachers, teacher education students, and the public to unpack racist and colonial baggage, and to see better the journey ahead to a different and just educational future.”