Make Race and Ethnicity Course Mandatory in Nova Scotia

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Action Plan Statement

Goal: To have a mandatory open level Race and Ethnicity course in high-school. 

We are asking the Minister of Education of Nova Scotia, Zach Churchill to reform the education system. 

Implementing this course is the first step in reforming the current Eurocentric teachings of “Social Studies”, history, and other subjects that neglect to focus on the important systemic issues from an early age.

Problem: Our current primary and secondary education programs do not address the existence of racism in Canada in the past and in the present. Without educating students on the full extent of the history of racism and cultural assimilation in the past, we are perpetuating a continual cycle of colonialism today. Marginalized groups are then excluded from our teachings and further discriminated against. It is important to showcase the realities of these systemic issues and teach students how to identify discriminatory actions with regards to the issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, etc. in order to educate students on the makings of society and the ways in which these systems operate. 

We are not educated about the full extent of slavery and Indigenous genocide that happened in the past, and the lasting effects of that today on racialized, Indigenous, and immigrant populations. What are the lasting mindsets of colonialism that exist today? What does racism and oppression look like in Canada today, right now in terms of issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, etc.? How are the communities dealing with it? How can we progress and learn?

Intention of the course: To provide students with better knowledge and understanding of how race and ethnicity looks in today’s society: How minorities are;

portrayed in the media 
recipients of healthcare 
treated by the education system (By peers, teachers, staff and the education system in general) 
treated at the workplace including hiring practices
dealt with by the justice system 
Additional topics to cover 

The Eurocentric beauty standard  
Racialization of poverty 
Racism and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
White privilege and white fragility
and many more areas of focus of oppression of the everyday life of communities in Canada. A more in-depth list of topics to cover is available at the end of this petition.

If you think an important topic was missed feel free to contact (Ontario) or (Nova Scotia). 

Course Description: The first component of this course will explore the theories and foundations of racism, in order to encourage students to engage in critical thinking through an interdisciplinary lens. The second component will analyze systemic structures that are upheld within Canadian society such as the criminal justice system, education systems, public health systems, and other areas of colonization. The third component will present the students with strategies of political resistance from thinkers of the Global South and how to increase the representation of marginalized people within society.

Required Texts:

David Este, Liza Lorenzetti, and Christa Sato (eds.). 2018. Racism and Anti-Racism in Canada. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing. 

Book/Article Suggestions from Black and Indigenous Theorists 

The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King (Book)

Intersectionality - Kimberlé Crenshaw (Article)

The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander (Book)

Decolonization is not a Metaphor - Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (Article)

Why in high school:  There have been many petitions for an Anti-Oppression course to be a requirement at a post-secondary institution however,  the opportunity to gain post-secondary education is not accessible to everyone. Implementing this course within high schools would be beneficial for the growth and development of students. The concepts taught are applicable in everyday life and it teaches students how to be mindful of the impact of their actions. This course will allow students to know how to analyze entrenched discriminatory practices within our institutions, develop an interdisciplinary lens, and create safer spaces within educational institutions and within the community. Education is the first step in creating social change and race and ethnicity course will be beneficial to all parties through this highly applicable and important course 

Comprehensive topics to include in the course:

Education System

How BIPOC are treated in schools (adultification)
Racism mislabelled as “bullying” and not addressed properly
School to prison pipeline
Promoting “Diversity” and “Multiculturism” does not address each Race and how they are treated differently in society
How racial stereotypes influence teachers/staff in grading, dropout and explosion rates
Public Health

Quality of Healthcare dependant on Race
Racialization of Poverty 
Environmental racism
Infant mortality rates
White Supremacy and Eurocentric Ideologies 

Eurocentric Beauty standards -> Stereotypes
Media representation
Internalized racism
White privilege/fragility/guilt
White feminism -> intersectionality
Institutionalized Racism

Criminal justice system (war on drugs, over-policing, police brutality, the 13th amendment)
Prison abolition
Carding and racial profiling done by Police Officers

Indigenous land rights
Missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Starlight Tours
Sixties Scoop
Proper Residential schools history, the last school closed in 1996 which is shocking
Slavery, chattel slavery


I take no credit for the action plan that was written. It has been copied and edited from the original petition by Parnika Raj to make a Race and Ethnicity Course Mandatory in Ontario High-schools.  I contacted Parnika and explained to her that I wanted to start the same petition here in Nova Scotia. 

You can reach Parnika by email or on Instagram @parniks. For her original petition follow this link