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Ben Babcock

4 Articles Tagged with “Indigenous”

  1. Racist op-eds need to stop, kthxbai

    Another day, another racist article in my local newspaper, The Chronicle Journal. This time it isn't an ignorant letter to the editor, though—it's an ignorant op-ed from a retired judge.

    I follow a lot of Indigenous people on Twitter, because I want to hear what they have to say. This article comes hot on the heels of a similarly stultifying piece from Conrad Black a few days ago, and it's one day after the news that another Indigenous teen (Brayden Moonias) has been found dead here in Thunder Bay, with police reporting signs of foul play.

    My city has a racism problem, and it is literally killing Indigenous people. But too many citizens refuse to acknowledge this, and now we're importing racist rants from Winnipeg when we should be standing together against opinions like this.

    So I wrote a letter to the editor responding to this piece. No idea yet if it will be published. Here is the letter in full:

    I wish I could say that I'm shocked that The Chronicle Journal ran Brian Giesbrecht's "System that rewards status Indians is spectacularly unfair" a day after Brayden Moonias was found dead here in Thunder Bay.

    Giesbrecht would

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  2. An Open Letter to My MP Concerning the Pipeline Approval, and Other Matters

    I can’t take it any more. I have to say something, say something more than just tweeting how disappointed I am and retweeting other people. This Kinder Morgan pipeline approval is the final straw.

    So what follows is a letter I am sending to my Member of Parliament, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women.

    Dear Minister Hajdu,

    I am writing to express my unequivocal disappointment in the Government of Canada’s decisions to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the Petronas LNG plant, and more generally, its numerous failures to live up to its promises to renew the government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and take action on climate change. I am writing to you as a constituent of Thunder Bay–Superior North, but more importantly, as a teacher of adult Indigenous students in this city and a young adult myself.

    At 27 years old, I have not had the opportunity to vote in many federal elections. I was not a fan of the previous government, and when the Liberal Party formed the current government, I was cautiously optimistic that for the first time in a decade voices of young people, and for the first time in … well, too long,…

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  3. When they speak

    I had an excellent class this morning.

    Previously I blogged about how, in this combined ENG3C/NBE3C Grade 11 English course, we looked at various texts to help students article their identity. We’ve now moved on to looking at the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We have watched three documentaries (Trick or Treaty?, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, and We Were Children), and the students are working on research reports on topics of their choosing.

    Today we listened to the Canadaland Commons episode on residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report. After watching We Were Children the day before, I wanted to give students more information and access to more perspectives. Desmond Cole and Andray Domise play excellent hosts to Ryan McMahon and Chelsea Vowel, who are both so passionate. While we listened, I modelled for my students that kind of note-taking I expect them to try when they are researching for their own projects.

    After we listened to the podcast, I opened the floor for discussion. It was a slow going at first, and even at its peak, I’d say that three or four students dominated the discussion, with one or two…

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  4. Exploring Self and Identity Through Short Stories

    I have two book reviews I really should be writing instead, and some planning to finish, because I’m off tomorrow afternoon to Sudbury (of all places) for a two-day workshop. So of course I’m blogging instead!

    In the previous session (March to April) at the adult education centre, I taught a Grade 11 workplace math course (MEL3E). I’ve taught this course several times now, and I didn’t bring much new to the table content wise (although I like the tweaks I made to the culminating activity). However, now that my board is getting on board with Office 365 and I had access to a classroom cart of iPads, I, along with a few other teachers, investigated the possibility of using Microsoft OneNote’s Classroom Notebook. That experience in and of itself is worthy of more blogging, but that’s not what I want to talk about today.

    Last week we started a new session (May to June), and I’m back at the Aboriginal Student Advancement Program (ASAP), teaching adult aboriginal students Grade 11 college English (ENG3C) and a Native Studies English literature course, Contemporary Aboriginal Voices (NBE3C) as a split class. As you might expect, this means a lot of content from…

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About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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