Growing up I’ve always been exposed to a one sided narrative of history and literature in my education. Every novel I’ve read was written by a white author and every teacher I’ve had have taught from their perspective which have all been from a white ethnic background. There has never been diversity in the way people teach. In history class I learned about the homes of native people in Canada from a few centuries ago in grade 5. Moving on in my education we did a project about famous leaders in Canadian History who were mostly white men even though there are so many other narratives. When I took my grade 10 history course we learned about World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. There was little learned about other narratives throughout the 20th century. During this period of time Canada interned Japanese citizens, children were still being sent to residential schools, the government was making efforts of Cultural Genocide like banning Aboriginal Spirituality, and putting a staggering number of Aboriginal children in foster care known as the Sixties Scoop. Even when they mentioned Women’s Suffragette people of colour were being excluded from the conversation. The ironic part was that the class was entitled Canadian History but there was a lack of narrative from Canadians that were not part of the white population. The only class that wasn’t from the white perspective was an elective that clearly stated that it was about something other than the western eurocentric approach. The narrative of other peoples shouldn’t be an elective but apart of mainstream curriculum.
As far as literature went in school we never got to learn from the narrative of non-european person. In elementary school I once read a novel about fur trappers and native people in the area and the novel which contained politically incorrect words like Eskimo which wasn’t that bad because of the era of the novel but I was appalled when it directly referred to an Aboriginal women as a Squaw. But that isn’t the worst part, the teacher didn’t say anything about it when I approached her and nothing was said about the word. Later on in grade nine I read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee a white women. It was a great novel but the lack of diversity is still present. What was good about my experience reading this novel was that the teacher gave historical context to it and explained the context of the word Nigger and the lack of intent of racism behind the word used. I was sadly disappointed that in grade 12 we read a book that used the racial slur Squaw to describe a woman on a Reservation. This was in the novel Brave New World which included Aboriginal people from New Mexico, yet we never touched on the context of the racial slur or the people living on the Reservation other than the white person John and his mother Linda. The lack of narrative from people of colour is astonishing. It is sad to say that I haven’t read a novel from a different perspective other than the one of a person from European descent. This reinforces the idea of white is right. The highest level of knowledge comes from white authors. There needs to be more diversity and context to slurs used in readings. Without this their Eurocentric ideologies will persist and will continue to “other” those who don’t fit into the westernized worldview or ideology. There is a great need for others to be included in the narrative of the educational institute. If this doesn’t happen, there will always be Eurocentraucities in mainstream curriculum.