Monday, June 16, 2008

The study of genocide

The Toronto District School Board curriculum on genocide is objectionable not by what it includes in the course of study but by what it leaves out (High-School Course On Genocide Draws Protests - Toronto edition, June 13). Forced starvation has been a weapon in the genocidal extermination of peoples since time immemorial. It was used in time of war to bring impregnable cities to their knees, and in time of peace to destroy undesirable minorities. To leave the Holodomor, the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33, out of the curriculum makes no pedagogical sense.

The UN Convention on Genocide describes various mechanisms of genocide. One of them is "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." For decades, Canada perpetuated this slow genocidal destruction against our "first nations." Surely, this aspect of our history must also be included in any meaningful teaching about genocide.

More about this exclusion can be seen here.

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