Impressions learned in early childhood can last a lifetime. Which is why stereotypes perpetuated in the media surrounding First Nations, Metis, & Inuit students are damaging. Books in particular invite students, and all people, to learn more about themselves, and the world around them. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all books and media in our schools and libraries work in concert to illustrate the fact that people from diverse cultures can live together, be educated together, play together, work together.
Media stereotypes surrounding Aboriginal people continue to convey many of the wrong messages that we want all students to learn. As educators, I believe that we need to promote multiple cultures, perspectives, and values, and we need to highlight the experiences of those who have been traditionally marginalized throughout history. Safe and inclusive Education is the key that can unlock personal success and well-being.
For aboriginal students, media perpetuated stereotypes can be devastating. It is the stereotypes that prevent opportunities, understanding, tolerance, and inclusiveness. Personal success and well-being can be nurtured when First Nations, Metis, & Inuit students can see themselves reflected positively in media, books and in positive role models.
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