Myths and Omissions: A Textbook History of British Columbia

Part of: In Pursuit of Knowledge - Spring

Course description

What did our province’s early textbooks teach us about what it meant to be a British Columbian?

Through an exploration of textbooks used in BC schools during the first fifty years of the province (1871-1921), this lecture will discuss the common myths and omissions included in these early historical narratives written for children. How might these textbooks have shaped social ideas such as Indigenous-settler relations, women’s experiences, conceptions of race, and notions of an ideal “British Columbian” childhood?

Throughout the lecture, important issues of the present will be linked to educational practices of the past. Particular focus will explore the historical textbook representations of Indigenous peoples and cultures and what this means in the context of Truth and Reconciliation today.

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