For the first move, the provincial BLM chapter will launch an educational resource website for teachers with research funded by the University of New Brunswick.
“They will be able to access lesson plans, videos, documentaries and just a wealth of knowledge and resources on how to teach their students about New Brunswick black history,” said Husoni Raymond, a BLM Fredericton founding member.
Raymond says getting this content in the public school curriculum could take three years, “we wanted to work on a short term project that we could get Black history in schools right away,” he says.
BLM Fredericton will join forces with members of the UNB faculty of Education for the project.
“We will be in close collaboration throughout the process with Black Lives Matter Fredericton ensuring that whatever we do is in line with objectives of the group and caters to the needs of the Black community here,” said Alicia Noreiga-Mundaroy a UNB Education PhD candidate.
With funding, research assistants will be hired and a dedicated site will be launched in January, just in time for Black history month.
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Raymond says it’s important to note lessons won’t focus only on slavery.
“Black Loyalists came to New Brunswick and the Black Loyalist contributed to the development of this province, contributions that Black Canadians have been making to our communities for centuries have been erased,” he said.
Education Minister Dominic Cardy says the province can and will fix this.
“We have got to do something to strengthen the curriculum. Right now the only explicit mention in the anglophone curriculum is in a Grade 7 social studies class and it’s about pre-confederation,” said Cardy.
BLM Fredericton is now looking for a funding commitment from the province, and they would like a Black educational specialist to oversee the project.
“We are looking for tangible and specific commitments from the minister and we will be meeting with him very soon to discuss this so that we can move forward,” said Raymond.
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