Racism: Nearly 5,000 children’s books have been destroyed because they portray racist content, some examples are Tin Tin and Asterix.
This is as a gesture of reconciliation with the First Nations, and a gesture of openness towards the other communities present in the school and the society, explained Lyne Cossette, spokesperson for the School Council with the media in Canada. (read more below)
The case dates back to 2019 when, during a ‘flame purification ceremony’ in one of the schools in the complex, titles banned from the shelves were banned for educational purposes. The ashes were then used as fertiliser to plant a tree, explains the School Board.
Some students explained that they wee burying the ashes of racism, discrimination and stereotypes in the hope that will grow up in an inclusive country where all can live in prosperity and security.
Newsep wrote that according to the spokesperson, the books withdrawn from libraries had “outdated and inappropriate content”. A total of 155 different works have been withdrawn (or 4,716 books), and 193 are currently under evaluation for having racist content in books. (read more below)
Not all the books were burned. Other ceremonies were to be held at the other establishments, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed them.
Some of the books burned were comics by Hergé: “Tintin in America”, “The temple of the sun”, Lucky Luke, Asterix and the Indians, or even novels and encyclopedias about the Natives.
Most of them carry racist content in books:
Most of the books portray early people as ‘unreliable, lazy, drunk, stupid or they tend to deliver misinformation, a negative portrayal and misrepresentation’ of Aboriginal people in pictures while other works are accused of cultural appropriation.
The philosopher specialising in education, Normand Baillargeon, said that the time had come for rethink what is taught in schools about indigenous history but he added he was quite disturbed about the burning of the books.