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Fighting stereotypes, one college course at a time

Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. is doing something pretty great. This fall the school will be offering a course for non-Indigenous students about distinctive worldviews and historical experiences of First Nations and Métis people in Canada.

The course used to be taught to staff and faculty at the college. It has been emotional for some of these students taking the class to learn things they didn’t know before — about residential schools, the hardships Indigenous people have faced, the impact of the Indian Act, the legacy of colonization.

"People think that they know of residential schools because they've heard the word...when they start learning the reality, there's tears and anger," Corinne Michel, the college’s indigenization coordinator, told CBC News.

Michel added that she hopes the course will help bridge connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

"I ask people to open their hearts and open their minds so that we can really start to understand each other, to really hear the impact that this has had on us as Indigenous peoples and to hear also the strength and the resilience that we have in terms of moving forward,” she said.

It’s important that we all understand the difficult realities we’ve been through and Canada’s colonial history. Can you think of any other examples of this learning process taking place?

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