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Unit Overview

Teaching Reconciliation through Genocide


Education by Mr. Courtney Walcott
Canadas Aboriginal Policy and the Rwandan
Genocide
Discussing Genocide is one of the most difficult things to do in a
classroom setting. It is a sensitive issue that requires a certain
amount of planning, and especially even more grace when doing
so. This unit will work in parallels, with one lesson focusing on an
aspect of the Rwandan Genocide, and the following lesson
focusing on the Canadian Governments history of Policies toward
Aboriginal peoples. In doing so, students will be asked to critically
think about what Reconciliation means and how it can be reached
in Canada and internationally. Reconciliation is defined as the act
of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an
argument or disagreement. This is the mission in both Rwanda
and Canada. We all must reconcile if we are to move forward.
Reconciliation is the theme of this Unit and it will be a theme
throughout Canada for years to come.

Lesson Structure:
Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Rwanda: Before the Genocide Students will be given


a background on Rwanda. This history will include the
precursors to the Hutu/Tutsi conflict. This will include
the RPF and the creation of racial tensions through
Belgium colonialism.
Canada: Before The Indian Act A brief history on the
Metis and the Northwest including the Laws of St.
Laurent, the policies of Sir John A. Macdonald and the
creation of the Gradual Civilization Act. These will add
up to the Indian Act.
Rwanda: Rebellion Students will be given more
information on the 1960s change in Government

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

power and the political ousting of most Tutsi


politicians. This is the result of higher education.
Students will discover the origins of the Tutsi civil war
following Belgiums leaving of Rwanda.
Canada: Rebellion Students will be re-introduced to
Louis Riel and the NW Rebellion. They will then be
introduced to the creation of treaties on land put aside
for Aboriginal peoples. Treaties will be analyzed
through the pressures put on Aboriginal people to sign
them, I.e. Crowfoot, Big Bear etc They will also
follow the trial of Louis Riel with the concept of the
Rebellion as part of a Government strategy.
Rwanda: The Genocide Students will be introduced
to the Genocide itself. They will be shown information
on Romeo Dallaire and Canadian action in Rwanda. As
well, they will be introduced to the international
response to the Genocide.
Canada: Cultural Genocide Students will be given
an in depth look into Residential Schools and their
legacy. This will require another look at some
comments by Louis Riel as well as the long-term plans
of the Canada Pacific Railway. They will also get a
chance to examine the shrinking of reserve land within
the treaties.
Rwanda: Towards Reconciliation After the Genocide,
reconciliation and Healing the Nation. Rwanda
strategies for healing the country following the
Genocide. This will primarily feature stories of Rwanda
survivors opting for Reconciliation rather than
revenge.
Canada: Towards Reconciliation After the Genocide,
Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Students will be
given a look into the Truth and reconciliation
commission and how its points address the legacy of
the Residential School system. Moving forward and
beyond.
Student Activism: Students will be approached with
the concept of student activism. They will be shown
the ways with which they can act within their

community to become a part of the reconciliation


process. Where can we go from here?
Lesson 10 Assessment: Unit Test