Multiculturalism in Canada Canada has long been called “The Mosaic”, due to the fact that it is made up of a varied mix of races, cultures and ethnicities.
As more and more immigrants come to Canada searching for a better life, the population naturally becomes more diverse.
By 1987, a group called the Rainbow Coalition argued the fact that the books were all written by DWEM’s or Dead White European Males.
They felt that this type of teaching denied students the knowledge of contributions by people of colour, women, and other oppressed groups.
In one first grade classroom in Vancouver, an inventive teacher used the minority students to her advantage by making them her helpers as she taught the rest of the class some Chinese words and customs.
This newly acquired vocabulary formed a common bond among the children in their early years, an appropriate time for learning respect and understanding.They can do the most for children during the early years of learning, when kids are most impressionable.By engaging students in activities that follow the lines of their multicultural curriculum, they can open young minds while making learning fun.(Pyszkowski 1994: 154)In order to give a well rounded multicultural discussion, as James Banks explains, teachers need to let students know how knowledge reflects the social, political and economic context in which it was created.Knowledge explained by powerful groups in society differs greatly from that of its less powerful counterparts.Another important aspect students need to realize is that knowledge alone isn’t enough to shape society.The members themselves have to be willing to put forth the time and effort and show an interest in shaping their society in order for it to benefit all people.(Banks 19) For example, it should be pointed out how early Canadians are most often called “pioneers” or “settlers” in social studies texts, while foreigners are called “immigrants”.They should realize that to Natives, pioneers were actually the immigrants, but since the “pioneers” later went on to write the textbooks, it is not usually described that way.This is not a simple feat due to the fact that there is much diversity within individual cultures.A look at the 1991 Canadian census shows that the population has changed more noticeable in the last ten years than in any other time in the twentieth century, with one out of four Canadians identifying themselves as black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Metis or Native.