Your letters: Singing 'Land of the Silver Birch" forced our kids to 'play Indian'
Music teacher sues board for defamation over song, Dec. 7
I am a High Park Alternative School parent, one of several Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents who raised concerns about the song “Land of the Silver Birch.”
I value the opinions of Terri Monture, Bonita Lawrence and Janet Rogers as quoted in this story.
But for us, the issue was whether the singing of the song was appropriate. We were concerned our kids were being put in a position to “play Indian,” an act that is historically racist and part of the process of colonization.
Our kids were not taught any historical context. During the performance, some kids had hand drums and others were directed to make animal calls as accompaniment.
I applaud the administration for engaging in a dialogue around racism and reconciliation in the school. The music teacher has not engaged in any conversation with parents that I am aware of around racism or reconciliation.
Joel Regehr, Toronto
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