We've finally gotten our first glimpse at the secretive NDP re-write of the social studies curriculum, and the first important thing to note is:
We're no longer Albertans.
The word "Albertan" doesn't appear in the document. Individuals who live here are described as "Metis, First Nation, Francophone settlers and other diverse settlers."
In fact, roughly half the curriculum focuses on Metis and First Nations - their perspective on the environment, their decision-making processes, their stewardship of the land, their interaction with natural resources, the importance of Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and their way of life.
There is little to no mention of the role of those who came to Alberta as farmers and ranchers to tame this vast and wild province.
There is little to no mention of the role of our energy sector which has defined our province since its founding in 1905.
There is little to no mention of the overall history of our province - except with a singular focus on Metis, First Nations, and Francophones.
And it doesn't get any better when it comes to talking about values.
In fact, the only value that is singled out for special attention is the value of "fairness". The curriculum reviews the issue of "fairness" at some length, including delving deep into how decisions are either "fair" or "unfair".
What the curriculum doesn't talk about is the value of hard work, the importance of entrepreneurship, and of overcoming adversity - things that are at the very core of what it means to be Albertan (or, diverse settler groups as the NDP would prefer we think of ourselves).
In fact, reading between the lines, the curriculum's focus appears to be singularly about the marginalization of groups in Alberta, and the resulting guilt Albertans should feel about their past.
Alberta is the most prosperous, welcoming, tolerant place on the planet - it is something to be celebrated, not apologized for. While there have been times in our past that have been dark and controversial - and those times should be explored and presented without varnish - they form part of the journey that has led to the province that Alberta is today. A truly remarkable place.
Why doesn't our curriculum teach our kids that they should be proud to be Albertan?
Curriculums are, by definition, higher level documents that leave much of the detail of instruction to individual schools and teachers.
This is where the teachers' union steps in and exerts its influence.
If the specifics of instruction are left to individual teachers, then their union and professional association have an enormous influence over how this new, questionable curriculum will be taught.
For example, a section of the curriculum talks about environmental stewardship and natural resources, specifically:
"Individuals and groups have a responsibility to protect the natural environment," and "people can demonstrate responsibility by caring for and taking actions to preserve land and places," and "location and availability of natural resources can influence relationships to land and place."
At best, these curriculum statements could be described as unclear.
So, how does a teacher to take these curriculum statements and translate them into actual instruction for students? Well, the teachers' union decided the best person to talk about the environment and natural resources at their recent conference was David Suzuki, a known anti-oil sands activist who believes Alberta should leave all its energy resources locked in the ground.
These seem curriculum revisionists have talked incessantly about making children "agents of change" and "activists" instead of focusing on core instruction priorities like grounding kids in science, reading, and math.
In this curriculum, the NDP make their intentions clear. They intend to remake Alberta in their image, changing the very character of our province and undermining our fundamental values.
We can't let them finish the job and implement this indoctrination program on our children.
We need to ensure that this curriculum re-write is scrapped.
In 2019, Albertans need to elect a United Conservative government led by a Premier who understand that it's the job of parents, and not the teachers' union, to instill values in our children.
In the meantime, we'll be keeping a close eye on the curriculum re-write program and bringing it to your attention as we uncover more disturbing trends.
Alberta Can't Wait