Symposium on the impact of multiculturalism on public education

March 22-23 online Symposium is fast approaching

15 March 2021

On the marking of 50 years since the announcement of the policy of Multiculturalism in Canada, 2021 offers an opportunity to take stock and reflect on the question: To what extent and in what ways has Multiculturalism impacted education in Alberta and/or Canada? Since its adoption in 1971 in response to the cross-Canada hearings that formed a part of the Bilingualism and Bicultural commission, the policy has been both praised and challenged. Supporters of multiculturalism at the time asserted that the policy promoted and built an inclusive and accepting Canadian society, in which minorities of all descriptions were able to maintain their own unique cultures and ethnic identities. On the other hand, critics have posited that multiculturalism discouraged interethnic dialogue, did not address social or systemic racism, and most importantly, did not attend to the longstanding divides between mainstream orientations to questions of rights and those of Indigenous peoples.
This symposium has invited scholars from diverse fields of education to listen deeply and critically across disciplines, reflect on and envision the following:

  1. How can we shape a more inclusive future for Canadians?
  2. What are the national and provincial multicultural and educational policies and practices that have arisen, fallen and/or endured since the announcement of Multiculturalism in 1971, what can we learn from them and how might they contribute to the next 50 years?
  3. How can these policies and practices support official bilingualism and the Indigenous Languages Act, the TRC Calls to Action, equity, diversity, and inclusion?
  4. Does multiculturalism have a future role in Canadian education?

Please visit the website for more information.