After pictures of a children’s history workbook went viral, a bigger issue involving First Nations peoples has surfaced. Popular Book Company Canada’s children’s workbook claims under the section title “Moving Out,” that “when the European settlers arrived, they needed land to live on. The First Nations peoples agreed to move to different areas to make room for the new settlements.” This whitewashing of history and disrespect of the First Nations peoples skims over the truth of what happened when settlers came to claim “their land.”
The controversy is causing a public backlash against whitewashing history. Most have expressed their opinion on the matter under the comments section on Popular Book Company Canada’s Facebook page. One commenter states that “this stuff is paradoxical in that we are at a time when apparently white establishment says they want to reconcile with indigenous people, but everywhere we turn we see the same colonial attitudes and practices and the outright deceit.” This act of disrespect towards the First Nations peoples has brought bigger issues into the equation, bringing more attention and awareness to the issue.
However, the company has since published a public apology on Facebook, stating that “while we cannot undo what has already been published, we are committed to making things better for future editions.” Most Facebook users seem to be accepting the apology, recognizing Popular Book Company Canada for acknowledging that there is a problem that needs fixing to and this mistake in publishing has brought much-needed attention to appreciating First Nations peoples.