ON Ojibway teacher files human rights complaint

November 30, 2016

An Ojibway teacher has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario after he was bumped from his full-time job teaching high school Ojibway and replaced by someone who reportedly is not Indigenous, does not speak Ojibway, and has “no professional qualifications in any language.” CBC reports that the move was part of job cuts taken by Ontario's public school system. Yet David Thompson, who was raised by his grandparents at Rocky Bay First Nation in northwestern Ontario, insists that “It's a total insult to our youth to put someone in front of the classroom to teach Ojibway, who is not Ojibway, who is not affiliated with the culture or brought up with it.” Thompson's complaint is based on what he calls systemic barriers that prevent Ojibway people from teaching their own language, culture, and history within the public school system. “The whole experience was dehumanizing,” Thompson said. “It felt not worthy of what I brought to the school board, of what I had to offer.” CBC