The Durham District School Board (DDSB) said it is “doing a review” of an Indigenous author’s book, which it confiscated from its libraries on Saturday.

The novel, named The Great Bear, was written by a Winnipeg-based Indigenous author.

“I’ve been doing this for 13 years now.” Author David Robertson remarked, “I’ve written books for Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids to empower Indigenous youth and teach non-Indigenous youth about culture history and present challenges.”

“I started writing novels because I wanted them to have tools that I didn’t have, and it’s very puzzling to me.”

Norah Marsh, the DDSB’s director of education, said the board had received concerns from Indigenous kids and families during a board meeting Tuesday evening.
She said the concerns caused the board to “perform a review,” but that “no final decision” had been reached yet.

The study will “connect with Indigenous students, workers, and communities to seek their direction,” according to Marsh.

Marsh stated that the board’s study will aim to “move forward in a constructive way” while taking into account the concerns highlighted by Indigenous parents.

Some trustees were critical of the DDSB’s handling of the situation.

During the meeting, Trustee Michael Barret said, “Frankly, I would’ve appreciated a heads up.” He stated he was “extremely disappointed” when he learned about the event via the media.

Employees noted “the sensitivity behind making a choice concerning an Indigenous author,” but felt obligated to respond to complaints from staff and students, according to Associate Director Jim Markovski.

Various stakeholders, including original rights holders, students, and families, will be included in the evaluation process. It would be “complete and thorough,” according to the staff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *