UARR President at Summer Institute on Teaching and Learning the Underground Railroad Era History

I decided to enroll in the course because I believe that teaching African-Canadian and African-American history is extremely important,” said Pieters, who is also the president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. “Not enough attention is given in the curriculum to this early period of migration because teachers don’t have the resources and professional development to confidently teach the subject in the classroom.

Seminar participants from Canada and the United States visit the Buxton SchoolHouse in Southwestern Ontario Seminar participants from Canada and the United States visit the Buxton SchoolHouse in Southwestern Ontario

Educators learn of anti-slavery movement at York University

By Ron Fanfair

Sharenews
Thursday, August 1, 2013

For local elementary school administrator Gary Pieters, it was a week well spent in a classroom setting during his summer vacation.

He was one of 27 professional educators from Canada and the United States who attended a summer institute at York University that explored the history of the North American anti-slavery movement and Canada’s role as the main terminus of the Underground Railroad, which was a critical component of the broader struggle waged against slavery.

The educators, which included 14 Canadians, explored some of the early history and mythology of the movement and the ways these have come to be questioned in the last few decades, as well as some of the true stories of individuals who risked their lives for freedom.

“I decided to enroll in the course because I believe that teaching African-Canadian and African-American history is extremely important,” said Pieters, who is also the president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. “Not enough attention is given in the curriculum to this early period of migration because teachers don’t have the resources and professional development to confidently teach the subject in the classroom.”

As part of the course, the educators visited Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site & Museum in Dresden, Chatham’s Black Mecca Museum & Archives and the Buxton Museum & Historic Site.

“We were able to see some of the replicas and remnants that have been preserved,” said Pieters. “That was quite fulfilling.”

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