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Woodlands history class campaigns for Rogers Centre to acknowledge aboriginal land before Blue Jays game

A Grade 10 history class is learning about our past in real-time through a social media campaign that speaks out against the treatment of aboriginal people.

It’s Thursday morning and the second-floor room at Woodlands Secondary School is kinetic, as Cheryl Payne’s students work up a flurry of tweets and blog posts.

“This is what brings history alive,” said Payne, noting the high engagement level of her students.

Like the technology used in 21st-century learning, their goals have quickly evolved. Initially, the class was focusing on the #NotYourMascot campaign that has made headlines this week in advance of Friday’s opening American League Championship Series matchup between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians, whose logo is a grinning red-faced man with a feather in his hair known as “Chief Wahoo.”

Upset about the cultural appropriation of indigenous names and imagery, Payne’s class wants the attention on the series to be used as a platform to make statement about racism in an era of reconciliation.


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