Posted on Jun 18, 2021


EDMONTON - Jason Kenney must cut all ties with Chris Champion and scrap the K-6 curriculum draft after his hand-picked curriculum writer published a series of statements denying the thoroughly documented genocide of the residential school system.

“This is a disgusting attempt to erase these horrors,” said Sarah Hoffman, NDP Critic for Education. “These comments are totally unacceptable. As Albertans, we must forcefully reject them.

“The discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in a mass grave in Kamloops has brought the horrors of the residential school system into clearer focus for many Canadians. What happened to these children, their families, and their communities, was genocide.

“That’s not a word to throw around casually. It’s defined in international law and the residential school system clearly meets that definition.”

Champion’s magazine The Dorchester Review released a series of tweets throughout the week that argued children were happy, healthy, and had fun at residential schools. Yesterday, he authored an article in which he claims using the term genocide is a “Big Lie” used to support a “billion-dollar grievance industry.”

Champion was a senior adviser to Kenney during his time in the federal government, and has no training or experience in curriculum development. Nevertheless he was hired to help author the social studies component of the UCP’s draft K-6 curriculum. His draft has been widely condemned for violating the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Indigenous leaders have called for it to be scrapped and rewritten. 

Regional Chief Marlene Poitras of the Assembly of First Nations repeated that call today.

In a statement to the media yesterday, Alberta Education denounced the social media posts of the Dorchester Review.

“It’s time to take the obvious next step,” Hoffman said. The only reason Chris Champion was invited to write the social studies curriculum was his previous job as an adviser to Jason Kenney. So I’m calling on the Premier of Alberta to denounce the writings of Chris Champion, sever all ties between him and the Government of Alberta, and retract the curriculum.”

“It’s very likely that we will discover more mass graves of Indigenous children in Alberta. It’s impossible for Alberta to honour and commemorate those children sincerely while the premier continues to make excuses for men like Chris Champion.”