UBC Library and Archives

Reconciling Difficult Colonial Truths : Literature for Children and Youth De Vries, Maggie; Powell, Gordon; Flett, Julie; Raina, Arushi


Given the legacy of 500 years of colonization, sharing and telling stories for children and young adults about difficult truths is important in moving forward towards reconciliation. As part of the journey, increased sensibilities and approaches are needed and give rise to many questions. How can children’s literature be decolonized and made appropriate for 21st century learners? What role do writers, illustrators, teachers, teacher-librarians and children’s librarians play in the process? What ethical and respectful approaches are employed to decolonize the creation, dissemination and use of literature, especially about issues that readers find stressful and upsetting? Who should tell the stories? What are the risks and benefits of appropriation and commodification of cultural heritage? And what critical analysis skills are essential when promoting and sharing literature that is both historic and an ongoing expression of colonization? Watch the webcast of this School Library Day conversation, to hear from our panelists.

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