Blog Post #9: Reading the World

Biases are everywhere within the world. Everyone has some sort of bias but it is what you do with these biases that makes the difference. Growing up in Chaplin, which is a small farming community, I learned that a lot of people have a lot of negative biases. From a young age I was exposed to racism and discriminatory remarks from family and community members, as this was typical small town mindsets. I myself have even given in to the pressures of the small town mindset and expressed negative biases towards others, something that I am very ashamed of. In school the bias against certain groups was obvious. Most of our teachers were from around Chaplin and were raised in the same way with the same values as we were. This was seen in our history education as we were dominantly European students and our curriculum reflected the values of “our people”. Like many other small town kids it can be hard to comprehend these biases and work away from them. I know that I still have to work to unlearn my own biases that were taught to me at a young age. By accepting and understanding your own biases and then working to disrupt them you can move in the right direction to dismantling these biases in yourself.

As I said previously I grew up in Chaplin which is dominantly white students. Our schooling reflected that. We learned about our ancestry and history but not much about the other side of things or the Indigenous view. The books we read were mostly all written by old white guys and featured European values. The people in the books we read were like us; white, privileged, and did the same things we did. We never had to question why our people were not represented in the books we read or why the characters were doing different things than us. When we drew pictures we drew the kids as being white and never thought twice about it because that was what we were used to. Our schooling was very much biased towards European culture and values but being from a community of white farmers there was no red flags raised. This was our normal.

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