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PSA: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development should follow through with plans to purchase book for Nova Scotian schools

In April, Nimbus Publishing was contacted by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). The Department inquired about doing a special run of I Place You Into the Fire, a book of poems by acclaimed Mi’kmaw author Rebecca Thomas, past poet laureate of Halifax, for schools across the province. However, the DEECD asked that the author remove 6 poems from her book, including one about being the child of a Residential School survivor.

Nimbus reached out to the Department to ask why they requested those poems removed, but received no response. Thomas said in an interview that she did not wish to erase her history and culture in order for these books to appear in schools. She even expressed a willingness to work with the DEECD in order to create a teacher’s guide on how to deal with some of the more difficult language and themes in the book.

An author should not be made to re-write or sanitize her work in order to sugar-coat Canada’s history of the genocide of Indigenous people. The DEECD should recognize this and renew contact with Thomas and her publisher to continue forward with a bulk purchase of her book in its original form.

We encourage educators and parents to contact the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and ask them to continue working with Nimbus and Ms. Thomas in order to purchase copies of her book. 

Educators for Social Justice