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ATA joins calls for Alberta curriculum advisor Chris Champion to be fired

A empty hallway is seen at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver,on Sept. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

EDMONTON – The Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) is joining the crowd calling for one of the province’s curriculum advisors to be fired.

The calls for Chris Champion’s dismissal began rolling in after it came to light that he had called the inclusion of First Nations’ perspectives in the Alberta curriculum a fad.

He also came under fire for an opinion article casting doubt on the suffering of residential school children.

“Champion’s appointment to advise curriculum is in direct opposition to the Joint Commitment to Action that both Alberta Education and the ATA signed in 2016. The minister must either dismiss Champion or rescind its endorsement of the Joint Commitment,” reads a statement from ATA president Jason Schilling.

The Joint Commitment to Action was signed by representatives of the Government of Alberta, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and other education stakeholders four years ago as an effort to adopt recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Schilling says Champion has no place advising the curriculum review.

He adds the ATA regrets not speaking up sooner, but the group has been focused on a safe return to school for Alberta’s students and teaching staff.