Quebecers are a welcoming people and open to diversity. It is important that the educational content of French courses for immigrants adequately represent our valuesindicates the Minister of Immigration, Jean Boulet.
The latter, questioned by Radio-Canada, admits having been
surprised by the content of several documents that we obtained, which were used until very recently for francization courses.
At the Center Louis-Jolliet, in Quebec, which offers training for adults, a sheet entitled
The physical description offers drawings and a few sentences to illustrate the appearance.
He has small eyes. Next to these words, we find a character probably of Chinese origin, with a flat nose, with a pointed hat and a traditional dress, who has, in one hand, a small bowl.
We also see other characters – women, men, young people or old people – with different phrases:
She is beautiful,
He is normal.
This is an initiative of a teacherexplains Vanessa Déziel, spokesperson for the Center de services scolaire de la Capitale, in a written statement.
This document, she maintains, was not
produced by the Center Louis-Jolliet, nor [par] the school service center.
A traceshe promises, will be done with teachers who have
free choice of teaching materials.
” We are of the opinion that the caricature can lead to interpretation. We will make sure to educate our teachers at the Center Louis-Jolliet so that their tools are neutral. »
faintnessadmits the UQTR
It’s racism and it’s quite upsettingprotests Winston Chan, entrepreneur and member of the board of directors of the National Coalition of Canadians against Anti-Asian Racism.
The latter does not mince words, either, against another document distributed by the International School of French at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR).
In a reading sheet, titled
international cuisinewe discover a dialogue between two characters about culinary specialties.
Chinese cuisine, do you like it?asks one of them.
Do you want to laugh? I don’t eat catswe answer him.
Other types of food are criticized in this document which we were able to consult on the Internet, but which was withdrawn by the UQTR.
german sauerkraut […] it’s disgusting! And then it stinks.
The French […] eat snails and frog legs! They live in the swamps, those bugs! Mexican or Indian cuisine?
It’s also very spicyassures one of the characters.
narrative text served
exercise as part of a course intended for French immersion students or immigrants, confirms UQTR spokesperson Jean-François Hinse.
This is an excerpt from a discussion between two fictional characters, where one of them presents great ignorance about culinary habits in different cultureshe argues, referring to reactions taken
out of context.
” In view of the comments received, the lecturer withdrew this text from the website where it was placed at the disposal of students. We apologize for any discomfort this posting may have caused. »
Obviously, a replica of a caricature character in a narrative text does not reflect the values of the lecturer at the International French School of UQTR or of the University.he says.
The teacher, at the origin of this reading sheet dated 2008, did not answer questions from Radio-Canada.
In Winston Chan’s eyes, these types of publications
are past date.
I do not see the relevance, to learn French, of saying that the Chinese eat cathe believes.
” These are the same stereotypes that I knew when I was younger, and we used to make nursery rhymes about the Chinese. I thought we didn’t do that anymore. »
The integration of immigrants into Quebec society depends first and foremost on learning French. I am sensitive to the challenges that this can representcontinues Minister Jean Boulet.
While these contents have now been removed,
the matter should not end theresays Fo Niemi, director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR).
” These offensive images should not just be removed from school materials. We have to train teachers and understand how we got there. »
We must educate people about discrimination, civic-mindedness and stereotypes, he insists. We must not just close the door on a controversy. It is a challenge for the government.