OTTAWA, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Leaders of the Canadian Teachers'
Federation (CTF), the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), the
Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and
the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights gathered in
Ottawa today to announce their partnership on a national initiative
called "Canadian Defenders for Human Rights".
"Canadian Defenders for Human Rights" is a curriculum tool designed to
raise awareness of human rights issues with Canadian high school
students. It is also a national mobilizing activity for students from
coast to coast to coast, building solidarity, recognition and support
for human rights globally and locally.
"This multi-year initiative aims to heighten awareness about human
rights, develop students' critical thinking skills and ignite social
activism in support of human rights at the local, national and
international levels," explains CTF President Paul Taillefer. "It aims
to engage K-12 teachers and students in a collective reflection on
cooperation, respect, inclusion, acceptance, respect for diversity,
responsibility and equity. Students will be able to truly become
Canadian Defenders for Human Rights within their own communities by
identifying, planning and carrying out grassroots projects."
"Empowering people to take a stand for human rights begins with a solid
educational foundation," says CMHR President and CEO Stuart Murray.
"Education is a central pillar of our mandate as a national museum.
Through this partnership with CTF, AFN, ITK and the Robert Kennedy
Centre, we are providing Canadian students with a tremendous
opportunity to learn about Canada's human rights champions and to
become active, engaged citizens."
For his part, AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo adds: "The
Assembly is pleased to join with our esteemed colleagues to advance
this important initiative. Education for and about human rights
provides an important foundation towards building respectful
relationships between individuals and peoples."
"Canadians must know about the historical atrocities Aboriginal peoples
in Canada have faced, and we must also teach our youth about the men
and women who have defended our rights, and who continue to defend our
rights to pursue our culture, to hunt, to feed our families and to
speak our language," says national Inuit leader Terry Audla, President
of ITK. "We must teach them as well to continue this proud legacy and
to become defenders of human rights themselves."
"In the face of injustice and inequality, we cannot afford to be
bystanders," says John Heffernan, Director of Speak Truth To Power, a
project of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
"Our partnership with CTF enables us to bring the Speak Truth To Power
human rights teacher resource to Canada and in turn empower students to
stand up and speak out in the face of these injustices".
As the project develops, teachers will have access to:
a rich selection of K-4, 5-8 and 9-12 lesson plans, links, and
background information to teach human rights within a contemporary
a Canadian adaptation of Speak Truth to Power, a highly acclaimed
international resource developed by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for
Justice and Human Rights;
a variety of learning resources, tools and prescribed curriculum on
Indigenous peoples to inform non-Indigenous students;
a digital platform to celebrate student social action at the community
level in the pursuit of human rights.
The Canadian Teachers' Federation, an alliance of 15 Member
organizations and one Affiliate Member representing nearly 200,000
teachers across the country, is a member of the international body of
teachers Education International (EI). Follow CTF on Twitter @CanTeachersFed,@EnseigneCanada. www.ctf-fce.ca www.imagine-action.ca
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, currently under construction in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was established to provide a place for
Canadians, and the world, to explore and promote the subject of human
rights and to encourage human rights action. Follow the CMHR on
Twitter: @CMHR_news humanrightsmuseum.ca/home
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates,
The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) is the national Inuit organization in
Canada, representing four Inuit regions - Nunatsiavut (Labrador),
Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region
in the Northwest Territories. www.itk.ca Follow ITK on Twitter @ITK_CanadaInuit
The Washington-based Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human
Rights is one of the foremost international human rights organizations.
It was founded as a living memorial in 1968 by Robert Kennedy's family
and friends to realize his dream of a more just and peaceful world. www.rfkcenter.org
SOURCE: Canadian Teachers' Federation
For further information:
Francine Filion, Director of Communications, CTF, 613-899-4247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Cassie, Director of Communictions and External Relations, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 204-290-3651 email@example.com
Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext. 382, cell: 613-292-0857, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia D'Souza, Acting Director of Communications, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, 613-292-4482, email@example.com
Cate Urban, Web Communications & Social Media Manager, 202-463-7575, ext. 234, firstname.lastname@example.org