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amazing amphibians and radical reptiles

Broken Promises

Target Learners: Grades 8-12

The internment of Japanese Canadians is a black mark on the history of a nation that prides itself on its ethnic diversity, its tolerance, and its multicultural policies. A study of the internment of Japanese Canadians raises many questions about human nature, racism, discrimination, social responsibility, and government accountability. Our democratic institutions are not infallible, nor are they easily sustained. Silence and indifference are the enemies of a healthy working democracy. Through the study of the internment, students will come to understand that civil liberties can only be protected in a society that is open, and in a democracy where participation is expected.

 The internment of Japanese Canadians was not an accident, or a mere coincidence of wartime decisions made under duress or necessity. Life-altering decisions were made with little regard to the guilt or innocence of the victims. The individuals who made these decisions were unable or unwilling to assess the issue without bias or prejudice. Many Canadians reacted with indifference and did little to oppose the government.

Curriculum Connections

Grade 8 and 9:

  • Characterize different time periods in history, including periods of progress and decline, and identify key turning points that mark periods of change.
  • Determine which causes most influenced particular decisions, actions, or events, and assess their short-and long-term consequences.
  • Make ethical judgments about past events, decisions, or actions, and assess the limitations of drawing direct lessons from the past.

Grade 10:

  • Assess how underlying conditions and the actions of individuals or groups influence events, decisions, or developments, and analyze multiple consequences.
  • Look into discriminatory policies and injustices in Canada.

Grade 11 and 12:

  • Identify major Canadian social policies and programs and their impact on Canadian society.
  • Identify elements that contribute to the regional, cultural and ethnic diversity of
  • Canadian society.
  • Analyze forces that have united and divided Canadians during the 20th century.
  • Identify and assess the social issues facing Canadian society.