Ontario schools hold book-burning ceremony for ‘reconciliation’

An Ontario school board held a symbolic book burning to advocate reconciliation and support Indigenous peoples. The board now regrets the move.

An Ontario francophone school board held a symbolic book burning to advocate reconciliation and support Indigenous peoples. The board now regrets the move, which received sharp condemnation from leaders nationwide.

Radio Canada first reported the “flame purification” ceremony by the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence who burned some 30 books for “educational purposes.” The board, which oversees elementary and secondary schools in southwestern Ontario, said the books’ ashes were then used as fertilizer to plant a tree.

“We bury the ashes of racism, discrimination and stereotypes in the hope that we will grow up in an inclusive country where all can live in prosperity and security,” according to a video about the book burning. More than 4,700 across 30 schools have since been destroyed or are in the process of being recycled, Radio Canada reported.

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