A book burning held by an Ontario francophone school board as an act of reconciliation with Indigenous people has received sharp condemnation from Canadian political leaders and the board itself now says it regrets its symbolic gesture.
The “flame purification” ceremony, first reported by Radio Canada , was held in 2019 by the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, which oversees elementary and secondary schools in southwestern Ontario. Some 30 books, the national broadcaster reported, were burned for “educational purposes” and then the ashes were 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,” says a video prepared for students about the book burning, Radio Canada reported.
In total, more than 4,700 books were removed from library shelves at 30 schools across the school board, and they have since been destroyed or are in the process of being recycled, Radio Canada reported.