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Northwest Territories Enact Holocaust Education in Response to B’nai Brith Appeal

Minister R.J. Simpson (Government of Northwest Territories)

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Nov. 29, 2022

YELLOWKNIFE, NWT. — The Northwest Territories, in response to B’nai Brith Canada advocacy, has decided to follow Ontario’s lead and incorporate Holocaust education into their Grade 6 curriculum.

In the past month, B’nai Brith has engaged with senior education officials across the country in a push to ensure provinces and territories include robust Holocaust education in their curriculums. Today, B’nai Brith received a letter from the Northwest Territories’ Minister of Education, Culture and Employment,  R. J. Simpson, acknowledging our encouragement and confirming that his jurisdiction will implement Holocaust education in 2023.

Earlier this month, Ontario adopted mandatory Holocaust education in Grade 6. Letters sent to education ministers nationwide by B’nai Brith referred to the decision and encouraged provinces and territories to follow suit. The move came as studies continue to emerge of declining knowledge about the Holocaust, including one that found one in five students were unaware of the Holocaust and its horrors.

“We are excited about working with provinces and territories across Canada in our efforts to ensure every student learns about the Holocaust,” said Marvin Rotrand, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “There are promising developments emerging from numerous jurisdictions, including as far as the Northwest Territories.”

“We are thrilled that Minister Simpson has informed us that the Northwest Territories are following Ontario’s lead and adding Holocaust education,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The Holocaust is a tragic epoch that serves as a lesson on the importance of respect for human dignity. We want students across the country to know about details of the Holocaust so that we can ensure its horrors are understood and the antisemitism at its core has a better chance of being rejected by Canadians.”