Montreal

Montreal-based group presents petition to make genocide studies compulsory in Quebec

Heidi Berger, creator of the Foundation for the Compulsory Study of Genocide in Schools, says most students graduate from high school with little knowledge of genocide.

'Education is the key to stopping acts of hate,' says founder Heidi Berger

Kyle Matthews and Heidi Berger say high school students in Quebec are taught almost nothing about genocides or Canada's history of aboriginal residential schools. (CBC)

A Montreal-based group presented a petition to the National Assembly Wednesday, calling on the government to make the study of genocide compulsory in Quebec high schools.

Heidi Berger, creator of the Foundation for the Compulsory Study of Genocide in Schools, says most students graduate from high school with little knowledge of the genocide, such as the history of the Holocaust and the role that residential schools played in decimating indigenous communities in Canada.

"There are other teachers who do not have the time to teach it, and they are afraid to teach it as well because they don't know how to teach it," Berger said. "It's quite a sensitive topic."

The petition emphasizes studies as a way to prevent future acts of violence and crime.

"Education is the key to stopping acts of hate towards all vulnerable people, religions and cultures," Berger said.

The petition has so far garnered 1,245 signatures.

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