New Brunswick's Foreign School Books

Article Title
New Brunswick's Foreign School Books
Page Number
Article Type
Article Contents
NEW BRUNSWICK'S FOREIGN SCHOOL BOOKS. We publish elsewhere from The Toronto Week, a portion of an article written by Fidelis describing a visit to St. John and St. Andrews. It will be seen by this article that our visitor mistook the round stone Tower on Carleton Heights for the site of Fort La Tour, and that at St. Andrews he was unable to find anyone to point out to him the island upon which Champlain founded his settlement in 1604, and mistook an island opposite St. Andrews for that historic spot. There are, undoubtedly, people in St. Andrews who could have directed Fidelis to St Croix Island, just as there are people in St. John who could have pointed out to him the site of Fort La Tour, but there is no good reason why this kind of knowledge should be confined to a few persons; it ought to be general, and the only way in which such knowledge can become general is by teaching the children who go to our schools something about the history of their own country. New Brunswick, we believe, stands alone among the countries of this continent in possessing a set of school readers which almost utterly ignore Canadian affairs, and which give the New Brunswick child no information whatever in regard to those subjects relating to this province in which he would be most interested. How can it be expected that any lessons of patriotism or pride of country can be instilled into the minds of our young people if they are taught to look abroad and not at home for subjects of interest. We look upon the existence of such a set of readers as our schools are compelled to use as a reproach on the intelligence of our people, and as the means of inflicting enormous injury upon the children of this land. There is surely enough material in the history of Canada and of New Brunswick to supply our young people who are going to school with all the romantic incidents which they require to make their lessons attractive. If our school books were what they ought to be New Brunswick would present to them an entirely new aspect. The St. John River instead of being a mere stream on which steamboats, wood boats and rafts are floated, would be invested with the romantic interest which belongs to it as the scene of great events. Every child would be able to point out the site of Fort Nashwaak, the old Indian settlement of Awkpaqne, the place where the Fort of Jemseg stood, the site of Fort La Tour and scores of other places which are linked with the early history of this province. Surely there is something in the toils, trials and privations of the Loyalists who came here at the close of the revolutionary war, which might be taught to our children, most of whom have Loyalist blood in their veins. The fact that all these notable events are ignored in our school readers, ought to be sufficient to condemn them utterly, and to enforce the demand for a new series of books in which the history and literature of Canada will have some place. Probably when Fidelis next visits this province a change will have taken place in the methods of instructing the children of New Brunswick by which all of them will have it in their power to learn something of the history and resources of the land in which they dwell.