According to Public Radio Canada , a major purge was carried out in 2019 in the libraries of canadian schools of CSC Providence (Providence Catholic School Council), which groups 30 French-language schools across southwestern Ontario, in which 4,716 children’s books were destroyed. Among them were some Tintin and Asterix comics
The comic book “Asterix and the Indians” is one of the books “removed” from the Providence School Board libraries.
The Council also withdrew Hergé’s comic book “Tintin in America” (1932), one of the best-selling comic books in the world, for “unacceptable language (such as the use of “Redskin”), misinformation, negative portrayal of aboriginal peoples and misrepresentation of aboriginal peoples in the drawings”
The Temple of the Sun, from the Adventures of Tintin collection, was also removed from library shelves.
A total of 4,716 copies of 155 works were removed or destroyed from the libraries of 30 libraries of canadian schools. A total of 152 titles were “pardoned” and 193 others are under evaluation.
A “purification of the flames” ceremony was reportedly held to burn some 30 books banned for educational purposes and considered harmful as an act of reconciliation with the so-called “First Nations” (indigenous peoples of Canada).
The ashes were used as compost to plant a tree and “turn a negative into a positive”
Frame taken from a CSC PROVIDENCE video for students (I haven’t been able to find it yet) showing part of the ceremony in which the ashes of the books are placed in a hole to plant a tree. Photo source: CBC/Radio-Canada
The public media claims that part of this ceremony can be seen in that video and its author is Suzy Kies who describes herself as an independent researcher and teaches in various schools in Ontario. The Providence School Board notes that she has extensive knowledge of many different Aboriginal nations.
She has also been co-chair of the Liberal Party of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Commission since 2016. She is listed on Justin Trudeau’s party website as an urban Aboriginal person of Abenaki and Montagnais-Naskapi descent.
According to Kies, “Aboriginal characters portrayed in children’s books are unreliable, lazy, drunken, stupid… When you perpetuate that kind of image in the minds of young people, it’s hard to get rid of it”.
The Providence Catholic school board serves about 10,000 students in 23 French-speaking elementary schools and seven secondary schools, mainly in the Windsor, London and Sarnia areas.
A 165-page document, to which CBC/Radio Canada claims to have had access, details all of the titles removed, as well as the reasons given for each. The list includes comic books, novels and encyclopaedias.
With the cooperation of the Ministry of Education
A committee of school board members and Aboriginal counsellors reviewed hundreds of First Nations children’s books. The Ontario Ministry of Education was involved in the ceremonial project, but not in the selection of the books.
Apparently similar cremation ceremonies were to be held in each of the schools, but were postponed because of the pandemic. The original idea of burning all the books was also scrapped for fear of protests from parents and teachers.
According to the school board spokesperson, Lyne Cossette the books removed from the libraries had outdated and inappropriate content and “have either been recycled” or are“in the process of being recycled“, although given the nature of their ceremonies it is highly likely that they are heating up the flamethrower by now.