It was early in my teaching career when I had an experience that truly opened my mind about the power of ‘miseducation’ and how easily the dominant narrative can influence young people to develop their individual perspective…

As I walked the halls as part of my supervision duty I heard some loud noise and chanting from around the corner.  As I approached to see what was happening I was met by an excited group of grade 10 students in the midst of their final project for their Civics class.


One day during Grade 5 Social Studies we were asked to create a collage of what we anticipated our lives would look like in 20 years.  We were to include our dream homes, dream cars, and an image of ourselves using cut-outs from magazines.  While every other girl in my class chose images of Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford as their 'future selves', I couldn't find a single female figure who represented my skin tone from the magazines the teacher provided.  Reluctantly, I brought this to the attention of the teacher who seemed annoyed and, with exasperation, told me to "just choose someone who's black".


1. Citizenship. 2. Identification 3. Place of birth - Answering these three questions, in that exact order, became my script for crossing the border three times a week. The border crossing was always Queenston Lewiston and the reason for crossing was always for school. The class (including the faculty and other students) became used to me entering late and almost always with an accompanying story of questions that would lead to me questioning my Canadian, English, Sikh identity.

Lana and Zhade

I am the proud parent of an extraordinary, multiply exceptional human being. As is often the case some people, do not see in my precious child what I do. I still remember with a raw ache one of these times. A highly trained medical professional described my daughter in terms that tore through to my heart. This professional described her using the 'R' word, and the 'N' word, and many other words equally offensive to my heart before asking if I “seriously wanted to do anything to save it because things like that do not contribute to society”.

We were out doing life errands today with Zhade in her powerchair and the fetus poster hung on the back of her chair below her vent, feeding pump, suction machine, oximetry, and oxygen tank. As we were sitting eating breakfast, someone who was sitting behind us, came up to me and commented that Zhade "was hardly a convincing pro life argument"...