Over the course of the winter, ETFO staff have been focussed on organizing strike action, which began in late November and has extended over six phases that have included work-to-rule, rotating strikes, full-day withdrawal of services and a coordinated all affiliate one-day strike.
From the Editor
The spring issue of Voice is our climate justice issue, an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the climate justice movement and chart our way forward as activists and educators. In this issue, we also reflect on the months ETFO educators have spent at the bargaining table and on the picket lines, fighting to preserve Ontario’s world-renowned public education system. Both these commitments see hope in the future. As Sam Hammond writes in his article, “Whether we are talking about protecting the environment or protecting public services and quality public education, it is all of our responsibility to stand up and stand strong.”
In this issue’s feature interview, ETFO member and environmentalist Kim Fry speaks with three young climate justice activists based in Ontario. The activists talk about the intersection of issues such as climate change, reconciliation and feminism, the power of youth voices and the impact of suing the Conservative government for climate inaction. Also in this issue, JoAnne Formanek Gustafson reflects on Indigenous communities in northern Ontario fighting back against the legacy of environmental racism. She talks about the importance, power and creativity of youth voices, particularly those from affected communities, and the role of allies as key supporters.
In Engagement and Environmental Education, Kimberly Maich shares some of the classroom strategies she uses to engage and motivate her students to advocate for their own future. In a related article titled The World Needs a Lesson, Sarah Lowes considers the importance and impact of hope, writing that there is growing evidence that children feel hopeless about the future of the planet. “The field of climate change education has more recently been drawing on strategies from Holocaust and genocide education,” she writes, “which also consider the socio-emotional context essential in engaging learners in difficult content, rather than pushing them away.”
These articles along with reviews, special climate editions of the crossword and curriculum and a photo recap of provincial strike days are sure to make great spring reading.
To a hopeful and constructive future!
– Izida Zorde
March marks a full year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a year that has been incredibly stressful and difficult, especially for those who work on the front lines.