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  • Writer's pictureEmil Tiedemann

50x50 Challenge #42: Take a Course/Class

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Learning and exploring should be a life-long effort for everyone, because the more you know the better equipped you are for whatever situation you find yourself in, whether that's solving a problem at work or simply engaging in conversation with friends over drinks. You can consistently grow and evolve as a person through education, even if all you're doing is watching informative videos on YouTube or reading credible articles online. It is one of the best things you can do not just for yourself, but for society as a whole, I believe.

Indigenous map of Canada by artist Jennifer Adomeit.

Although I read books and articles, listen to conversational podcasts, and watch educational YouTube clips all the time, I was eager to try something different. Something I could delve deep into; something that has more meaning and substance; maybe even something that has a personal element to it. When Schitt's Creek actor Daniel Levy posted a tweet about a free University of Alberta online course called Indigenous Canada, I knew I'd be signing up immediately. It couldn't have come at a better time.

Although Indigenous Canada was a "12-week" online course, I finished it within less than a month, sitting up in my bedroom with my laptop, a notebook, and an open mind. I had always been curious about my own Indigenous background and was eager to learn about a fundamental past that we should have learned about way back in my school days. For whatever reason, this long and storied history of Canada remains mostly absent from our flawed educational system, and that absolutely needs to change. I now have a far better understanding as to how the Indigenous population of Canada has evolved into who we are today, and why things are the way they are. For anyone out there who has prejudices against Indigenous people for whatever reason, they could truly benefit from taking this course. All of us can. Because racism against this group of Canadians is rampant. It's shameful. On a more personal note, I learned something about my own family that always baffled me. Although I won't get into the details of what I'm talking about, I discovered (as part of this course) that this issue (and others) literally stems from residential schools, where my grandparents had been forced to attend. These problems have taken a toll on my family as a whole, and although we're now aware of its roots, there's still a possibility it will continue to trickle down into the next generation, unless we make the effort to break the cycle now. Some things are easier said than done, however.

Indigenous Canada informed and enriched me not just as an Indigenous man myself, but as a Canadian and as a human being. It is an important history that needed the spotlight that Levy shone on it. I believe this particular history needs to be a part of our educational system, as a way to allow our country to begin to heal these open wounds. Simply throwing money at the issue is like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot injury. Education is the true remedy we all need here. If you would like to sign up for the course, click HERE. If you would like to see the rest of my "50x50" challenge, click HERE.

My certificate for completing the UofA's Indigenous Canada course.

Since completing the Indigenous Canada course, I have continued educating myself online and have also completed the following online courses:

- Managing Happiness via HarvardX / edX


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