Students learn about the advocacy efforts of individuals and groups – both Jewish and non-Jewish – on behalf of the internees.
Links to Historical Thinking Concepts:
Establish Historical Significance – Students consider how the actions of refugee advocates changed Canada’s policies toward the interned refugees.
Use Primary Source Evidence – Students analyze documents relating to the advocacy efforts on behalf of the internees.
Analyze Cause and Consequence – Students consider the effects of activism on changing government policies about internment.
Thinking About Advocacy
As a class, discuss the meaning of “advocacy.” What are examples of advocacy in students’ own lives?
Group Activity: Internee Advocates
Divide the class into at least four groups. Assign at least one group to each of the four topics, representing a page on the website. Groups can double-up on one topic:
- The Paterson Mission
- United Jewish Refugee and War Relief Agencies
- Refugee Committees
- Other Advocates
Working in their group, students explore the webpage and dossier related to their topic.
The group develops a presentation about their theme for the class. The presentation should highlight:
- The key person or people involved in the initiative.
- The activities of the initiative.
- At least one document or anecdote of interest. What does it reveal about the advocate or advocacy group’s response to internment?
Each group presents to the class. Encourage students to ask questions of each group.
After each group has presented, the class discusses how each theme contributes to their understanding of advocacy in response to internment.
Summarize the contents of the “Canadian Policy” page on the website for students, informing them about how advocacy eventually affected policy change.
Extension: Issues in Contemporary Advocacy
Social media and websites such as You Tube offer groups advocating for social justice issues unprecedented means of communicating with global audiences. Students select an advocacy group of interest to them and write a response to their activities, highlighting:
- What is the message of the group?
- What are the strategies used for communicating that message?
- What other sources would you consult for information about the issues at stake?