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In Whose Backyard?

Secondary

Description

The film captures the voices of Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian community members who share their stories and struggles against environmental racism in their communities. The documentary reveals the thoughts and fears of members of these communities who talk about not being heard by governments and industries, about how they worry about their health, how angry they are, how powerless they feel.

Using interviews with community members and footage from a series of workshops the ENRICH Project held for residents in communities in Nova Scotia, the film sheds light on the concerns that community members have long had about the links between water, air and soil contaminants and pollutants and chronic diseases, such as cancer and respiratory illness. These communities in Nova Scotia have two things in common. Toxic industries, landfills and waste dumps are situated close to where people live, and the population is predominantly African-Nova Scotian or Mi’kmaw.

A call for justice echoes throughout the film as community members demand more inclusive and equitable government policies and best practice guidelines for community consultations and decision-making processes related to the location of toxic facilities and other environmental hazards.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The film serves as a unique curriculum resource for high school students as it focuses on experiences of environmental racism in both Indigenous and African Canadian communities in Nova Scotia. The resource provides an introduction to the disproportional effects of toxic waste, water contamination, waste disposition, and pollution from the nearby industries. The content is well suited to the high school classroom in a variety of subject areas. More information and resources regarding this environmental racism issue can be found at the website for the Enrich Project.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
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        • Issues for Canadians: Governance and Rights
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 10
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10 -Canada and the World: 1914 to the Present: Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Social justice initiatives can transform individuals and systems
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
      • Social Studies
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        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Reconciliation requires all colonial societies to work together to foster healing and address injustices
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 12
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        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Poverty, Wealth and Power
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        • Global Issues
        • Global Issues
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        • Civics 10: Human Rights
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Advanced Environmental Science 120:Introduction to the human sphere
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: An Overview of Environmental Science
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        • Canadian Geography 120:A Geographic Perspective on a Current Canadian Issue
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        • Social Studies 1201: Power, Citizenship, and Change
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 3205: Water Use & the Environment
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        • Social Studies 3201: Human-Environment Interaction
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  • Nova Scotia
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        • Citizenship 9: Governance
        • Citizenship 9: Who Am I as a Citizen?
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        • Geography of Canada 11: Geography of Risk
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        • AP Environmental Science: Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution
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        • Issues for Canadians: Governance and Rights
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 11
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Human Health and the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Reducing and Managing Waste
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
  • Quebec
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        • The Contemporary World: Environment
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        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 11
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        • Social Studiees 20:World Issues - Environment
        • Social Studies 20: World Issues -Human Rights
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 10
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10 -Canada and the World: 1914 to the Present: Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Social justice initiatives can transform individuals and systems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • B.C. First Peoples: The impact of contact and colonialism continues to affect the political, social, and economic lives of B.C. First Peoples
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Reconciliation requires all colonial societies to work together to foster healing and address injustices
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society

Themes Addressed

Economics (2)

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Poverty Reduction

Human Health & Environment (2)

  • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards
  • Quality of Life

Human Rights (3)

  • Environmental Racism/Justice
  • Poverty
  • Social Justice