Sunday, 16 November 2014

Should we really be studying The Rez Sisters in school?

I believe The Rez Sisters to be a good play for teenagers to study in High School, but I can see it's potential for being a bad play to study as well.

The Rez Sisters has great key ideas that teenagers could understand. The characters are well written, and relatable. They're kind of like someone who you'd meet on the streets of Orangeville, and perhaps that why we (being the youth of Orangeville) like them so much. The actual context of the book is a social issue that is relevant in our society, and the racism and hardship that Natives in Canada face is a topic that children in Canada are finally learning about in their curriculum. We know something about this topic, making it easy for us to discuss it in class, and fathom the main ideas of the book.

But perhaps for that very reason is why the book is not a good choice for a novel study in class. I'm not saying that we should ignore the issue, or make it seem like it's not important, it just might be a good idea to bring other social issues to light in class, especially those that everyone might not know a whole lot about. Doing this makes teenagers aware of more than one issue, and helps us have a better understanding of the sensitive issues that appear in books like The Rez Sisters, such as rape, poverty, and abuse. By doing this we can become aware of the problems in our world and society, and potentially fix these issues as we grow older.


  1. I like your perspective on this Riley, it is things I hadn't considered. I did not think about comparing them to "teenagers in Orangeville" but you're right. The attitude of the characters is relatable to us.
    It is almost as if the play sneaks in many lessons. People our age focus on the profanity and humorous parts of the play, while also learning (without realizing) about the important issues that First Nations people have to deal with.
    I feel as if we should have more texts like The Rez Sisters so students have more of an awareness of the many issues in the world.

  2. I like your ideas about social issues Riley, how do you feel the characters are relatable to youth in Orangeville and what other issues would you like to see "brought to light"?

    1. I think that focusing on topics that we might not know a lot about, such as mental health issues, or why countries in the Middle East or wherever disagree with each other, or why terrorist groups hate Western ways of life. I think it would be also interesting to delve into different forms of racism and sexism. For example, focusing on the racism that people from the Middle East face in Western society (especially after 9/11), or looking at men who are feminists or possibly the gender stereotypes they face (i.e. people assume a man is gay because he's into fashion design or dancing or a job that is mostly dominated by women).

  3. I agree with you when you said that it is easy for the youth of Orangeville (being us) to understand because of the way the story was written, to give us a better understanding of the book without even realizing, just like Chelsea also stated.