Testimonials: Roxanne Charlebois
Bonjour! My name is Roxanne Charlebois, and I’m a teacher. I’m from Farnham Quebec, which is about 45 minutes from Montreal.
What inspired you to take this course?
I saw the ad on Japanese Canadian internment and I had no idea about it so I phoned my grandpa and he told that in Farnham, where I’m from, that there were German, Italian, and Japanese who were interned in the Second World War, and I had no idea about that. I definitely wanted to learn more, and bring back that part of history to Quebec teachers so that they would know about it, and so they can teach it to their students.
What has made the biggest impact on you during the course?
The biggest impact on me during the course was that we had people that are Japanese Canadian who were interned in the camps. I met three people who were relocated to Farnham after the war, and they shared with me their experience and it was really humbling to hear history from the people that have lived it since it’s so different than reading history or hearing about it. I was really grateful to hear their stories about what they had been through.
After experiencing the course, what would you tell a teacher who is considering taking it in the future?
I would tell a teacher to go for it, even if it is your summer break. Having this first hand leaning experience is really different than anything I have ever seen in a university class. It’s such a great experience to be able to work with the primary sources because we analyze them in class afterwards, but having been there, I think it gives a whole other perspective on the subject matter.
"I’d have to say it was being able to talk to actual former internees and also people who are in the redress movement, like Art Miki. Just being able to hear their stories one on one... was extremely valuable."