April 2017

Archives

Polaris: The Chief Scientist's Recollections of the American North Pole Expedition, 1871-73

William Barr, Senior Research Associate, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, and Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan

Charles Francis Hall’s American North Pole Expedition was probably the most bizarrely disastrous expedition in the history of polar exploration. Although quite lavishly financed by the United States government and blessed with unusually favourable ice conditions as it pushed northwards, its ultimate attempts at advancing north by boat or sledge were half-hearted at best, it was riven with dissension, its leader Charles Francis Hall died under suspicious circumstances, and the expedition suffered the further misfortune of becoming split into two parties, one of which...

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Keeping Ontario on the map! Exploring our transforming landscapes online

Guest blog by Kara Handren, Metadata Librarian, Scholars Portal/OCUL

Map libraries are wonderful places, whose collections support patrons in their research, education, work and private lives. However, given the quantity of maps produced during any given period, libraries often have to make decisions to preserve only those maps that are of local relevance and significance, leaving their collections incomplete. The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) has filled in the gaps for early topographic maps of Ontario, by bringing together over 1000 maps that had previously existed across dozens of institutions. This shared digital collection has been made available online just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday!

The collection is the result of a province-wide collaboration led by the OCUL Geo Community to inventory, digitize, georeference, and provide access to these maps. It includes...

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Keeping Ontario on the map! Exploring our transforming landscapes online

Guest blog by Kara Handren, Metadata Librarian, Scholars Portal/OCUL

Map libraries are wonderful places, whose collections support patrons in their research, education, work and private lives. However, given the quantity of maps produced during any given period, libraries often have to make decisions to preserve only those maps that are of local relevance and significance, leaving their collections incomplete. The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) has filled in the gaps for early topographic maps of Ontario, by bringing together over 1000 maps that had previously existed across dozens of institutions. This shared digital collection has been made available online just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday!

The collection is the result of a province-wide collaboration led by the OCUL Geo Community to inventory, digitize, georeference, and provide access to these maps. It includes...

Read more »

Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

Guest blog by Aaron Franks, Mitacs-SSHRC Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation

Read Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

On April 26 I published a guest post on this Federation blog on Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy. Here I want to share more details of a specific gathering at Congress 2017 that will be hosted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (May 30 – check the program!) which SSHRC hopes will help strengthen the autonomy and standing of diverse Indigenous knowledge systems in the contemporary academy.  

Many of you reading will recognize that this effort, like so much about...

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Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

Guest blog by Aaron Franks, Mitacs-SSHRC Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation

Read Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

On April 26 I published a guest post on this Federation blog on Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy. Here I want to share more details of a specific gathering at Congress 2017 that will be hosted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (May 30 – check the program!) which SSHRC hopes will help strengthen the autonomy and standing of diverse Indigenous knowledge systems in the contemporary academy.  

Many of you reading will recognize that this effort, like so much about...

Read more »

Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

Guest blog by Aaron Franks, Mitacs-SSHRC Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation

Read Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

I had the privilege of attending a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the release of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People (RCAP, 1996) last November. One of the participants at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) session on research and reconciliation expressed concern about the phrase “Indigenous ways of knowing.” Why single out “Indigenous,” and why qualify human logic and comprehension with the squishy phrase “ways of knowing”? This person had spent many years thinking through these issues, working hard to improve opportunities for Indigenous peoples, but I was...

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Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

Guest blog by Aaron Franks, Mitacs-SSHRC Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation

Read Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

I had the privilege of attending a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the release of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People (RCAP, 1996) last November. One of the participants at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) session on research and reconciliation expressed concern about the phrase “Indigenous ways of knowing.” Why single out “Indigenous,” and why qualify human logic and comprehension with the squishy phrase “ways of knowing”? This person had spent many years thinking through these issues, working hard to improve opportunities for Indigenous peoples, but I was...

Read more »

International student explores Indigenous youth wellbeing with arts and culture

Guest blog by Robyn Dugas, Content Specialist, Mitacs

Jessica Blain was a third-year undergraduate student from Australia’s University of Sydney.Through a Mitacs Globalink Research Internship at Concordia University, she helped evaluate the impact of a community-based theatre program on the wellbeing of young people in a remote First Nations community in Northern Saskatchewan. Her experiences showed her the potential for arts-based programs to provide a positive space for fostering creative development and leadership among Indigenous youth.

Participatory arts and culture activities...

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Effective policy making needs voices from the social sciences and humanities

Guest blog by Steve Higham, Policy Analyst

Poorly informed policy decisions can have significant and lasting consequences. Often, critics assume that negative policy decisions can be avoided if only decision makers are guided by data and scientific evidence. However, data and evidence are not the only factors that inform the policy-making process. On most issues, decisions will be influenced by cultural and political considerations, with corresponding beliefs, principles, and values that a government may or may not support.

This is not necessarily a negative aspect of the policymaking process. Without proper context and understanding, decisions based...

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Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow

Brian D. McInnes, Professor, Department of Education, University of Minnesota Duluth 

Francis Pegahmagabow (1889–1952), a member of the Ojibwe nation, was born in Shawanaga, Ontario. Enlisting at the onset of the First World War, he became the most decorated Canadian Indigenous soldier for bravery...

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Litigation and negotiation work together to advance Aboriginal rights, says professor

 

As a historian specializing in Aboriginal rights and history, Arthur J. Ray has often been called as an expert witness in court proceedings involving Aboriginal land claims.

After decades of research, and many appearances in court, Ray found himself wondering whether the adversarial legal arena was the best forum for settling Aboriginal rights issues. Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate these things instead?

In a new book that examines how native peoples’ rights are handled in five countries, Ray concludes that there’s no single, direct path to Aboriginal rights. What seems to work best, he says, is a mix of litigation and negotiation – tempered by an awareness on the part of everyone concerned that different groups can have very different perspectives on the same event.

Ray’s...

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Letters show women were politically engaged during the 1837-38 rebellions

 

In the 19th century, there was a sharp distinction between home life – a private domestic world that was essentially feminine – and the public life of business and politics, which was dominated by men.

In a new book, Mylène Bédard of Laval University demonstrates that the boundary between the two worlds was more permeable than it had been believed, particularly for women. By analyzing letters written by some of the women in the lives of the “Patriotes” – the leaders of the 1837-38 rebellions in Quebec – Bédard shows how these women were involved in the political world from which, officially, they were excluded.

Bédard’s book, Écrire en temps d’insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usages de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840) (Writing during the insurrection : Letter-...

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The Doctoral Dissertation – A Consultation

Guest blog by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS)

There was a time when a PhD dissertation in the Humanities or most Social Sciences was an early version of a single-authored scholarly manuscript. Things are changing. Today, the three-article thesis is accepted –  even the norm – in some disciplines. And dissertations comprised primarily of creative works are a basic requirement in other programs. 

In 2014, Eric Weissman’s (PhD Indi -Concordia) multi-media, interdisciplinary work “Spaces, Places and States of Mind: a Pragmatic Ethnography,” was given CAGS’s Distinguished Dissertation Award. Weissman’s approach recognized that the complexities of homelessness couldn’t be organized into a traditional...

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Expo Passport is back!

Guest blog by Ashley Craven, Event Planner, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Expo Passport is back for Congress 2017! Once again, attendees will have the opportunity to win great prizes while they visit our exciting Congress Expo exhibitors. Expo is sold out this year and we are looking forward to featuring over 50 exhibitors for our attendees to meet. Check out a full list of exhibitors here

The Expo Passport will be attached to the outside of the Congress Essentials Guide that you will receive at registration. Keep this with you whenever you are in the Expo tradeshow in the Congress Hub. Whether it be to grab a quick snack or refuel on coffee at the RAMS...

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