Blog

Welcome to the blog for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Posts on this site are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Federation, its staff or its board of directors. Entries are posted in the language of the author.

Members of the university research community are invited to make guest blog submissions on issues relating to the wellbeing of the humanities and social sciences research and learning enterprise in Canada. Click here to read the Federations’ blog policy. Please send your submission to communications@ideas-idees.ca.

Relations with First Nations: Decolonization in the Canadian context

Mark Aquash, University of British Columbia
Guest Contributor

This blog post is part of the Federation Equity Issues Portfolio’s ‘Transforming the Academy: Indigenous Education’ series, which will be the focus of the Portfolio’s programming at Congress 2011.

First Nation communities and individuals can resolve their own issues by focusing on community development, and by strengthening processes of decolonization, self-determination and citizenship. Yet a review of the historical and contemporary record...

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Valuing a liberal arts education

Is a Bachelor of Arts degree enough? And how might it need to change? The Globe and Mail investigates in today's paper, exploring why students are feeling more pressure to continue their studies after completing a BA. The rise in graduate and professional degree enrollment is symptomatic of a wider realization: that employers are putting greater emphasis on additional credentials. The article also goes into depth around ensuring student readiness for university education, especially in the face of growing class sizes.

At the same time, the paper's editors stress the importance of liberal arts degrees, noting "[t]he ability to mount a...

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Aboriginal Relations in Canada: The Importance of Political Reconciliation

Dale A. Turner, Dartmouth College
Guest contributor

This blog post is part of the Federation Equity Issues Portfolio’s ‘Transforming the Academy: Indigenous Education’ series, which will be the focus of the Portfolio’s programming at Congress 2011.

What is the meaning of reconciliation? In this short contribution to the conversations unfolding in Canada, as elsewhere, I will focus on just two ways the term is used in contemporary Aboriginal politics and relations in Canada. Both uses of reconciliation are significant for Aboriginal aspirations for self-...

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Welcoming 'visible minorities': Paradoxes of equity hiring in Canadian universities

Carl E. James, York University
Guest Contributor

If we were to scan the academic job ads of Canadian universities today, we would notice the following:  After the description of the job, the required qualifications, and the application’s deadline, at the end there is usually a short statement that goes something like this:

“University X is strongly committed to employment equity within its community and supports diversity in its teaching, learning and work environments. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates, including women, Aboriginal people, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities, and members of...

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Big Thinking: Dwayne Donald on Aboriginal-Canadian relations and educational priorities

On What Terms Can We Speak? Aboriginal-Canadian Relations as an Education Priority

Last June, Chief Shawn Atleo made a passionate plea to all governments, education institutions and private organizations to support the Assembly of First Nations vision of creating a strong educational foundation for Aboriginal students. Across Canada, emerging educational initiatives are aimed at engaging and retaining Aboriginal youth in the school and university systems. Yet much of the research informing these initiatives focuses on identifying culturally-relevant educational approaches that can foster higher rates of Aboriginal student success. While very important, this focus implies that these initiatives are only a concern for Aboriginal students, their families, and their teachers.

In this talk,...

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