Aboriginal Education

On the Twentieth Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day

Yasmeen Abu-LabanProfessor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Political Science Association

June 21, 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of National Aboriginal Day.   Canada’s official proclamation of a National Aboriginal Day stemmed from recommendations by Indigenous groups as well as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

For those concerned with equity in educational institutions and practices, National Aboriginal Day also offers educators (along with all Canadians) opportunities for sharing in Indigenous cultures and traditions, as well as teaching and learning.

 For example, when I served as a “non-Aboriginal” parent volunteer for the National Aboriginal Day...

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The practice of Aboriginal Reconciliation

Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Vancouver Island University has quietly built its reputation as one of Canada’s thought and practice university leaders in resetting its relationships with Indigenous peoples and students. A recent CBC Ideas program launching a national Aboriginal lecture series helped raise the profile of the work being done at Vancouver Island University.  During my short visit last January, staff proudly welcomed the increased national attention but were quick to point out that delivering real results takes time and commitment across the institution. There are no magic formulas, and no one size fits all...

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The challenge of reconciliation in one moment

Peter Severinson, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

For me, the most exciting, challenging and inspiring moment at the Federation’s Annual Conference last week came from a young woman who spoke from the floor. We had just heard a moving and thought-provoking talk from Wab Kinew, the acclaimed writer, journalist and musician who is now serving as Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Winnipeg. He spoke about the challenges our colleges and universities face in helping to advance reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples. We then enjoyed a panel discussion on the same subject, featuring leaders from different backgrounds in the higher-...

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We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence

Robert R. Janes, independent scholar

We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence (Athabasca University Press) is an unusual book in the museum world – not only because it’s about the unconditional return of sacred objects, but also because five of the eight contributors are Blackfoot ceremonialists or spiritual leaders. Although the idea for the book was the result of a restaurant conversation, it is actually the culmination of an evolving, 10-year relationship between the Glenbow Museum (Calgary, Alberta) and the four First Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy – a process of reciprocity, deepening understanding, and mutual appreciation.  The...

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On National Aboriginal Day, what does reconciliation mean to you?

Jean-Paul Restoule, Associate Professor of Aboriginal Education at OISE/University of Toronto

Remember when National Aboriginal Day was called National Aboriginal Solidarity Day? Just weeks after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report, we would do well to consider the critical role solidarity plays in reconciliation.

Achieving genuine reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada is a responsibility we all share. We can’t wait for our governments or our administrative heads to make change.  ...

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Global sustainable development goals have potential to drive change in Canada

Shannon Kindornay, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University

There is no question that 2015 is a year for change both within Canada and abroad. As noted by Julia Sánchez, President-CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation, in her blog on Canada’s engagement with global social justice, not only are Canadians facing an election year in 2015, but changes are afoot on the global stage. This year, governments will negotiate a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations to replace the Millennium Development Goals that will expire at the end of 2015. These goals will apply to all countries...

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SSH News: Academics respond to Ottawa attack, Open Access Week, First Nations children

A day after the gun attack in Ottawa, the debate has started over how Canada should respond. Among these are the voices of academics. Wesley Wark, professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, urges Canadians in his Globe and Mail op-ed to be resilient, and ensure that our democratic society does not get “bent out of shape” by recent events. Le Devoir interviewed Criminology professor Maurice Cusson, who reminds us that homicide claims far more...

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Our President-Elect asks universities to evolve, not transform radically

Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

“I love you, please change.”

These words succinctly capture Stephen Toope’s message to Canadian universities in his rich, nuanced and compelling October 2014 report for Taking Action for Canada: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century. An initiative of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Taking Action for Canada seeks to bring together educators, governments and businesses to develop solutions and best practices for keeping the next generation of Canadian workers engaged. 

Toope, a scholar of international law, is President-Elect of the Federation. He has also served as President of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, President of the...

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SSH News: Big Thinking video, Paul Davidson speech, university-college agreement, and IDRC-SSHRC awards

 

Jim Miller: Why Don’t We Get Along? (video available)

Jim Miller’s Big Thinking on the Hill lecture, Why Don’t We Get Along? is now available in full on our YouTube channel. Happy viewing!

Smarter Skills for a Smarter Canada

Paul Davidson, president of AUCC, spoke at the Economic Club of Canada on September 25th about the key role that university education plays in preparing students, including art grads, to succeed and innovate. Davidson pays special attention to the flexibility of options at Canadian...

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