Education and Equity

Back to school: What is the media saying?

Kayla MacIntosh, Junior Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As Junior Communications Officer at the Federation, I monitor the “back to school” news that fills the media every September when more than a million Canadian students head back to college and university. In this blog you can find a variety of important conversations about the post-secondary education (PSE) sector and its biggest achievements and challenges moving forward in the 2016-17 academic year.

Several Canadian universities, 13 in total, were buoyed in their back to school start, with landmark...

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2017 pre-budget submission: Research drives innovation and growth


As part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultation process, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is recommending significant investments to strengthen research, experiential learning and Indigenous academic inclusion. Read our full submission here.

Canada depends on a strong research ecosystem to prosper in a fast-changing knowledge economy. Budget 2016 made some important contributions to strengthening that system, and this important work must continue. The Federation believes that by strengthening Canada’s education and research systems, we can produce the new knowledge and talented workforce Canada will need to achieve long-term equitable growth. To succeed, we will need to tackle three key challenges:

1: Ensure a high performing and globally connected Canadian research ecosystem

While Canadian researchers continues to rank highly compared to their...

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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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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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Who is telling our stories? Canadian millennials in literature and the humanities


Kofi Hope, Rhodes Scholar, Doctor of Philosophy in Politics & Managing Director, Community Empowering Enterprises

On July 14, Go Set a Watchman will be released to the general public, a sequel of sorts to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  Few works of literature have had a more profound role in shaping conversations on race in the 20th century than To Kill a Mockingbird

For my part, I read the book in 1999 as a grade 10 student in Mississauga.  While...

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"The Nuances of Blackness and/in the Canadian Academy" – A tool for engaging with equity pedagogy in the graduate classroom

Author: Dolana Mogadime, Associate Professor, Brock University

Over the past few years, I have used the Federation for the Humanities and Social Science’s Equity Matters blog series as a teaching tool for my graduate level courses in education.  The Federation’s blog is an excellent mechanism for community building and knowledge exchange.  It provides scholars who are committed to theoretical and critical research with a wealth of public, open access materials to share with students. These materials, in the form of panel presentations, online discussions and posts, provide a way for students to step into equity conversations and engage with them.


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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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All My Relations: Aboriginal Education and the Future


Join The Right Hon. Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada, in a dialogue on the issues and challenges involving Aboriginal education in Canada.

Mr. Martin served as prime minister from 2003 to 2006. After leaving politics founded the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative focusing on elementary and secondary education for Aboriginal students and the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship (CAPE) Fund, an investment fund investing...

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SSH News: Financial aid, health care policy, and Canada-Quebec relations

This week, student financial aid made headlines in Canada and the UK, for different reasons. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a report on July 17th comparing student eligibility for financial aid and the complexity of application processes across provinces. Discussing highlights from the report, with a focus on Ontario, the Toronto Star writes that, in addition to confusing students and their parents, current financial aid systems “do little to guarantee equity among students.”

Financial aid is also causing worries in the UK,...

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