Equity and diversity

Library and Archives Canada to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples through a new digitization initiative

Benjamin Ellis, Strategic Advisor, Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is posting this guest blog in support of the Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future project and in anticipation of this initiative’s launch on November 3, 2016.

Established in 1991, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) travelled across Canada documenting the issues and challenges facing Indigenous Canadians and their communities. Over its six-year mandate, RCAP amassed thousands of hours of recorded testimony and hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, culminating in the publication of the 1996 RCAP final report complete with a series of recommendations for a renewed relationship between Aboriginal and...

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Continuing the reconciliation journey

Elaine Young, Program Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

I was honoured to represent the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the 2nd annual Building Reconciliation forum held at the University of Alberta on September 28-29, an event focusing on universities’ responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. At the event’s opening, a beautiful walking stick symbolizing the reconciliation journey was passed to David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta, and was displayed throughout the conference.

    The voices of survivors of the Indian Residential School system were prominent in this gathering, as they bravely shared their stories of neglect, abuse and survival. They also...

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    Knowledge to action on International Women’s Day

     

    Sue Szabo, Director, Social and Economic Policy, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) 

    Research is crucial to understanding the barriers to women’s empowerment and their deeper causes. To mark International Women’s Day today, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is holding the event Knowledge to Action: Improving Women’s Lives. As director of Inclusive Economies, I will have the pleasure of welcoming seven panelists who will highlight the knowledge generated by IDRC-supported research teams on two crucial issues for women: economic empowerment and ending violence. 
     
    Governments and the private sector...

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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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    Fresh Air and New Hope for Canada and Human Rights

     

    John Packer, Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

    This blog was prepared for the celebration of Human Rights Day 2015. 

    There is a palpable sense of relief within the human rights community following the federal election results of October 19th.  Notwithstanding some commitments and investments in selected matters like religious freedom and LGBTQ rights, the past decade has been one of substantial damage to human rights in Canada, and our generally positive reputation abroad (if not always fully merited) took a broad and deep hit.   

    With the new majority Government in Ottawa, Canada claims to be “back” – not least in terms of...

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    Why are we still debating diversity versus merit in 2015?

     

    Susan Franceschet, University of Calgary; Karen Beckwith, Case Western Reserve University; Claire Annesley, University of Sussex

    Canada’s first gender-equal cabinet is being celebrated by equality and diversity advocates but criticized by those who believe that using selection criteria like gender, race, or ethnicity violates merit. Those who trumpet merit believe that selection to high-level positions like cabinet or corporate boards must be based on demonstrable skills, achievements, and credentials with no consideration of the other characteristics of the individuals holding those credentials. In fact, critics of quotas as a mechanism to ensure diversity go a step further, arguing that quotas will lead to the...

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    The complexity of poverty in Canada

    Jim Silver, University of Winnipeg

    This blog post marks the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17. For more information about this day, go here.

    Over the past 40 years poverty in Canada has become increasingly complex, racialized and often intergenerational. It is about much more than a shortage of income. It is also about poor housing, poor health, low educational outcomes, social exclusion, racism and colonialism, all of which interact with and reinforce each other, aggravating the problem. This complex poverty is often internalized, with those who experience it blaming themselves for their problems, resulting in low levels of self-esteem and self-confidence and in many cases a lack of hope for a better future. The self-blame and lack of hope—reinforced by the common “blame the victim” understanding of poverty—have the effect of...

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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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    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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    Telling your research story - make it accessible!

    Victoria Hawkins, student blogger at Congress 2015

    We all dread the presenter who reads directly from the slides or paper in a monotone voice. Worse still is when that monotone voice uses heavy jargon that no one outside the field will understand. 

    Shari Graydon says “scholars are trained to be critical and they apply that to their assessment of colleagues”. The resulting pressure encourages presenters to read from their papers “because that way they’ll get every single sentence right”.  The result is glazed-over eyes, even among the audience members who understand the content.

    Graydon’s Career Corner workshop "Ideas Matter: Telling Your Research Story" focussed on the engagement of a broader audience. By choosing...

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