Equity Matters

Research community speaks out on U.S. travel ban

Gauri Sreenivasan, Director of Policy and Programs, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As news of U.S. President Donald Trump’s early executive orders spread across news channels at the end of January, many Canadians and citizens around the world were alarmed by the swiftness of the move to close borders and target Muslim majority countries. Civil liberties lawyers and groups analyzed and challenged the text; many worried at home; thousands participated in...

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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 non-Aboriginal peoples in...

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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 shared their hope of...

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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 celebration in my son’s K-12...

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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 a strong commitment to...

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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 selection of less qualified...

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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 undoubtedly a classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird...

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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, including Canada, and...

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Les femmes et le terrorisme

Nathalie Des Rosiers, Université d’Ottawa

Partout dans le monde, on s’efforce d’inventer des solutions juridiques pour mettre fin au terrorisme.   Le Canda ne fait pas exception : un projet de loi propose des détentions préventives,  un partage d’information entre agences et un mandat au service de renseignements « d’agir » pour prévenir des attaques.  Le public est prêt à accepter ces mesures sans précédent parce qu’ils ont peur de ces attaques féroces imprévisibles qu’on voit sur YouTube et à la télé.

La violence faite aux femmes, la disparition ou le meurtre d’une centaine de femmes autochtones ne suscitent pas le...

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A pivotal year for Canada’s engagement with global social justice

Julia Sánchez, President-CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)

February 20th is World Day of Social Justice, as recognized by the United Nations since 2007. The day is a call to observe social justice by supporting “efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all”.  

Three events make 2015 a pivotal year for global social justice: first, there is the 20th anniversary and review of the Beijing...

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