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 contact Lily Polowin at lpolowin@ideas-idees.ca if you wish to propose a blog article. 

How to develop a powerful and meaningful land acknowledgement

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

Keith King, University of Alberta, opened the Congress 2021 land acknowledgement workshop saying “as inhabitants of the land, it's essential we explore relationships with the original peoples of this land, and to learn with the local Indigenous people.” He noted how rare it is to be in a place that doesn't have a history of colonization and occupation. When we look, we will see we are always on Indigenous land.  

Land acknowledgements are an old Indigenous tradition and protocol done to pay respect to the people and history of the lands you are situated on. Today, land acknowledgements affirm the enduring relationship between Indigenous peoples and express commitments of reconciliation.  

Teachings and quotes from Grandmother Doreen Spence 

Elder Doreen Spence of the University of Calgary spoke during the first...

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Seeding security: Community-based approaches to eradicating northern food insecurity

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

Northern food insecurity is a highly complex issue. For northern communities, high degrees of isolation and poor infrastructure collide with climate change and the legacy of colonialism to challenge the sustainability of northerner’s homes and traditions.  

The major takeaway from today’s discussion on this issue is that we must reframe how we think about addressing it; we must set targets to completely eradicate the problem, and work to meet them. The end goal should be to have thriving, sustainable northern communities that are inherently food secure.  

Imagine the risk hunters take driving ATVs on the river system to get to remote hunting sites while freezing and thawing cycles are increasingly unpredictable. A resident of Peawanuck, an Indigenous Cree Community in Northern Ontario, described his experience in a...

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Resources for Indigenous-engaged scholarship and what we learned from the Career Corner session

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

“First of all, if we live and work in this place called Canada, all of us are, in some way, engaged in Indigenous scholarship because we are all situated on Indigenous lands and territories. So what is our responsibility?” Dr. Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research) for the University of Alberta, urges scholars to acknowledge this fact and consider how they embody it in their research lives.  

When academics think about conducting Indigenous-engaged scholarship, often the first thing that comes to mind is working directly in Indigenous communities. Working in Indigenous-engaged research is both personal and centred in community because as Dr. Glanfield explained, “we exist in places, and come from places that shape who we are.” 

“Research can’t be extractive; it’s about relationality.” Dr...

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Working Towards Peace Education for All

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram, PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

In a brief but mighty keynote, Steven Staples, chairperson of Peace Quest, accomplished policy and research strategist, published author, and award-winning peace and social justice advocate discussed peace education and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This open event was hosted by the Canadian Peace Research Association and moderated by Frederic Pearson, Executive Director at Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Wayne State University. The session was sponsored by Peace Quest, a leadership and education initiative that has launched an ambitious plan to engage students, teachers, and Canadians to promote peace. 

Staples outlined for the audience the details of a robust study he conducted on peace and social justice education and engagement strategies in the COVID-19 context. The policy analyst...

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Rebuilding the Institution: Concrete Steps to Support BIPoC Scholars in the Academy

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram, PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

Congress 2021 is ending the way it began, with an intentional focus on engagement with justice and equity in academia. In “Beyond Equity Policy: Searching for Institutional Procedures and Practices that Support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (Bipoc) Faculty” a panel of equity officers and academics shared insights on how to address racism and related issues that affect BIPoC faculty at Canadian universities.  

The robust panel included Jeff Denis, Associate Professor at McMaster University, Irene Shankar, Professor at Mount Royal University, Arig al Shaibah, Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion and Adjunct Associate Professor at McMaster University, Aliyah Dosani, Professor at Mount Royal University, Claudine Bonner, Associate Professor at Acadia University, and Irfan Chaudhry, Equity...

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