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. 

Let’s Imagine What’s Possible and Transform Our Universities from Within to Enable Indigenous Scholarship

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Universities are human-made, so with willpower and a commitment from administration and faculty, universities can be transformed from within to reflect and support Indigenous knowledge, consciousness and tradition. As moderator President of Vancouver Island University Dr. Deborah Saucier noted, the panel discussion “Enabling Indigenous Scholarship in Canadian Higher Education” gave everyone who attended “much to chew on.”   

Panelist Dr. Frank Deer of the University of Manitoba told a story of a young Indigenous student who desperately wanted to ‘see herself’ at her university; however, the climate and culture didn’t provide the space for her, nor was she given support. Dr. Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost, Indigenous Programming & Research, University of Alberta, echoed this experience saying when she was a young...

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Art as a Ceremony

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

The Canadian Association of University Teachers of German’s “Decolonizing Begins with Spirit” open event webcast featured a powerful presentation, organised around visual stories, by Lana Whiskeyjack, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Alberta & Multidisciplinary Treaty. 

Whiskeyjack confessed that growing up, she was disconnected from her Indigenous Cree Creation stories, ceremonies, songs and laws. Through the residential school era, many Indigenous people were forcefully assimilated into the Canadian culture. According to her, due to the trauma from the Indian residential schools, many of her relatives had wounded spirits and this trauma led some of her relatives to raise their children with the same abuses they had endured. She concluded that the two historical events that had...

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The Art of Make Believe: A Panel on Make Believe: The Secret Library of M. Prud’homme – A Rare Collection of Fakes

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 

The Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) hosted the “Creative Writing Panel: Make Believe” open event, a roundtable discussion centered around Make Believe: The Secret Library of M. Prud’homme – A Rare Collection of Fakes. Made possible through a one-time Canada Council New Chapter Grant, this “special collection of fakes and forgeries” was co-curated by Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Dalhousie Heather Jessup and Assistant Professor cross-appointed in the Faculty of Information and the Department of English at the University of Toronto Claire Battershill. They were joined by the following four speakers: Sheryda Warrener, poet and lecturer in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia; Lindsay Cuff, Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Faculty of...

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Notes from A Celebration of Northern Authors

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Tlicho author Richard Van Camp led a celebration of northern authors in a reading session at Congress. Here, leading Indigenous writers and artists discussed the inspirations for their work and shared excerpts from their published and upcoming pieces.  

Tanya Roach, Inuit writer and throat singer  

“I’ve written since I learned to write my own name,” said Tanya Roach.  

The reading Roach shared came from a story about finding light in darkness. She explained she found her inspiration for the story when a blackout event in her city of Yellowknife led her to reflect on how her northern ancestors maintained light through long, black winters.  

She said the blackout was a humbling experience because she was forced to grapple with her fear of the darkness, and what her fear was telling her. “Learning how to...

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Announcing the Final Five Winners of the 2020 SSHRC Storytellers Competition

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram (she/her), PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) announced their Final Five winners of the 2020 Storytellers competition, selected from the 25 finalists who moved forward in this latest edition. This panel included lively presentations of the stories of research from the five winners. Congratulations to Noah Schwartz from Carleton University, Leïla Mostefa-Kara from The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Oriane Morriet from Université de Montréal, Joanie Caron from The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and Sydney Seidel from the University of Calgary. Additionally, a special congratulations to the winner of the 2020 Storytellers Engagement Prize: Lee Beavington from Simon Fraser University. 

As Ted Hewitt, SSHRC President, took the virtual stage to acknowledge the competition...

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