To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligations

Canadian elites accepted the old-world model of political and social organization based on identification with racial groups

To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligationsColumnist and author Richard Gwyn wrote that the 1950s was a time “when Canadians came to realize and believe that a ‘new nationality’ could be political rather than ethnic, or composed of  values and attitudes, rather than races.” Gwyn, author of Nation Maker – Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, a biography of Canada’s first prime…

We minimize, revise and ignore history at our own peril

Confronting the horrors of our past and trying to make things right isn’t an easy task but a peace comes from doing the right thing

We minimize, revise and ignore history at our own perilIt seems that everywhere we turn we find a new scandal, some memory from the past that haunts us. Though virtually every state and institution has something to hide, there’s something liberating in speaking the truth. While his tenure hasn’t been without controversy, many around the world have been relieved to see the openness and…

Ancient moccasin suggests Dene migrated farther south than thought

Artifact found in a cave in Utah reveals precolonial connection between Canadian Subarctic and American Southwest

Ancient moccasin suggests Dene migrated farther south than thoughtA piece of leather from an 800-year-old moccasin found in a Utah cave has helped researchers retrace the ancient steps of a remarkable migration that saw some Dene (Athapaskan) people leave their homes in the continent’s Subarctic and eventually create new homes scattered across the southern United States as Dineh (Navajo) and Ndee (Apache) ancestors,…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to court

Governments have more resources and delays can drag on for years. Indigenous peoples pay heavily for the delays in resolving their claims

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to courtAt any given time, the government of Canada is dealing with hundreds of legal matters with Indigenous Canadians. This is inevitable given the complexity of Indigenous rights, the history of Canadian policy and patterns of government ‘lawlessness’ that left the country liable for the administrative misdeeds of the past 150-plus years. The number, diversity and…

Preserving the history of Alberta’s Black heritage

Great-granddaughter of an early settler, Debbie Beaver is preserving a vital part of a province’s history

Preserving the history of Alberta’s Black heritageEvery time someone asks Debbie Beaver where she’s from, she has to shake her head. When she answers, “I’m Canadian,” there’s the inevitable followup question: “OK, but where are you really from?” “It still irritates me to this day,” said the administrative assistant in the University of Alberta’s Department of Psychology, who co-founded the Black Settlers of…

Time to come to terms with Canada’s original sin

Separating one racial group of people from the rest of the nation and expecting a good result was madness then and is madness now

Time to come to terms with Canada’s original sinCanadians are watching protests on American streets that stem in part from their history of slavery. That original sin dogs America and tears at its soul. But Canada, too, has an original sin. And that’s our history with Indigenous people. It’s not that Canada treated Indigenous people poorly. (It did treat them poorly but that’s…

Schitt’s Creek star spikes enrolment in U of A online Indigenous course

Tens of thousands of new students from nearly every country in the world have joined Dan Levy in relearning history from Indigenous perspectives

Schitt’s Creek star spikes enrolment in U of A online Indigenous courseSince its launch in 2017, the massive open online course Indigenous Canada has been among the most popular MOOCs in Canada. But in 2020, its popularity skyrocketed. “It all started in March with COVID,” said course instructor Paul Gareau. “Normally around 300 new students register each week, but in March we started getting around 1,000. Then, when…

The HORROR! COVID-19 diagnosis could save Trump’s campaign

The entire Democratic Party strategy – to make the election a referendum on Trump – now lays on the floor, discarded

The HORROR! COVID-19 diagnosis could save Trump’s campaignIn another October, in another democratic contest, a man’s disability – a man’s health – almost changed everything. In October 1995, Quebec was voting in a second referendum on independence. The federalist side had been winning – until Quebec’s separatist premier passed control of the campaign to the younger and more popular leader of the…

Sailing ever northward in search of wildlife, culture and history

Venturing to rarely-visited sites along the Newfoundland and Labrador coast on the way north

Sailing ever northward in search of wildlife, culture and historyI get to travel to some great places as an expedition guide. A few months ago (pre-COVID-19), I travelled to parts of Canada I had never seen before and filled in gaps on my lifelong adventures in Canada’s remotest reaches. I thought I’d share some insights about Canada’s northern regions as we celebrate Canada’s 150-plus…
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