Author Archives: Laura Madokoro

Public Health, Rights, and Protest in the Age of COVID-19

Jennifer Tunnicliffe COVID-19 and the steps taken to inhibit its spread have inspired significant opposition across Canada over the past ten months. Protestors have rallied against measures implemented by provincial governments, and movements such as The Line Canada and March to Unmask have used public demonstrations and social media platforms to denounce mandatory mask-wearing, quarantine procedures, travel restrictions, and lockdown… Read more »

This Inauguration Day, Americans will start over again 

J.M. Opal Anniversaries make you feel old and young at the same time. An important date marks the time, reminding you of how many years you’ve already trod during your sojourn on Earth. Then again, these dates also promise renewal, a chance to clean slates and start fresh. Today’s inauguration of Joseph Biden will be the 58th anniversary of this… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part III)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum While – as shown in our previous post – Guiding and Scouting were inextricably linked to British imperialism and settler colonialism, some Indigenous students in Canadian Indian residential schools also found that these organizations provided a refuge in an alien environment and a short break from labour and strict routine. It was an… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part II)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum As we documented in our previous post, looking more closely at the history of Scouting and Guiding reveals that the divide between colonialist violence, fascist discipline, and peaceful pedagogy was not quite as stark as Baden-Powell and his supporters would have us believe. Instead of insisting on the ideological opposition between Scouting and… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part I)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum 2020 has been intense. Living in lockdown, uncertain about the future, watching the body count from Covid-19 and police violence continue to rise. Time, shaped by anger, grief, and fear, moves differently, as the pandemic – like other disease outbreaks before it – exposes and deepens socio-economic divisions and inequalities. Despite the best… Read more »

Human Rights, Justice and the 1920 Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World

Laura Madokoro In this tumultuous year, a number of important historical concepts have been at the forefront of debates and discussions about public health, social justice and racial equality. The language of rights has been critical to discussions of individual and collective responsibility in the context of the pandemic (as evidenced in the positions adopted by anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers). The… Read more »

Building a white Canada: gender, sexuality, race, and medicine

By Allison Lynn Bennett Sexual control is inherent to empire. Colonial authorities and doctors understood sexuality as key to maintaining white superiority. Reproduction and health were the focus of eugenic measures that played on gender, sexual, and racial stereotypes. As a settler colony, Canada imagined itself as “British”, or “white”, and therefore regulated the sexual lives and behaviour of both… Read more »

The Canadian Mosaic, Archival Silences, and an Indigenous Presence in Banff

Daniel R. Meister Given that Canada is a settler colonial society, it is unsurprising that the lasting metaphor used to describe sociological diversity in the country – that of a mosaic – was popularized by a settler and child of empire: John Murray Gibbon (1875-1952). Gibbon was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to parents of Scottish descent. Prior to… Read more »

Pity and Destiny: An Indigenous Student at the Manitoba School for the Deaf, 1904-1916

Sandy Barron Historians of deaf communities and disability can no longer take for granted that our field cuts across those of race, class, and gender in consistent ways. Although in recent years scholarship and activism have begun to redraw and trouble these distinctions, deaf and disability histories in Canada have only begun to wrestle with the nation’s colonial past and… Read more »

To Put Finish to the War: Armistice in Korea, 27 July 1953

Andrew Burtch This year, 2020, marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. This conflict, classified at the time in North America as a “police action” for political convenience was of course anything but. Though three years of bitter fighting followed, the Korean War has been rightly classified as a “forgotten war”, unfolding as it did against… Read more »