Author Archives: Laura Madokoro

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 »

In memory of Greg Donaghy (1961 – 2020)

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Jill Campbell – Miller “I just hope he’s at a cottage without a cell signal and wi-fi.” I said that to my mother-in-law several times during a recent visit to Cape Breton. After all, I told her, the book project that Greg Donaghy was co-editing with myself and fellow historian Stacey Barker had recently been progressing ahead of schedule (Breaking… Read more »

Snapshots of Canada-Timor solidarity

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David Webster Pictures are powerful. They can tell strong stories. This post accompanies a new e-dossier that tells the history of a Canadian campaign for international human rights through images (http://historybeyondborders.ca/?p=220). While the full photo history looks at a range of groups that worked for human rights in Timor-Leste (East Timor) when it was under Indonesian military rule in 1975-99,… Read more »

Defund the police

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Tamara Gene Myers Amidst the call to “Defund the police,” it bears thinking about removing police from our schools as well. “Defund the police” has become the rallying cry of anti-Black racism protests following the public murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Relentless police violence has generated heated discussion about how decades of policies intended to “reform”… Read more »

Listening During a Pandemic, and beyond

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Laura Madokoro In 2005, historical geographer Julie Cruikshank published her widely-acclaimed work, Do Glaciers Listen? : Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters, and Social Imagination (UBC Press) in which she explored the history of environmental change in the Pacific Northwest. She looked specifically at Athapaskan and Tlingit oral traditions to understand glaciers as actors, as sentient beings that “take action and respond… Read more »

Debating Hate Speech Regulations in Canada: A History

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Jennifer Tunnicliffe On December 13, 2019, Justin Trudeau sent out a series of mandate letters to his newly appointed Cabinet ministers, outlining their policy objectives for the upcoming session of Parliament. In several of these letters, Trudeau urged initiatives to combat online hate and counter hate speech.[1] Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault was instructed to develop new social media guidelines requiring… Read more »