Category Archives: History in the News

Countering White Disbelief with Historical Knowledge: Racism and Racial Profiling in Nova Scotia

Jill Campbell-Miller Racial profiling has lately been in the news in Nova Scotia. In September, Dr. Lynn Jones, a well-known champion of civil rights and a labour leader, was stopped by police while out with friends watching deer. Someone had called the police to report “suspicious people” in the neighbourhood. To add insult to injury, Jones was stopped in a… Read more »

University Donations and the Legitimization of Far-Right Views

by Asa McKercher In 2016, Western University’s Department of History announced the establishment of a variety of graduate awards and scholarships named for Kenneth Hilborn, who had bequeathed $1 million to the university in his estate. A faculty member at Western from 1961 to 1997, Hilborn (PhD, Oxford) was of a generation where one could apparently secure tenure without having… Read more »

The Eighth Stage of Genocide

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By Daniel Rück and Valerie Deacon According to Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch, the eighth stage of genocide is denial. Perpetrators of genocides will do what they can to destroy evidence, intimidate witnesses, blame victims, block investigations, and change the narrative. No one wants to be remembered for having committed genocide, and few citizens of a country can easily… Read more »

Canada’s non-conversation about genocide

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By David Webster “Words have meaning,” CBC commentator Michael Enright declared in an editorial broadcast over the national radio network. He objected to the way one word, “genocide,” was used by the national commission of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. In this, Enright is far from alone – top media figures and publications fell over one another to… Read more »

Historians and Indigenous Genocide in Saskatchewan

By Robert Alexander Innes [This essay was first published last June on Shekon Neechie. It asks questions about the approach of Canadian historians to genocide that are again relevant after the response of much of the media to the MMIWG- Final Report.] As a result of the Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) the notion… Read more »

Thinking about Genocide and Mass Murder: How Could it Have Happened in Nice Canada?

By Alvin Finkel The decision of the Commission on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to use the word “genocide” to describe past Canadian state policies regarding Indigenous women has occasioned heated debate about whether that word is appropriate for anything short of a conscious state plan to rapidly physically eliminate all members of a defined group or to thoroughly destroy… Read more »

What Doug Ford could learn from Wisconsin about higher education

Dan Guadagnolo Buried within Ontario’s 2019 budget is a drastic change to how the province’s publicly funded universities and colleges will receive support. Though Ontario’s post-secondary institutions are some of the most accessible in the world, the 2019 budget indicates that by 2024-2025, Ontario colleges and universities will receive 60 per cent of their public funding through yet-to-be determined performance… Read more »

‘The Best Version of the Liberal Party’: One Feminist Lineage

Veronica Strong-Boag[1] Political parties are contested spaces. Few know this better than Canada’s Liberals. Regularly derided as the party that campaigns on the left and governs on the right, that aphorism captures a long-standing split in its zeitgeist and membership. Since at least the days of Laurier and Mackenzie King, the party’s ‘left’ and ‘right’ wings have been regularly at… Read more »

The Politicization of History in Spain

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Bàrbara Molas and Adrian Shubert On February 24, 2019, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez laid a wreath on the tomb of Manuel Azaña, the most important political figure of the Second Republic who had died in exile and was buried in France. He was the first Spanish leader since the restoration of democracy in 1978 to do so. In his… Read more »

The Never-ending History Wars

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Allan Greer How can we understand the past and what lessons does it hold for the present? This is an issue that has always been contested with different approaches coming to the fore.  From Plutarch in ancient times to Machiavelli in the Renaissance, the predominant idea was that stories of great men from earlier times would guide and inspire elite… Read more »