Category Archives: Does History Matter?

A new approach to debates over Macdonald and other monuments in Canada: Part 1

By Stéphane Lévesque “One of the things we heard very clearly from the Indigenous family members” says recently re-elected Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps (2018), “is that coming to city hall… and walking past John A. Macdonald every time, feels contradictory. And if the city is serious about reconciliation, which I would say we are, then one important thing we do… Read more »

Tlatelolco – Massacre in Mexico 50 years on

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By James Cullingham News from Mexico is often baffling and extremely sad. Bulletins regarding the country’s devastatingly high murder rate, the activities of organized crime and lethal attacks on journalists are common. Such tensions are endemic in the country that in July gave a landslide victory to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, running on an anti-corruption and… Read more »

Plains Injustice: Tipi Camps and Settler Responses to Indigenous Presence on the Prairies (Part 1)

This is the first article in a series that places the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp in Regina into historical contexts of tipi camps and settler responses to Indigenous presence on the prairies. You can check out the second article on October 5th and the third on October 12th. Part 1: Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp: Legislating Indigenous… Read more »

Trans Mountain and the Trudeau Legacy

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By James Cullingham In 1973 the Supreme Court of Canada sent a fundamental challenge to Canadian governments in its Calder decision. The case focused on the Aboriginal rights of Frank Calder as a representative of the Nisga’a people. The case was argued by Thomas Berger. While the court was split and the decision did not represent an outright victory, the… Read more »

Memory, History, Monuments, and Mennonites: Or, what Winkler, Manitoba might teach us about dealing with historical and moral complexity in public commemoration

By Matthew Neufeld I am against removing statues of controversial figures from our history.  I think removals are misguided because they amplify rather than diminish the moral charge of public commemoration. Instead of removing monuments that might provoke emotional pain among some members of historically marginalized groups or foster moral unease in the consciences of Canadians with European ancestry, I… Read more »

Brexit Ambiguities

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By Stephen Brooke On Friday, 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union, with 51.89% in favour of leaving and 48.11% in favour of remaining.  And thus Britain embarked on what was certainly the most important political decision of the past forty years (going back to the 1975 referendum which approved membership in what was then called the… Read more »

Jury Selection and the Gerald Stanley decision

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By R. Blake Brown A jury’s decision to acquit farmer Gerald Stanley for second-degree murder in the death Colten Boushie, a Cree man, has brought jury selection issues to public attention in Canada. Press reports note that the jury lacked any Indigenous members, a composition achieved at least in part by the defendant’s use of ‘peremptory’ challenges. The Criminal Code… Read more »

Remember / Resist / Redraw #09: Ts’Peten 1995

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In January, the Graphic History Collective (GHC) launched Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project to intervene in the Canada 150 conversation. Earlier this month (just after BC Day) we released Poster #09 by Gord Hill, which looks at when the RCMP attacked Secwepmec land defenders in the interior of British Columbia in the summer of 1995…. Read more »

Donald Trump, Brexit, and the Gentrification of Progressive Politics

By Steven High Note: This op-ed piece was published in French in Le Devoir on March 16, 2017. FIRST BREXIT AND NOW THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP as President of the United States have shocked many of us. Outrage and anguish seem to be the dominant reaction in my social media feeds. It is as though the world that we… Read more »