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…

John Turner and the demise of gentlemanly politics

Politicians like the late prime minister are sources of inspiration for public service, intelligent discourse and common decency

John Turner and the demise of gentlemanly politicsJohn Turner, Canada’s 17th prime minister, passed away on Sept. 19 at the age of 91. A lawyer by trade, he had a serious relationship with Princess Margaret and was an Olympic-calibre athlete in track and field. He served as a Liberal MP from 1962 to 1976 in two ridings, St. Lawrence-St. George and Ottawa-Carleton,…

The past isn’t a script set down in stone

Vandalizing public spaces under the delusion that such acts make yesterday a better today is sad-sack politics that fosters democratic weakness

The past isn’t a script set down in stoneFor her book Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland, Elisabetta Viggiani mapped 157 publicly visible sites of Troubles commemoration in Belfast. Broken down, the city’s memorials alone offer a ratio of one wall plaque, garden, public tableau or statue for every 25 of the 4,000 or so people killed by the…

Criticizing Macdonald is fair game but leave statues alone

Criticizing Macdonald is fair game but leave statues aloneSince the brutal killing of George Floyd in May, left-wing radicals have been vandalizing and destroying historical buildings, landmarks and statues around the world. U.S. presidents (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Ulysses S. Grant), and Confederate soldiers and leaders (Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Charles Linn and J.E.B. Stuart) were targeted. Statues of…

Canadian Museum for Human Rights must rediscover its mission

In order to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue, the museum needs to clean up its own house

Canadian Museum for Human Rights must rediscover its missionThe Canadian Museum for Human Rights has made news around the world for all the wrong reasons. It has been derelict in its mission and mandate. The museum has been accused of maintaining a poisoned work environment that practices racism, discrimination, a lack of gender equity and inclusion. In November 2007, I was selected by…

Don’t be too hasty to rename schools

Instead of renaming schools, we should educate students about the legacy behind their current names – good and bad

Don’t be too hasty to rename schoolsIf some petitioners get their way, Cecil Rhodes School will be no more. The Winnipeg school would still exist, but under a new name. No doubt most Canadians who hear about this have one burning question: Who is Cecil Rhodes? Rhodes was a 19th-century British politician who served as prime minister of Cape Colony, a…