Could Jean Charest shatter the Conservatives?

So far, disaffection among the Conservative base exceeds his attractiveness to non-Conservatives

Could Jean Charest shatter the Conservatives?The premise of Jean Charest’s campaign for the federal Conservative leadership is that he’ll deliver power by bringing in votes that have eluded the party. Hence the Built to Win theme. Charest would undoubtedly appeal to some people who’ve recently voted for other parties, especially the Liberals. But whether there’d be enough converts to actually…

Rethinking the history of the Lakota of the Great Plains

Governor General’s Gold Medal winner Claire Thomson is challenging settler narratives

Rethinking the history of the Lakota of the Great PlainsGrowing up on a ranch in the Wood Mountain Uplands of southwestern Saskatchewan, Claire Thomson’s family history was always important to her. That interest led her to pursue graduate studies in History, where she couldn’t help noticing that previous histories of the Lakota of the Wood Mountain Uplands all end with Sitting Bull returning to…

U of A launches Indigenous-led strategic plan

Plan ensures Indigenous identities, languages, cultures and worldviews are reflected at the U of A

U of A launches Indigenous-led strategic planThe University of Alberta is launching a strategic plan to respond to the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report. Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta Indigenous Strategic Plan aims to dismantle colonial structures in the university that have long “disenfranchised Indigenous Peoples of their legal, social, cultural, religious…

Canada’s Fenian years featured some interesting personalities

A plotter, a spy with an overactive libido and a three-time attempted invader all called themselves Fenians

Canada’s Fenian years featured some interesting personalitiesHistorian David A. Wilson’s new book is Canadian Spy Story: Irish Revolutionaries and the Secret Police. It recounts a mid-19th-century episode where Irish revolutionaries – known as Fenians – tried to use Canada as a pawn in their struggle for Irish independence. Last week’s column looked at the Fenian attempts to invade Canada and hold…

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcasting

A brilliant mind with a critical eye. Intelligent, engaging, curious, humorous and innovative

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcastingOn Monday, a true giant of Canadian broadcasting left us. Patrick Watson passed away at age 92. Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda, circulated the sad news. “A broadcasting legend has died. … His Witness to Yesterday in which he interviewed figures from our history got me hooked both on journalism and history,” he…

Grad brings new perspective on Indigenous history to museum work

Native studies, environmental science grad Lauren Comba now better able to respect Indigenous stories

Grad brings new perspective on Indigenous history to museum workWatching the Inuit film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner several years ago, Lauren Comba found herself riveted by its ancient story. Written, directed and acted entirely in the Inuktitut language, the 2001 landmark award-winning film retells an Inuit legend passed down through centuries of oral tradition. The film’s narrative was a part of history Comba had never heard…

Fenians used Canada as an Irish revolutionary pawn

There were five failed armed Fenian incursions into Canada between 1866 and 1871

Fenians used Canada as an Irish revolutionary pawnUniversity of Toronto historian David A. Wilson has an interesting new book called Canadian Spy Story: Irish Revolutionaries and the Secret Police. It’s a detailed examination of a mid-19th-century episode that had the potential to turn Canadian history upside down. And Wilson makes a credible case that the danger wasn’t entirely farfetched. Following the conclusion…

Improve Indigenous lives by looking forward

Being stuck in the past won’t improve Indigenous lives. We need to focus on what’s next

Improve Indigenous lives by looking forwardThe overwhelming majority of Canadians regret the history of European contact with Indigenous peoples, and the injustices and hardships that followed over the hundreds of years since. At the same time, they celebrate Canada’s accomplishments, which have created a Canada that is the envy of the world. New Canadians are more than glad to be…

Earning a law degree fulfils grad’s lifelong dream

Assisting landmark Indigenous cases, Anita Cardinal-Stewart graduates with even stronger passion

Earning a law degree fulfils grad’s lifelong dreamThe caption on her junior-high yearbook photo reads, “Dreams of being a lawyer or an actress.” That was when Anita Cardinal-Stewart was full of hope, and anything seemed possible. But that hope evaporated through her teen years growing up in the Woodland Cree First Nation in northern Alberta. “I started to see how hard it…

Beloved professor leaves a legacy of scholarship and support

James Dempsey played a key role in the U of A’s early ethics discussions around Indigenous engagement

Beloved professor leaves a legacy of scholarship and supportAs a first-year student at the University of Alberta years ago, Melanie Dene was understandably nervous. But when she got to James Dempsey’s class, she instantly felt better. “To see him I would never have guessed that he was a professor. He had long bushy hair and he wore a Native Pride hat, dark glasses,…

Why all Canadians should be monarchists

Queen Elizabeth represents continuity with the past, including the best developments in Canadian history

Why all Canadians should be monarchistsWith the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation upon us, this is a useful opportunity to ponder the monarchy in Canada. Some will assert that the concept of royalty was long ago outmoded. Others oppose what Queen Elizabeth II represents – colonialism and the British Empire. It can also be argued that with an ever…

Pierre Poilievre’s prospects and perils

Conventional wisdom holds he may win the leadership but not a general election

Pierre Poilievre’s prospects and perilsPierre Poilievre is making waves. Virtually all of the buzz in the federal Conservative leadership race revolves around him. He’s pulling in crowds, generating headlines and tossing out ideas that intrigue some and unnerve others. Excitement isn’t a word normally associated with Canadian conservatism. But, for better or worse, Poilievre stirs it up. And some…

One Indigenous inquiry after another proves fruitless

All the social and justice indicators show that things have only worsened among Indigenous peoples

One Indigenous inquiry after another proves fruitlessThe March 9, 1988, police shooting of J.J. Harper on the streets of Winnipeg and the much earlier murder of Helen Betty Osborne in The Pas in 1971 led Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley’s government to commission the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (AJI) on April 13, 1988. This occurred in the middle of the election campaign that…

Why has Canadian citizenship become an oxymoron?

The country may be falling apart

Why has Canadian citizenship become an oxymoron?Canadian citizenship is under attack. Over the past 20 years, the public’s commitment to Canada appears to be waning. With billions of dollars in emergency pandemic assistance and promises of almost free childcare, a targeted dental program, new investments in housing and health care, and a stream of almost “free” social programs, one would think…

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?

Has ordered a purge of documents that “may offend people”

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was not a nice man but, for a time, he was an important one. He was a favourite of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and was head of the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s secret police. He was responsible for the arrests, tortures and executions during his master’s Great Purge of 1936 to 1938.…
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