Notes From the Field

Land Acknowledgements Part Two: Can We Celebrate Canada Day Respectfully?

On June 21st Canada celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day as a way to honour the heritage, customs and contributions of Indigenous people’s native to these lands. However, fast forward 10 days and you will find a day dedicated to commemorating Canadian confederation and patriotism. Canada Day (July 1st) is a statutory holiday that is rooted in and often ignores the colonialization of the very peoples and cultures that were celebrated only 10 days prior.

Land Acknowledgements Part One: Your Responsibility to Treaty

Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released their Final Report in 2015, institutions such as the University of Guelph have started to incorporate land acknowledgements into their practices, such as at the beginning of meetings or presentations. Individuals might include an acknowledgment in their email signature or at the beginning of a class they are teaching. Acknowledging the traditional territory we are on is important and can be a good step in learning about the history of the region. However, land acknowledgements run the risk of being insincere if no action is taken or if people aren’t speaking from an informed place, especially if they don’t acknowledge or do anything about their ongoing contributions towards land theft and erasure.

The Great Balancing Act!

My PhD journey began in September 2016. My start was probably a bit different from the average student’s. I pulled up to MacDonald Institute reminiscing about my graduate school days that I had finished a few years before. I thought about the classes I took and the friends I made during my MSc program in Family Relations and Human Development.

Our Knowledge, Our Voices Postcard Series

Violence against women1 is a pervasive and persistent problem, but too often it is an invisible problem. In family and community conversations, silence hangs over this topic, even though it touches the lives of most women and people who care about women.2 The reasons for this are complex, but stigma and backlash are among the reasons women do not speak out.3 Both the likelihood of experiencing violence and the risks of speaking out are intensified for women experiencing multiple forms of structural marginalization, especially disabled women, LGBTQ+ people, women, young women, and Indigenous women.4  The fact that violence against women most often occurs in private settings – “behind closed doors” – also contributes to its invisibility. With the loss of social supports and stay-at-home orders, the increase in violence directed towards women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic has been called a “shadow pandemic” by researchers and advocates.5

Change Starts Now

The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is a community cultural and spiritual gathering space, providing resources and services to empower the community to connect to our Black history, present & future. A team of Univeristy of Guelph students had the opportunity to work with the GBHS. Below, one of the students from this team, Kamrani Doray, provided us with a blog post on the project and its importance to the community.

Intersectional Conversations with Girls and Women with Disabilities 

Each year the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences holds a conference meeting that brings together over 70 different academic associations to the same location. It offers a great opportunity to meet other scholars, policy makers, and practitioners to learn about research happening in a variety of fields, including the Canadian Disability Studies Association, the Canadian Sociological Association, and the Sexuality Studies Association to name a few. A past undergraduate research assistant at the Centre had the pleasure of attending this conference and shared her experience with us. The student took the opportunity to ask them what living and working well means to them. 

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