Topic: Human Rights

Empire of Wheat: 1887-1939 [hybrid]

Nicholas Tošaj (Ph.D. Toronto) is a professor of history at John Abbott College and an active participant in the Oxford Symposium of Food and Gastronomy. 
He will explore the history of bread and staple carbohydrates; its cultural importance in shaping the modern French colonial empire of France, colonial Morocco and French Indochina. He will address themes as varied as colonization, technology and cultural exchange, which provide insight into how dietary habits have shaped the modern world.

The Struggle to Protect Indigenous Land and Old Growth Forests

Marlene will give an update on the Wet’suwet’en Nation and on the Fairy Creek Old Forest Growth Campaigns. Why did the RCMP move in quickly on our protesters at the request of a private company Coastal Gaslink and the BC Government in the case of Fairy Creek; arresting more than 1,000 people and charging 400 with criminal contempt?
In contrast, they were slow to move against the protesters in Ottawa who wanted to overthrow the government. There, the police arrested 192 people and charged only 100 with mischief! Is there a double standard?

The Last Man Jailed for Blasphemy

Author Stephan Pappa states in his book ‘The Last Man Jailed for Blasphemy’ that Abner Kneeland, the Universalist minister, “was once famous, infamous, rather, but he has been lost to history; most people including Unitarian Universalists don’t know about him and should.” Linda Kneeland is Abner’s great-great granddaughter and she will tell us much more about her famous/infamous ancestor.

Reflections of a Muslim Woman in Québec

Shaheen is an active and engaged member of the Muslim community and the wider Montreal community. She is a member of the Montreal Raging Grannies, and can often be seen on Brunswick Avenue in Pointe-Claire with others demonstrating to Save Fairview Forest. Shaheen is a member of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, serving on its Board of Directors.

Paved with Good Intentions

In his talk, Mark Abley will explore questions that continue to baffle a lot of Canadians. He emphasizes that he will not speak for Indigenous people — they are more than capable to doing that for themselves. Instead he will ask: how could well-meaning Canadians, fifty or a hundred years ago, be so blind as to the nature and impact of the schools? What did the government and the churches believe they were doing? How did they justify their actions, and do these justifications have some resonance for us in 2021?

Dismantling Racism

Dismantling racism first demands an acknowledgment of its existence and must go beyond ‘I understand my privilege.’ It also means understanding the detrimental effect such privileging has had on the current living experience of everyone.

Touchstones of Hope for Reconciliation

Professor Blackstock will review the Five Touchstones of Hope needed to improve the lives of Indigenous nations in Canada. The focus is on improving child welfare and the Spirit Bear to witness reconciliation efforts and the need for compensation.

Why should Canadian Black History be important to Canadians?

Linton Garner is co-creator, with Dr. Dorothy Williams, of a new curriculum they want to get out in Quebec schools called “The ABC’s of Canadian Black History”, to foster accessible resources and a bibliographic record of the historical presence of Blacks in Canada.

Extreme Empathy

Can we empathize with a white suprematism, or an anti-semite, or perhaps those people who stormed Capitol Hill? Federico Sanchez proposes that we might not be facing a political dilemma, but an existential information problem that causes citizens to believe in different realities.