Op-ed: We must organize against the Trans Mountain Pipeline

The Canadian government’s investment in the oil industry exposes the pitfalls of centrist politics and the dire need for mass resistance

Op-ed: We must organize against the Trans Mountain Pipeline

On May 29, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Texas oil company Kinder Morgan at a price of $4.5 billion. Kinder Morgan’s plans to add a second line to this pipeline, which carries oil from the Alberta tar sands to the BC coast, have faced months of active resistance from Indigenous nations and allies in BC and across the section of Turtle Island now known as Canada.

After a series of delays since the construction was expected to start in September, the company decided the expansion was not worth the effort and expense. The week after the Trudeau government’s decision, snap actions at MP offices took place around the country as part of a National Day of Action against it. One of several Toronto actions was organized by climate justice group Leap UofT outside the office of Chrystia Freeland, the University—Rosedale MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In the lead-up to the action, as one of the organizers, I talked with friends and family who have supported the Trudeau government, and who had been willing to overlook Trudeau’s support for the pipeline as, at worst, an unfortunate political necessity. Until this recent decision, such discussions would generally stall: I would talk about how building a pipeline without consent from impacted First Nations communities violates inherent Indigenous rights, and about how committing to decades of further tar sands extraction is incompatible with doing our share to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. They would have agreed, but they responded that politics requires compromise. In other words, as long as it looked like the pipeline might be economically viable, the centrist position — which avoids declaring any action as simply unacceptable — could appear justified.

But this time was different. At the last Kinder Morgan rally I attended before the buyout decision on May 7, the message was clear: the Trudeau government is selling our futures to the oil industry. This time, we prepared an oversized eraser labelled “Kinder Morgan Buyout” so that MP Freeland could ‘erase’ Canada’s signature from the Paris Agreement. While this message was clear — if we buy pipelines, we forfeit our international climate obligations — it was also less targeted. Who, in this scenario, is the Trudeau government selling us out to?  

The language of Trudeau supporters generally focuses on his promise to back Alberta’s energy sector and create “thousands of good, well-paying jobs,” in the words of Bill Morneau, the Minister of Finance. However, the Canadian government vastly inflated its job creation numbers, and it is unclear how a project a Texas oil giant couldn’t profit from would benefit Alberta. There is no political calculus, no matter how cynical, that necessitates sacrificing the interests of the global community for Alberta’s oil industry. That inability to locate a clear target was palpable at the rally, and culminated in a general sense that we have crossed a line.Trudeau’s supposed simultaneous support for the tar sands and ‘climate action’ is a whole new level of centrist hypocrisy.

Instead of supporting a company waging war on Indigenous rights and the climate, Trudeau has taken up this battle himself, beyond economics. Until now, it was possible to understand the political calculus: being hostile to oil companies can make leaders look dangerous to all the powerful interests that contribute to upholding the economic status quo. In the air of bewilderment and cynicism surrounding the Day of Action, there is an emerging awareness that the centrist response — that there are always ways to compromise with those driving the crisis, that one can always pick and choose which promises are kept and which are sacrificed — is self-destructing and devolving from sinister political calculus into equally terrifying political farce.

In buying an unviable, unneeded, unconsented pipeline that locks us into extractions we cannot afford, especially after the company itself ran away, Trudeau has compromised with the economic status quo. His government has acceded to the dangerous logic of extraction and colonialism without an oil corporation to force his hand.

But if the politics seem farcical, the results of such decisions will be real and destructive. If the 173 billion barrels of oil in the tar sands are dug up and burnt, Canada will have used up a third of the carbon the entire world can afford to burn without exceeding two degrees of warming. As students, if we want a future where politics are anything other than outright rule by corporate oligarchy, we need to get out of the crumbling centre, quickly, and call out those who try to keep us there; we have to build a different kind of politics, one that refuses to accept untempered centrism.

In less than a month, the buyout will be finalized — but there is time. Rallying outside Freeland’s office, we were linked not only to more than 100 other actions that day, but to the years of organizing both in and out of BC that made it possible to pull together that many actions in only a few days. In the coming days, weeks, and months, it is imperative that we grow this resistance, that we make clear the political consequences of decisions like the Kinder Morgan buyout — that we do not allow the Trudeau government to cling to its eroding middle ground.

 

Julia DaSilva is a third-year student at Victoria College studying Literature and Critical Theory, Philosophy, and Indigenous Studies. She is a co-founder and core team member of Leap UofT.

Canada’s reconciliation: unwilling, unready, undeserving

Examining the pitfalls of reconciliation in light of the deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine

Canada’s reconciliation: unwilling, unready, undeserving

In 2015, the conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) provided Canadians with documentation of the cultural genocide endured by Indigenous youth through residential schools. The purpose of the TRC was to lay the groundwork for ‘reconciliation’ where settler Canadians would work to close social, economic, and political gaps with Indigenous peoples created by centuries of colonialism.

Yet in February 2018 — less than three years later — the consecutive acquittals of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier for the deaths of 22-year-old Colten Boushie of the Red Pheasant First Nation and 15-year-old Tina Fontaine of the Sagkeeng First Nation have blown away any remaining mystique of ‘reconciliation.’ Settler Canada, by reproducing the injustices it pledged to address, is not committed to reconciliation.

The ongoing failure of the Canadian criminal justice system for Indigenous youth is only part of the problem. The problem is how systems intersect to make Indigenous deaths possible. The problem is how, even after death, settlers continue to twist narratives and portray death as a normal, expected, and deserved outcome for the colonized.

Stanley’s trial revolved around the purported malfunctioning of the gun that killed Colten Boushie on a Saskatchewan farm. Yet much settler deliberation focused on Stanley’s ‘right’ to protect his property and family from ‘trespassers’ — a deeply ironic ‘right’ given that his farm sits on Treaty 6 land. The Indigenous peoples who signed the treaty, with the Crown in 1876 were unable to fully understand its meaning due to it being written in English; they were told that settlers were borrowing the land, when in fact it was being purchased from them.   

What do we make of the escalatory and disproportionate use of force, including guns, that is frequently justified against minoritized communities? Or of the fact that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) investigation of Bouchie’s death negligently destroyed evidence and treated his family as if they were suspect? Instead, Stanley was acquitted, received over $200,000 in GoFundMe support, and is currently pursuing publishers to write a book and explain his ‘side’ of the story.

Tina Fontaine, on the other hand, engaged with the police, hospital, and child and family services, which had placed her in a hotel prior to her disappearance. Her body was later recovered from Red River in Manitoba. Yet The Globe and Mail headlined a story, “Tina Fontaine had drugs, alcohol in system when she was killed: toxicologist.” Indigenous responses later caused the paper to change the title.

Invoking stereotypes of the ‘drunken Indian’ and suggesting that Fontaine’s death was her own fault rather than that of the killer who threw her body into a river, or that of institutions that abandoned their responsibility to protect her is how many absolve the Canadian state and settlers of any culpability. From Boushie to Fontaine, we — the criminal justice system, the police, the child welfare system, the media, and the settler Canadian public — have been shown to protect settlers and defame dead Indigenous youth. Settler Canada is unwilling, unready, and undeserving of reconciliation.

The criminal injustice system

The legal system is central to the pro-death policy imposed upon Indigenous communities — especially when it comes to the nature of juries. Battleford, Saskatchewan — where Stanley was acquitted — was also the site of the 1885 hangings following the Riel Rebellion, the largest mass execution in Canadian history. Eight Indigenous men were hanged and buried after an all-white jury trial, a judge, and Prime Minister John A. MacDonald all expressed antipathies toward them as “Indian rebels.” In 1971, an all-white jury wrongfully convicted Donald Marshall Jr., a Mi’kmaq man, of murder. These historical examples of all-white juries are part of a trajectory that has led to an overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system; they constitute 25 per cent of inmates despite being approximately four per cent of the population.

Tina Fontaine’s case, meanwhile, is paralleled by the 1971 murder of Helen Betty Osborne, among countless other missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Although Indigenous peoples constituted 30 per cent of Osborne’s community, the defence used peremptory challenges — the right to reject a prospective juror without providing any reason — to keep all prospective Indigenous jurors off the jury. An all-white jury subsequently convicted only one of four accused men of her murder.

In light of this history of legal injustice, part of Indigenous resistance efforts is the reclamation of the law as a space for Indigenous youth. The University of Toronto Indigenous Law Students’ Association (ILSA) is one such organization; it “provides a social network for Aboriginal law students and is committed to furthering awareness of Aboriginal legal issues.” On March 1, the ILSA held a panel discussion about the Colten Boushie verdict.

Kent Roach, Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, discussed the various aspects of the trial that contributed to the acquittal of Stanley. First was the issue of Indigenous underrepresentation on juries. According to s. 629 of the Criminal Code of Canada, the jury panel can only be challenged on the basis of “partiality, fraud or wilful misconduct.” This does not account for proportional representation on a jury roll or the actual jury. In Stanley’s trial, the jury was entirely white with no Indigenous representation. Roach advocates for the ability of the accused or prosecutor to challenge jury panels if they fail to be representative based on a fair sample of the community at hand.

A recent Toronto Star-Ryerson School of Journalism investigation confirmed this representation problem. It reveals how, based on an analysis of 52 criminal trials in Toronto and Brampton, 71 per cent of all jurors were white, even though people of colour constitute the majority of the cities’ demographics. Evidently, juries across Canada do not reflect the diversity of the community in which trials are situated. Roach advocates for outreach and support for Indigenous and Black communities to ensure they have easier access to serving on juries.

The second panelist, Mi’kmaq lawyer Shannon McDunnough, further spoke of the importance of the jury pool of prospective jurors — especially because they are overwhelmingly white, middle-class, and middle-aged. Many lower-income, and minoritized people cannot afford to miss precarious work for jury duty, as opposed to those who have well-paid contracts. Indigenous peoples often are excluded because of barriers related to transportation, child care, and elder care. The final jury pool thus ends up with a socioeconomic and racial skew. This comes at the cost of alternative worldviews that, in the case of Indigenous peoples involved in trials, can other help other jurors understand what it means to be and live as an Indigenous person. McDunnough stated that jurors are doing a public service, and as such, should be accomodated financially so lower-income and minoritized communities can serve on juries.

In conjunction with more representative juries, Roach advocated for the abolition of peremptory challenges Stanley’s lawyer used them to exclude visibly Indigenous peoples from the jury. Furthermore, he spoke of the need to expand challenges for cause. Prospective jurors were not questioned as to whether the racial dynamics of the case would affect their ability to impartially decide the case. Prospective jurors should be vetted for subconscious racism and challenged for cause if they are deemed partial, especially when the victim in question is Indigenous.

A jury is ideally representative of the wider community and must deliberate and come to a unanimous decision. Yet if a jury is misrepresentative and impartial to racially loaded cases, the biases in the decision-making process favour accused killers like Stanley at the cost of Indigenous victims, and they disadvantage Indigenous individuals when they are the accused. This only serves to further alienate Indigenous communities that are already disabused of the criminal justice system, which has continually failed them.

The ILSA, in solidarity with other Canadian law schools raising awareness about the Boushie and Fontaine cases, backed up its panel with a teach-in on March 14. Law students and faculty alike walked out of class and sat together at the Jackman Law Building atrium for discussion. The purpose was to educate people on how institutions   such as the police, jury selection, and child welfare systems collude through and with the legal system to create results such as the acquittals. Speakers mentioned the need for more Indigenous perspectives and legal traditions in the study of law and the need to keep conversation alive about the Boushie and Fontaine cases outside the classroom.

One step in the direction of legal pluralism and equity is taking place at the University of Victoria, which recently announced that it will offer the world’s first Indigenous law degree. Students in the program, expected to initiate in September of 2018, will earn two professional degrees in Canadian common law and Indigenous legal orders. This initiative is a response to the TRC’s 50th call to action, which calls for the development of Indigenous law institutes. According to Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law John Burrows, “Indigenous law looks to nature and to the land to provide principles of law and order and ways of creating peace between peoples; whereas the common law looks to old cases in libraries to decide how to act in the future.”

The law and the criminal justice system has historically been a colonial operation that favours settlers at the expense of Indigenous peoples. For some, it is a site in which serious reform is required to build equity; for others, legal pluralism and Indigenous traditions are the way forward. The work of ILSA suggests that, in light of the Boushie and Fontaine cases, Indigenous youth are at the forefront of reclaiming and re-imagining the space of law to create a justice system that serves Indigenous peoples.

DARREN CHENG/THE VARSITY

“Stolen children on stolen land”

The death and life of Fontaine also illustrates how the criminal injustice system interlocks with a wider network of colonial infrastructure to facilitate the exploitation and degradation of Indigenous lives.

In Manitoba, where Fontaine grew up, in the province’s Child and Family Services there are 11,000 children who have been removed from their families and are currently in the child welfare system. Of those children, 10,000 are Indigenous — a staggering 91 per cent. The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society estimates “ there are three times the number of First Nation children in foster care than there were at the height of the residential schools system.” When the present-day child welfare system is tearing families apart even more rapaciously than under residential schools, it amounts to an escalation of colonial warfare against Indigeneity. While we, as settlers, may have the impression that Canada ended its genocidal practices in the last century, numbers show that the destruction of Indigenous communities is ramping up, not winding down.

At Toronto’s “Justice for Tina Fontaine” rally on March 3, speakers called out the system for what it is: a child welfare industrial complex. One mother whose son was put into the care of the state at a psychiatric hospital decried the many actors who profit from Indigenous children being taken from their homes: “Native women did not have children to be meal tickets for lawyers, psychiatrists, judges, child welfare employees, directors, executive directors, and managers.”

Others benefit from the industry as well: the hotels paid to house foster children; private foster care agencies contracted by the government; non-Indigenous foster parents who earn allowances; and not least, sexual predators and human traffickers.

Another speaker at ILSA’s event, an Inuvialuit woman named Crystal Lee, lamented that Fontaine’s death was a deliberate outcome: “Canada failed Tina long before she was murdered.”

One of the most common reasons given for apprehending Indigenous children is caregiver poverty and substandard housing. These conditions are, unsurprisingly, the product of the Canadian government, which has repeatedly been found liable of discriminating against Indigenous children by starving them of equal funding compared to non-Indigenous children. A sinister formula thus emerges: make reserves unfit for living, seize the children, profit from the children, continue decimating Indigenous presence, repeat. This is the colonial pipeline that whisked Fontaine from her family and ultimately discharged her body into the Red River. This is why the TRC zeroed in on child welfare as its first call to action. How can Canada possibly pursue reconciliation when there will be no intact future generations with whom to reconcile?  

Resistance efforts

Although they are in the crosshairs of these colonial systems, Indigenous youth are surging to the front lines to push back. The rally for Fontaine at Nathan Phillips Square was organized by Madyson Arscott, a grade 10 Ojibwe student only a year older than Fontaine was when she died.

Later on the afternoon of the protest, other young activists established the Soaring Eagle’s Camp on the front lawn of the Old City Hall courthouse. Inspired by sister camps in Winnipeg and Calgary, the occupation commemorates Boushie and Fontaine and highlights the “continuation of Canada’s colonial violence towards Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island,” according to their pamphlet. The site of the month-old camp is intentional, explained Gein Wong, who has been present since day one: “There’s a lot of Native folks, or Indigenous folks, who are charged in the city with whatever charges. They actually go into here and have to go to court in this building. And so, for that reason, it’s important to have a presence here because this is where the justice system is, where it is actively operating.”

The Soaring Eagle’s Camp draws on the legacy of other direct actions in the city. Last July, the alarming suicide rate among Indigenous youth, particularly in Pikangikum First Nation, led to the formation of the Ground Zero camp in front of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Toronto office last summer. This camp was in fact a re-occupation of INAC; the camp’s first incarnation took place in April 2016 following the Attawapiskat suicide crisis. The second Ground Zero camp lasted 157 days to create public awareness about the loss of Indigenous youth and demand the federal government to increase funding for First Nations communities. The camp ended only due to the harsh late December weather.

Yet the members of Soaring Eagle’s Camp share the view that their camp is distinct from previous actions. According to Wong, “What’s notable this time around is that it’s all young, new generations that’s actually stepping up and organizing, with the guidance and the support of the folks who have done it before, and the elders. That is powerful to … have new generations step in.

This ethic of youth solidarity rippled through conversations with other members of the camp, who emphasized the importance of young Indigenous people showing up for other Indigenous youth. When Arscott addressed the crowd at the Fontaine rally, she concluded her speech with a request: “I want each and every one of you to say something with me for the Indigenous youth in the crowd. Ready? You are worth the effort. You are worth the effort. You are worth the effort.”

DARREN CHENG/THE VARSITY

Reconciling reconciliation

For reconciliation with Indigenous peoples to occur, the meaning of reconciliation itself must be reconciled by settler Canadians. Is reconciliation just performative rhetoric, or is it substantive action that requires us to recreate our workplaces, classrooms, and institutions in the image of Indigenous worldviews, knowledges, and governance structures? What are settlers willing to give up so that justice socioeconomically, legally, and politically for centuries of colonialism may be served?  

Kennes Lin, a Youth Leader for Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) an organization dedicated to developing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, and a student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, shared her perception of reconciliation, prior to the verdicts, as a non-Indigenous person. “As a first-generation immigrant settler, I viewed ‘reconciliation’ as a responsibility to learn about the truth and unbiased history of the land I am living on, and to be self-aware of how my role as an immigrant meant I have been implicated as a settler colonizer in the project of colonization. I viewed ‘reconciliation’ as a need for me to understand my positioning first, and then to reach out and bridge the gaps in relationships with Indigenous folks.”

Following the verdicts, Lin said she is more critical of what ‘bridging the gap’ means. “With the verdicts as blatant evidence of overt and covert racism, ‘Truth before reconciliation’ to me now means being more targeted in addressing racism. While reconstructing is needed, I don’t view it as in my place to be doing it it needs to be from First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities themselves. What I can do is to target institutional racism, as a way create space for decolonizing reconstruction work to happen.”

As for the role of non-Indigenous youth, Lin notes, “what you can do always depends on what you know yourself to have the capacity to do if rallies are for you, go to them. If writing policy is more you, that works too. There’s a lot of work to do in all areas of deconstructing and reconstructing.”

Max FineDay, member of Sweetgrass First Nation and Co-Executive Director of CRE, defines reconciliation as the process of restoring the original relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. As with any process, there are failures; the two verdicts, while deeply disappointing, are not entirely surprising for FineDay. “Time and time again, the justice system shows that it fails, just like education, like health. The systems upon which Canada was founded do not serve Indigenous peoples.”

FineDay also speaks of the high suicide rate among Indigenous youth compared to non-Indigenous youth. “Canada is not the great country of justice and human rights and equality that we like to think we are. We are coming to a crossroads. Indigenous youth are the fastest growing demographic in the country. We have Indigenous youth now who are in 20 years going to be professionals in the workforce. Or if we don’t go down the path of reconciliation we’ll build more prisons, there will be more suicide, we’ll lose more people to violence. Youth are critical because we have an opportunity to stop the cyclical violence that has been happening for centuries.”

FineDay added that Canadians in Toronto or Ontario should not be smug and view anti-Indigenous racism as exclusive to prairie provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba; rather, it exists and must be addressed everywhere. In Toronto, more than four in five Indigenous families live in poverty.

“When I went back to my community and knowledge keepers [following the verdicts], they told me, Âhkamêyimo which means ‘persevere.’ This work is hard but it’s valuable. It’s incumbent upon all of us, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to work for those who have come before us, who have worked towards reconciliation long before it was trendy, to ensure that Indigenous peoples can see justice,” he reflected.

In the context of Tkaranto the Mohawk origin of ‘Toronto’ the restoration of the original settler-Indigenous relations is governed by two treaties: the Two Row Wampum and the Dish With One Spoon. The Two Row Wampum is an agreement reached in 1613 between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch settlers to co-exist in peace, friendship, and respect: the two rows of purple wampum beads symbolise two vessels, a birchbark canoe, and a European ship travelling down the same river in parallel, never interfering in the other’s path. The Dish with One Spoon is a covenant among the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee to share and protect the territories around the Great Lakes and St Lawrence, as represented by the ‘dish.’ According to this treaty, we take from the land only what we need, we leave enough for everyone else, and care for the land and one another without resorting to violence.

If Canada is to reconcile with Indigenous peoples, Canada must first resolve what reconciliation means for itself. The Boushie and Fontaine verdicts this year indicate that Canada’s current reconciliation process does not work for Indigenous peoples. Canada can either continue a performative reconciliation that inflicts systemic colonial violence onto Indigenous youth or commit to a process of justice and restoration as imagined by Indigenous youth. Unless the latter occurs, colonization will continue to be the defining relationship between settlers and Indigenous peoples.

Resisting Education event reflects on diverse barriers in postsecondary institutions

Panel discusses tuition fees, Indigeneity, racism, part-time students

Resisting Education event reflects on diverse barriers in postsecondary institutions

Resisting Education: Stories of Defiance and Perseverance — an event held by the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students (APUS) — took place in UTSG’s Claude T. Bissell Building on November 30 to discuss issues faced by students in postsecondary institutions across Ontario.

The event featured a panel of guests that included Nour Alideeb, former University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) President and current Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario (CFS-O); Francis Pineda, President of the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR); Michelle Mabira, 2016–2017 President of U of T’s African Students’ Association; and Phyllis McKenna, Vice-President Equity and Campaigns of CESAR. Moderating the event was Mala Kashyap, President of APUS.

A range of issues concerning postsecondary students were raised by the panelists. Alideeb started the discussion by saying that access to postsecondary education is a “right, not privilege.” Citing the funding structure for public postsecondary institutions, particularly U of T, Alideeb said the university has become a “publicly assisted institution” instead of “publicly funded,” with some of the highest tuition costs in Canada as well as steep costs for international students.

“Is our degree that great just because we slap on ‘U of T’?” asked Alideeb. She also pointed out solutions from her work at the CFS-O, in particular her lobbying for the Ontario Student Grant, as a starting point for reducing student fees and eliminating provincial interest on student loans.

McKenna focused on Indigeneity and the issues Indigenous students face when it comes to access to education. As an Indigenous woman, McKenna criticized the low graduation rates for Indigenous students in postsecondary institutions, as well as limitations on funding for bursaries and grants due to inadequate government funding.

Mabira relayed a perception of apathy on the part of the university administration toward marginalized students. Describing the process of reporting racism to university administrators as a “lottery,” Mabira attributed deep-rooted racism within the university to a “culture of persecuting people who can challenge the way the system is built and run.” She alluded to recent reports of anti-Black racism on campus as the product of a culture of racism and ignorance.

A part-time student at Ryerson University, Pineda discussed the importance of improving access to postsecondary education, as well as keeping in mind the struggles that part-time students face at these institutions. Accessing bursaries and grants is difficult for part-time students, especially those who may incur debt over an extended period during school, said Pineda. He described in detail his own experiences as a part-time student dealing with debt and the long period of time it took for him to earn his degree.

In response to a question about solutions to the particular issues raised by the panel, McKenna conveyed a hope for diversifying approaches to education and changes to “the idea that Western worldviews are not the epitome of education.”

Alideeb, speaking from her experience with the UTMSU, said that discussion and trust are the basis for change. “If we don’t have the mechanisms to talk to each other about the things that we have problems with, we cannot find solutions to them and move forward.”

When asked about the practicality of solving issues that were raised by her fellow panelists, Alideeb responded with optimism about future conversations, specifically mentioning her past success with the ‘Fight the Fees’ campaign and the Ontario Student Grant. She emphasized the importance of the University of Toronto Students’ Union collaborating with student groups to work on tackling issues. “We need to be working with people to understand the issues — that way we can tackle them.”

“150 for Whom?” tackles anti-racism on Canada’s sesquicentennial

Panel features CFS Chairperson Coty Zachariah, former UTSU Executive Director Sandra Hudson

“150 for Whom?” tackles anti-racism on Canada’s sesquicentennial

Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary, while widely celebrated, has also raised critical discussion regarding what it means to celebrate the past 150 years as seen through the lens of colonialism.

On November 11, the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies hosted a workshop and symposium event titled “150 for Whom, Canada? Colonialism and Indigeneity across Lands” at U of T’s Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.

The event included a panel discussion featuring Sandra Hudson, former University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) Executive Director and co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto; Coty Zachariah, current National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS); George Elliott Clarke, former Poet Laureate of Toronto; Eve Haque, associate professor at York University; and Jennifer Mills, a postdoctoral researcher at York. The event was moderated by Alissa Trotz, an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies.

The discussion focused in large part on the ways that the panelists perceived Canada to have failed racialized and Indigenous communities, and how, as Hudson opined, Canadians should not be celebrating 150 years of conquest, violence, and settler colonialism.

“When I think about Canada 150, I’m thinking of 150 years of what?” she asked. “As a Black person, I don’t see myself reflected in anything about Canada 150 at all.”

The panelists also discussed the basis of Canada’s foundation, asking why Canadians are celebrating the past 150 years when the country’s history stretches far beyond that.

Zachariah, who is Afro-Indigenous, argued that the sesquicentennial celebrates the erasure of the history of Indigenous peoples who have been here much longer than European settlers. “When I think about 150 and 10,000, there’s just no comparison,” he said.

Clarke stated that it was also important to remember the original reason for Confederation, saying that “Canada is, in my opinion, the result of the British empire’s need to establish a bulwark against American manifest destiny, nothing more and nothing less than that.”

There was also discussion about the role of language in Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples.

Haque, who teaches in York’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, spoke about the “importance of language” and how colonialism has destroyed parts of Indigenous culture.

“It is also through the imposition of colonial languages and the violent expunging of Indigenous languages and other languages that are here that colonialism is trying to break Indigenous relationship with land,” she said.

Zachariah echoed Haque’s point, saying, “They stole your language and your culture and they charge you $10,000 a year to get it back,” referring to the tuition some students might have to pay in order to learn Indigenous languages.

When asked by The Varsity how he plans to use his position as CFS National Chairperson to educate students on these issues, Zachariah said that it would be “by having this conversation, by being open to talking to places like The Varsity about what it means and what it could mean, and how we can form better relationships moving forward.” He said his role as chairperson can be to help foster those conversations.

He also said that he was “very open to working with any school,” including U of T, despite the UTSU’s current anti-CFS stance.

Hudson declined to comment.

Fighting a ‘toxic threat,’ Indigenous groups protest at Queen’s Park

Demonstration opposes government nuclear policy, discarding of toxic waste on Indigenous land

Fighting a ‘toxic threat,’ Indigenous groups protest at Queen’s Park

Members of the Anishinabek and Iroquois Caucus First Nations, as well as the Bawating Water Protectors, led a demonstration alongside environmental activists and supporters in Queen’s Park on November 9. The purpose of the protest was to demonstrate against the provincial government’s nuclear policy and the proposed discarding of toxic waste on Indigenous lands, as well as to push for renewable energy. At its peak, the crowd consisted of around 100 people.

The demonstration, named “We Want a Renewable Ontario,” called for the phasing out of the province’s nuclear stations. A particular focus was placed on the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. Originally designed to halt operations in 2018, the current Liberal government pushed back the deadline to keep the station functional for four more years.

Protesters also criticized the Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a Crown corporation, for its plan to dump its nuclear waste on First Nations lands in the province, arguing that the proposal could “potentially [poison] the waterways, soil, and air forever with radioactive contamination.” A 2017 OPG report contended that a site near the Lake Huron coast would be the ideal location for the toxic refuse. In order for this to happen, Catherine McKenna, the Federal Environment Minister, would have to approve the plan.

The group also demanded that the provincial government accept Québec’s offer to supply renewable energy at a lower cost than Ontario can provide, potentially replacing the current power generated at nuclear stations. In a pamphlet distributed during the event, the coalition called on “Premier Wynne to support a deal with Quebec that would enable us to replace our high-cost nuclear generation with low-cost renewable water power.” Many signs during the assembly supported this message.

Most of the demonstrators carried signs reading “Close Pickering,” and flags with “Nuclear Power? No Thanks,” written on them.

Candace Day Neveau of the Bawating Water Protectors emphasized the critical role of Indigenous worldviews in this context. “In our language, there’s no word for owning the Earth,” she said. “The Canadian government is just absolutely disgusting, and I’ll say it again: Canada is not a country. It’s a settler idea. This is Turtle Island and we have to own that. We have to be accountable to our identities here.”

Glen Hare, Deputy Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, called on media groups to “stand with us; fight with us,” eliciting reactions from CBC journalists on site covering the event. “Only when bad things happen to us are we in the spotlight,” he said.

Amanda Harvey-Sánchez, student member of Governing Council and Academic Director for Social Sciences at the University of Toronto Students’ Union, was among the attendees. Harvey-Sánchez said in an email that she joined the rally “as an act of solidarity with Indigenous youth calling for a phase out of nuclear power in Ontario and a transition to 100% renewable energy.” Harvey-Sánchez reiterated that the proposed burial and abandonment of nuclear waste on Indigenous lands poses a threat to waterways and bodies of water like the Chalk River and Lake Huron. “The province and Canada more broadly has made a commitment to work towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples,” she said. “The abandonment of radioactive waste on their territory without consent stands in conflict with that commitment.”

Julia DaSilva, a second-year U of T student, was one of the protesters in Queen’s Park. “It’s really crucial that we have as many people as possible at events like this,” said DaSilva, “so that politicians can’t pretend that there isn’t public opposition to their irresponsibility — to their allowing the colonial project to continue.”

The group tried to bring a mock nuclear waste drum to the office of Premier Kathleen Wynne but were stopped by on-site security. The protestors then began chanting, “Take your waste, we don’t want it.”

The protest followed a panel from the previous day called “Toxic Threat: Radioactive Waste on Indigenous Lands” held at Massey College. The event hosted speakers Patrick Madahbee, Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation; Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance; Neveau and Meawasige of the Bawating Water Protectors; and Dr. Gordon Edwards from the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

What it means to be “treaty people”

Exhibit at Hart House aims to educate public on Indigenous treaty negotiations

What it means to be “treaty people”

July 1 will mark 150 years since Canada’s confederation. This summer series focuses on events that explore this milestone while pondering the question: how did we get here?


Standing quietly in the Map Room on the main level of Hart House is Canada By Treaty, an exhibit highlighting Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples through treaty negotiations. When observers first enter the room, large panels containing information about this history dominate the space.

Each panel addresses a different part of treaty history in Canada, intuitively leading viewers on a path toward deeper understanding.

Treaties

Treaties are legal agreements between the Crown and Indigenous peoples that allow non-Indigenous people to live in Canada. They were negotiated to permit the sharing of lands and resources and to place the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in a legal context. In contemporary discussions, treaties have been the subject of debate among Indigenous communities due to disagreements over the spirit and intent of specific articles in the treaty documents.

Canada By Treaty aims to educate non-Indigenous Canadians on their treaty relationships with Indigenous peoples. 

From idea to exhibit

Canada By Treaty was put together by students in a seminar entitled “Canada By Treaty: Alliances, Title Transfers and Land Claims,” taught by co-curator and Associate Professor in the Department of History Heidi Bohaker.

Last year, Bohaker and her colleagues in the Department of History considered various ways of participating in the Canada 150 events and, having taught the joint seminar before, decided to help educate Canadians on their treaty relationship with Indigenous peoples. 

According to Bohaker, Canada By Treaty was also a response to the 94th Call to Action in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which aims to include honouring treaties with Indigenous peoples as part of Canada’s oath of citizenship. “What struck us is how that can happen if Canadians, new and old, don’t even know what treaties are. So some fundamental and foundational educational work has to take place,” said Bohaker. “Really this is a country built by treaty… there were no wars of conquest. It’s a negotiated place.”

After receiving $2,500 from the University of Toronto Provost, which was matched by the Department of History, Bohaker embarked on her mission to have her students curate a “loosely defined exhibit on treaties.”

From there, more funding was accumulated: the class received $10,000 from the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts Grant, as well as various donations from sponsors such as the Ontario150 Community Capital Program, University of Toronto Libraries, University College, Regis College, and the Jesuits in English Canada.

On opening day, the exhibit was attended by the likes of Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, and Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the First Nation on whose territory the University of Toronto stands.  

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Research intensive

With adequate funding, the students were able to expand their research with more resources and high-end materials to create the beautiful exhibit that stands in the Map Room today.

Bohaker said that she wanted the students in her class to do something more than conventional papers and presentations, although she admits that she still made them write a final term paper. “And they stuck with it, which was very good of them,” she laughed.

The students, all of whom were non-Indigenous though some were part of the Indigenous Studies program, were given the opportunity to conduct a primary source analysis of a treaty document that “they could identify with.” 

On the challenges that students faced with information, Bohaker noted that they grappled with whether the story was theirs to tell, as non-Indigenous people that don’t have the same lived experience as Indigenous peoples. They had not experienced the implications of treaty relationships on Indigenous peoples’ daily lives.

“In the end, the students felt, ‘well it is part of our story to tell, we’re all treaty people, and that we have an obligation to educate other non-Indigenous people about these agreements,’” concluded Bohaker. “I’m glad we discussed that. That was an important thing to think through.”

As preparation for the exhibit intensified, Bohaker said that the class became less like a seminar and more like a workshop, as mock-ups of panels and craft materials replaced normal class activities.

Educating the public

As observers mill about the room, they will likely notice that the panels are positioned in two separate, offset semi-circles. According to Bohaker, the disconnect symbolizes our treaty relationship, and how treaty relationships are envisioned by First Nations as a relationship of equality. “The circle right now is off, right? It’s offset, so the idea is that through educating Canadians about what treaties are, we can begin the process of bringing the circle back together.”

“I think that most Canadians now recognize… a general and legal acceptance [of] multiculturalism in this country. We still have a long way to go, I think, in terms of addressing the historic and present day racism towards First Nations, and really coming to terms with what it means to be treaty people, that we are this place that was negotiated and has ongoing relationships, right?”

 

Canada By Treaty will stand in the Hart House Map Room until May 25, before travelling to various other venues, all free of charge.

Op-ed: Why risk arrest?

Canada’s youth won’t stand for Kinder Morgan, and it’s time for the government to listen up

Op-ed: Why risk arrest?

When I was 12 years old, I wrote a speech about climate change for a primary school speaking contest. Unfortunately, as I would soon learn, it takes a lot more than giving a speech to move governments. For the next eight years, impassioned by the same goals, I wrote petitions, signed letters, attended rallies and marches, and spoke up at climate town halls. I have used every available traditional forum to voice my concerns, and yet the politicians that are supposed to protect my future have consistently failed to take necessary action on climate change.

When an opportunity presented itself to take my demands to the next level, I took it. For the past two months I have recruited students and youth for Climate101, a civil disobedience action calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Last Monday, that action culminated in 99 young people being arrested on Parliament Hill — the largest act of youth-led climate civil disobedience in Canadian history.

Opposing Kinder Morgan is a matter of climate justice. As students, many of us with experience in fossil fuel divestment campaigns, we know that expanding the tar sands means trampling on the rights of people across Canada and around the world. Canada made commitments in Paris last year to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, but if Kinder Morgan and other tar sands pipelines are built, we will be on track to use up almost one quarter of the world’s remaining carbon budget. Approving Kinder Morgan means standing by as small island nations are drowned, people die of famine, and increasingly prevalent and dangerous natural disasters destroy communities.

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approves Kinder Morgan, he will also be breaking his campaign promise to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. Cedar Parker-George of the Tslei-Waututh First Nation, one of the youth speakers at the action on Monday, says it best: “Justin Trudeau promised to listen to Indigenous communities. Well, my community has been pretty clear; reject this pipeline and protect the water, the land and the climate.” Tslei-Waututh and other members of Indigenous communities protecting the land are protecting their right to survive, and we need to stand with them.

Young people took action on Monday because the stakes are high, and because it just might make the difference. We know that when young people come together, we are powerful. For instance, the fossil fuel divestment movement, led by students, has collectively led to $3.4 trillion in assets being divested thus far. In the United States in 2014, dozens of youth were arrested outside the White House protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. A year later, after dozens of other actions and fierce opposition from Indigenous peoples, Obama rejected the pipeline.

Climate 101, similarly, drew on the power of young voices to influence change. Last election, 45 per cent of people aged 18–25 voted Liberal and helped along the formation of a majority Liberal government. That same demographic, spanning all the way up to 35, is overwhelmingly opposed to pipelines and supports strong climate action and respect for Indigenous rights.

Those of us arrested on Parliament Monday came with a plea, but also a warning: if Trudeau wants the support of millennials next election, he needs to reject Kinder Morgan. Perhaps seeing 99 youth arrested on his doorstep will be the tipping point he needs to make that decision.

Amanda Harvey-Sanchez is a third-year student at Trinity College studying Environmental Studies, Social Cultural Anthropology, and Equity Studies. She was one of three youth organizers working on recruitment and planning for Climate 101 with 350.org.

Letter of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux

U of T students, faculty, and staff support protesters, condemn the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Editor’s note: The following is a letter of solidarity signed by over 160 University of Toronto students, faculty, and staff, expressing support for the Standing Rock Sioux and other groups protesting against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The letter was sent to The Varsity on October 12, 2016. 

This statement was written prior to the court ruling on September 19, 2016, which halted construction for 20 miles on either side of Lake Oahe. Protests have continued in response to the construction still ongoing at other locations across the pipeline route.


 

As members of the University of Toronto community, we, the undersigned, express our resolute solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and all land and water defenders at the Sacred Stone Camp against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The DAPL is one of the largest pipelines currently under construction, and it would transport 450,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from North Dakota to southern Illinois. The pipeline route travels through 1,800 km of land, through lakes and waterways, like the Missouri river, that provide millions with drinking water, and through sacred Indigenous sites and territories (some of which have already been destroyed). We stand in opposition to the development of oil pipelines in North Dakota and across Turtle Island – infrastructure that ignores and violates Indigenous sovereignty; that threatens the health of present and future generations and their environments; that exploits land and people for short-term capitalist profit.

Like the pipelines themselves that traverse colonial borders, we recognize that the Standing Rock struggle is part of the same fight being waged and won by Indigenous nations the world over against the dispossession, displacement, and destruction of Indigenous peoples, lands, and ways of life; that this action is part of a broader struggle against the violence of extractive activities that reflect and entrench ongoing state commitments to settler colonialism, environmental racism, and capitalist exploitation – violences equally perpetrated by the Canadian state. We oppose the Canadian government’s allocation of billions of taxpayer dollars towards the expansion of the Albertan tar sands, an industrial megaproject that carries far-reaching social, economic, and environmental consequences for people across Turtle Island, including the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies. We oppose the investments made by the Canadian oil conglomerate, Enbridge, in the DAPL project.

We celebrate and give thanks for the labour and the victories of the land and water defenders at the Sacred Stone Camp, including their efforts to gather people and build community – a show of power and determination that has secured the ruling by the Obama administration to halt construction on part of the DAPL. We add our voices and efforts to the struggle until we can guarantee full respect for Indigenous sovereignty and land rights, and ensure healthy land and water for generations to come.

In solidarity,

Maureen FitzGerald, Fellow, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto

Nickie Van Lier, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Leah Montange, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Michael Chrobok, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Isabel Urrutia, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Robert Fajber, PhD candidate, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

Cristina Jaimungal, PhD student, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) Executive

Cindy Ka Man Lee, Masters student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Christopher Cully, MA candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, President, OISE Graduate Students’ Association

Brieanne Berry Crossfield, M.Ed Student, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Emma McClure, PhD student, Philosophy Department, University of Toronto

Mary Jean Hande, PhD Candidate, Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, OISE, University of Toronto

Cynthia Morinville, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Anna Shortly, MScPl student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Zachary Anderson, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Jeremy Withers, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Justin Kong, MA Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Phoebe Edwards, PhD student, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

Emily A. Moorhouse, MA, Department of Social Justice Education, University of Toronto.

Anna Heffernan, MA Candidate, Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto

Alexander Ivovic PhD Candidate, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto

Emily Gilbert, Associate Professor, Canadian Studies Program and Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Deborah Cowen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Benjamin Patrick Butler, PhD student, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Laura Landertinger, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Jeff Bale, Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Jillian Linton, MA Candidate, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Ellyse Winter, PhD student, Department of Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Dylan Clark, Lecturer in Anthropology, Contemporary Asian Studies, and Geography. U. of Toronto

Léa Ravensbergen, PhD Student, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Lauren Kepkiewicz, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Shane Lynn, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Toronto

Jocelyn Piercy, PhD Candidate, OISE, University of Toronto

Jessica Concepcion, Teacher Candidate, OISE, University of Toronto

Yukiko Tanaka, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Louise Birdsell Bauer, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Kim de Laat, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Ambika Tenneti, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

Nasim Ramezani, PhD Student, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

Sarah Cappeliez, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Noah Kenneally, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto

Fernando Calderón Figueroa, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Jonathan Kauenhowen, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Merin Oleschuk, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Matthew Farish, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Katie Mazer, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Ximena Martinez, PhD student, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto.

Jesse Jenkinson, PhD Candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Anelyse Weiler, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Andrew Merrill, PhD Student, Department of Geography, University of Toronto

Sarah Snyder, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Jess Clausen, PhD student, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Khursheed Sadat MA Student, Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto

Marie Laing, MA candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Kimberly Todd, Ph.D Student, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Suzanne Narain, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto

Yessica Rostan, MA Student at OISE/UofT in Social Justice and Comparative International Developmental Education, Youth Worker and Community Educator

Kristy Bard, USW1998 Chief Steward, Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto

Victor Barac, Ph.D., Lecturer, University of Toronto, Dept. of Anthropology

Sam Spady, PhD Candidate, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Storm K. Jeffers, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Diana M. Barrero, M.A student, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Justin Holloway, USW1998 Steward (OISE), M.A. student, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Lora Senechal Carney, Arts, Culture and Media, UTSC

Linda Kohn, Professor, Biology Dept., UTM

Karen Dewart McEwen, PhD Student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Nicole Laliberte, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, UTM

Nhung Tuyet Tran, Associate Professor of History & Canada Research Chair, UNiversity of Toronto

Theresa Enright, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Rosa Sarabia, Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Toronto

Natalie Rothman, Associate Professor, Historical and Cultural Studies, UTSC

Dana Seitler, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Toronto

Tavleen Purewal, PhD Student, Department of English, University of Toronto

Francis Cody, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Jens Hanssen, Associate Professor, Departments of History & NMC, University of Toronto

Sarah Wakefield, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Kanishka Goonewardena, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Kerry Parrett MA student, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto  

Catherine Thompson-Walsh, PhD Student, School and Clinical Child Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, OISE, University of Toronto

Anna Ek, MA Student, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Angie Fazekas, PhD Student, Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto

Alex Djedovic, PhD Candidate, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. University of Toronto

Kajri Jain, Associate Professor, Departments of Visual Studies and Art History, University of Toronto

Jennifer Jenkins, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto

Paul Hamel, Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

David Seitz, Lecturer, Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto

Michelle Murphy, Professor, Department of History and WGSI, University of Toronto

Alejandro I. Paz, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Toronto

Rena Helms-Park, Associate Professor, Linguistics/Speech Pathology, University of Toronto

Sylvia Mittler, Associate Professor, Centre for French and Linguistics, UTSC

Ron Smyth, Department of Psychology and Centre for French and Linguistics, UTSC

Jennifer Nedelsky, Faculty of Law and Department of Political Science, University of Toronto.

Ilana Newman, MI student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Laura Moncion, MA student, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Noah Ross, MA student, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Amy Wood, PhD student, Political Science, University of Toronto

Sara Klein, MI student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Irena Smith, MA Student, Women and Gender Studies

Alexandra Izgerean, MA student, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto

Kathryn Henzler, MMus student, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto

Judi McIntyre, MIRHR student, CIRHR, University of Toronto

Hoda Ebrahimi, MT Student, OISE, University of Toronto

Megan Harris, PhD Candidate, English Department, University of Toronto

Zoe David-Delves, Master’s of Global Affairs Candidate, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Olivia Shortt, MMus in Instrumental Performance, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto

Napat Malathum, MMSt student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Mohammad Alhaj, MD. DLSPH -Department of Epidemiology, University of Toronto.

Bogdan Smarandache, PhD Candidate, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Nisha Toomey, PhD Student, Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto

Bhavani Raman, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto.

Maria-Saroja Ponnambalam, MA student, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Lauren Maxine, MI student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Andrew Kaufman, PhD Student, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Evan Miller, PhD Student, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

Katherine D. Balasingham, PhD Student, Department of Physical and Environmental Science, University of Toronto

Alison Traub, MASc Student, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto

Holly Pelvin, PhD Candidate, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

Sarah Dungan, PhD Candidate, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

Talha Khan, MSc Candidate, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Milan Ilnyckyj, PhD Student, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Una Creedon-Carey, PhD Student, Department of English, University of Toronto

Patrick Lorenzo, MSW Student, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Rebecca Jacobs, MA Student, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Nicholas Field, PhD Student, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Fatima Altaf, MA Student, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Madelaine C. Cahuas, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Heather Hanwell, MSC PhD – MPH (Epidemiology) Candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Elizabeth Davis, PhD student, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto

Peige Desjarlais, PhD Student, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto

Angela Michener, MSW Student, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Christopher Wai, MMSt  (Museum Studies) Student, Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto

Christopher Boccia, MSc student, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

Camille-Mary Sharp, PhD Student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Neil Nunn, PhD Student, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Shaniqwa Thomas, M.ed Student, Department of Social Justice Education, University of Toronto
Alison McAvella, MT, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Madison Stirling, MMSt (Museum Studies) Student, Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of

Toronto

Celina Carter, RN, Doctoral Student, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Andrea Meeson, Research Education Coordinator, Collaborative Program in Resuscitation Sciences, University of Toronto.

Dominique Soutiere, PhD candidate, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

Nicole Stradiotto, MI student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Tania Ruiz-Chapman, PhD Student, Department of Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Shanelle Henry, MA Student, Applied Psychology & Human Development, University of

Toronto OISE

Paul Matthews, MA Student, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

James A. McNamara, MT student, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Ben Losman, MEd Student, Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,

University of Toronto
Kaylee Cameron, MA Student, Adult Education & Community Development, Ontario Institute for

Studies in Education, University of Toronto

David Helps, MA Student, Department of History, University of Toronto

Lila Platt, MA Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Dr. Giselle Gos, Celtic Studies, University of Toronto

Tadhg Morris, PhD Candidate, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Shea Sinnott, MEd Student, Adult Education & Community Development, Ontario Institute for Studies

in Education, University of Toronto

MattheW Badali, PhD Candidate, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

Iehnhotonkwas Bonnie Jane Maracle, Aboriginal Learning Strategist, First Nations House, University

of Toronto

Nishant Singh, PhD Student, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

Brent Wood, Lecturer, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga

Raina Loxley, MPH Candidate, Epidemiology, DLSPH, University of Toronto

Alberto Garcia-Raboso, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

Ann Wilkin, M.A. English, University of Toronto and M.Ed. Curriculum Studies and Teacher

Development, OISE

Tim Wesson, M.Ed student LHAE, OISE

Emily Clare, PhD Student, Linguistics Department, University of Toronto

Linda McNenly, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Mississauga

Justin Stein, PhD Candidate and Course Instructor, Department for the Study of Religion, University of
Toronto

Shayne A. P. Dahl, PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Rastko Cvekic, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Jessica Broe-Vayda, PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Vasuki Shanmuganathan, PhD Candidate, Department of German and Women & Gender Studies, University of Toronto