Celebrating Indigenous Heritage Month

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Celebrating Indigenous Heritage Month
  • How Canadian Studies is supporting student research on Indigenous topics
  • Former Hildebrand Fellow Desirée Valadares appointed professor at UBC
  • 12 free documentaries exploring Indigenous life in Canada
  • Postponed: ACSUS 26th Biennial Conference
Celebrating Indigenous Heritage Month
June is Indigenous Heritage Month in Canada. We here at Canadian Studies encourage all readers to take some time this month to learn more about the diverse cultures and long history of Canada’s Indigenous people, from the Inuit of the Arctic, to the Mi’kmaq of the Atlantic Coast, to the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific West.
In Prime Minister Trudeau’s official statement marking this year’s commemoration, he asserted the importance of Canadians of all backgrounds familiarizing themselves with the distinct cultures and contemporary issues facing Native communities in Canada. The PM acknowledged government failures both past and present with regards to Indigenous groups; nevertheless, he expressed optimism and determination for a future relationship founded on “mutual understanding, respect, and fairness.”
Visit the official National Indigenous Heritage Month website for a variety of educational resources on Canada’s Indigenous groups, as well as virtual celebrations for Indigenous Peoples’ Day on June 21.
Canadian Studies Supports Student Research on Indigenous Issues
The Canadian Studies Program is proud to support student researchers focused on Indigenous issues in modern Canada. Below are a few of our most recent awards:
Fallon Burner received the 2020 Ross Prize for her thesis, “Healing Through Language: Revitalization and Renewal in the Wendat Confederacy”. The project examined the history of the languages of the Wendat Confederacy, showing the vital role that language plays in the Indigenous community, how its history is tied to issues of erasure and survival, and the role of language revitalization projects to contemporary community healing. As a Wendat descendant, Fallon advocates for increasing Native voices in the field of history, and Native language proficiency as a requirement for researchers.
Hildebrand Fellow Mindy Price is currently in the Northwest Territories, where’s she’s researching the effect of recent government agricultural programs on Indigenous communities. Her research focuses on indigenous food sovereignty and the effects of climate change on agriculture in the far north in the context of Indigenous sovereignty. Do these new forces represent a threat to Indigenous land sovereignty, and their traditional methods of resource management? What are the benefits or drawbacks these projects present for Indigenous communities and other residents?
Doctoral student Sophie Major received a Hildebrand Fellowship to study Indigenous political theory of Coast Salish peoples in British Columbia. Her dissertation aims to address a long-standing problem, where political theorists have failed to seriously engage with the diversity of Indigenous political thought. Her dissertation introduces a number of case studies, illustrating the strengths of an ethnographic, historicist, genealogical, and interpretive approach to understanding contemporary Indigenous political theory.
Hildebrand Fellow Desirée Valadares to Join UBC Faculty
Canadian Studies is proud to announce that former Hildebrand Fellow Desirée Valadares has been appointed as an assistant professor of geography at the University of British Columbia, beginning January 2022.
As a faculty member in “Geographies of Settler Colonial Canada”, Valadares will be drawing on the research for which she received her Hildebrand Fellowship. Her dissertation, “The Reparative Logics of Second World War Confinement Camp Preservation: Hawai’i, Alaska and British Columbia”, focuses on preservation issues at WWII-era Japanese internment sites. It argues for a new heritage politics attuned to competing and overlapping Asian settler war memories of unjust incarceration and unresolved Indigenous land claims
In a UBC press release, Valadares adds that she is “eager to mentor undergraduate and graduate students and help them achieve their goals within and beyond the academy”. We wish her all the best in her new position.
Twelve Documentaries on Indigenous Life in Canada, Streaming for Free
For Indigenous History Month, the CBC has curated a collection of documentaries by Indigenous filmmakers and storytellers that tell Native stories in their own voices. The films cover a wide variety of topics past and present, exploring the history of the original peoples of modern Canada and spotlighting activists fighting for a more equitable future. Read the full list and stream the films directly for free here. (CBC Gem streaming service is not available outside Canada.)
Postponed: ACSUS 26th Biennial Conference
In light of the ongoing pandemic, the Executive Council of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States has voted and approved to postpone their previously scheduled biennial conference. The conference will now be held March 24-27, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
ACSUS is continuing to accept papers on the theme “Canada: Near and Far”. To learn more and submit proposals, please visit acsus.org. Questions may be emailed to conference chair Dr. Christina Keppie at keppiec@wwu.edu.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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