Repatriating Indigenous artefacts; free speech; Black History Month; Queen’s Jubilee

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Tomorrow: “Models for Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Property from First Nations, Canada”
  • Cosponsored event: “Legal and Constitutional Protections for Free Speech in Academia in the US, UK, and Canada”
  • Canada celebrates Black History Month
  • Elizabeth II marks 70 years as Queen of Canada
  • External event: Book talk on Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border
TOMORROW
Panel Discussion: Models for Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Property from First Nations, Canada
Tuesday, February 8 | 12:30 pm PT | Online | RSVP here
How can repatriation be built from mutual respect, cooperation and trust? North American museums and institutions have historically engaged in the collection and categorization of Indigenous cultural property and knowledge without the consent or active involvement of Indigenous people. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was enacted in 1990 to return Native American “cultural items” to lineal descendants and culturally affiliated American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, and Native Hawaiian organizations. Despite this and further state legislation, many institutions including the University of California, have obfuscated or denied repatriation claims. Across the border, the Canadian government does not currently have legislation addressing the repatriation of Indigenous Ancestors and cultural heritage, but is working to create national support for repatriation through legislation Bill C-391. Some Canadian provinces have passed repatriation acts or provincial museum polices that have facilitated the return of ancestors and belongings. This panel discussion seeks to learn from what is being done in Canada. What is the cultural and nuanced work that builds successful repatriations? How can repatriation and indigenizing the institution from within preserve and strengthen tribal cultural heritage?
Join Canadian Studies affiliate Sabrina Agarwal (Professor of anthropology and chair of the UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee) in conversation with Dr. Louis Lesage (Director, Nionwentsïo Office, Huron-Wendat Nation), Lou-ann Neel (Curator and Acting Head of Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department, Royal BC Museum), and Michelle Washington (Repatriation Specialist, Royal BC Museum) to explore these questions and hear about their experiences in repatriation.
Image: Kwakwaka’wakw house posts from British Columbia in the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley.
COSPONSORED EVENT
Legal and Constitutional Protections for Free Speech in Academia in the US, UK, and Canada
Friday, February 11 | 10 am PT | Online | Join via Zoom
The Public Law and Policy Program and the Anglo-American Legal Studies Program at the UC Berkeley School of Law invite you to an expert discussion comparing traditions and laws around free speech in university settings in three common law jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada.
Professor Eric Kaufmann of the University of London, who is Canadian, will be participating from London. He will discuss his research on freedom of speech in academia in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada as well as proposed legislation in the U.K. parliament to protect free speech in colleges and universities in the UK.
Professor Nadine Strossen of the New York School of Law and former head of the ACLU will join from New York. She will comment on Professor Kaufmann’s findings, her own work on this subject, and legal and policy implications of the proposed legislation.
Professor Keith Whittington of Princeton University and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Berkeley School of Law will participate from Berkeley. They will also comment on Professor Kaufmann’s research and recommendations for legislation.
Steven Hayward of UC Berkeley will serve as moderator.
Please visit the Public Law and Policy website for more information.
Canada Celebrates Black History Month
In both the United States and Canada, February is Black History Month. Originating in the US in the 1970s, the commemoration was adopted by Canada in 1995 as celebration of the contributions of African-descended people to Canadian society and culture. Black people have resided in Canada since the early colonial period, and made up 3.5% of its population as of 2016.
In Canada, the government has updated its official Black History Month website to reflect this year’s theme: “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day”. Prime Minister Trudeau issued an official statement, affirming that “Black history is Canadian history” and encouraged Canadians of all backgrounds to learn more about that history. He also reaffirmed his commitment to combatting racism and discrimination towards people of African descent, and pledged a number of targeted programs to help the Black community.
Official celebrations will take place next week, on February 17th, via Facebook Live. The Canadian Embassy in the US is also promoting a slate of special events through its Connect2Canada page.
For topical reading, we recommend Canadian Studies affiliate Cecil S. Giscombe’s new book of poems Similarly, which Publisher’s Weekly called “a powerful, understated meditation on place, ancestry and time” set in the landscapes of the US and Canada.
Elizabeth II Marks 70 Years as Queen of Canada
On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking seventy years as monarch of Canada. The Queen, who turns 96 in April, ascended to the throne in 1952, and is currently the world’s oldest and longest-serving monarch.
Prime Minister Trudeau sent his congratulations to the Queen in an official statement thanking her for her seven decades of service. Noting that this is the first Platinum Jubilee in Canadian history, the Prime Minister recognized the many milestones the Queen has overseen during her reign, including the 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967 and the Constitution Act of 1982.
Political scientists agree, saying the Queen has created a strong legacy in Canada, and adapted along with Canada as it became an independent state. Simon Fraser University professor Andrew Heard says that the Queen’s personal interactions with ordinary Canadians and genuine affection for Canada have been key to her success as a public figure. During her reign, the Queen has made 31 visits to Canada, including 20 official tours. Over time, she has evolved to present herself in a distinctly Canadian capacity. Heard says Canadians’ support for the monarchy is largely based on the Queen’s personal popularity – an act which may be difficult for her successor to follow.
Official celebrations of the Queen’s Jubilee will take place in June across Canada, Britain, and other Commonwealth realms. While festivities will be more muted than previous jubilees due to pandemic restrictions, the Canadian government has announced a number of special initiatives, including beacons in Ottawa and other major cities; commemorative stamps and coins; and grants for community celebrations such as parades, concerts, and festivals.
EXTERNAL EVENTS
Book Talk: Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border
Friday, February 18 | 12 pm PT | Online | RSVP here
Join Professor Ashley Johnson Bavery for a discussion of her new book, Bootlegged Aliens. The book explores immigration on America’s northern border before World War II, situating Detroit, Michigan as America’s epicenter for unauthorized immigration. In this industrial center, thousands of Europeans crossed the border from Canada each year, prompting nativist backlash and complicating the labor politics of the automobile industry. This event is jointly hosted by the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego and UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration. UCLA professor Tobias Higbie will join as a discussant.
Ashley Johnson Bavery is assistant professor of history at Eastern Michigan University. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Urban History and the Journal of American History and her book, Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border (2020) won the First Book Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society.
Tobias Higbie is a professor of history and labor studies at UCLA, the chair of the Labor Studies and the associate director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. His research explores social movements, migration, and the politics of community in the United States. Higbie’s most recent book, Labor’s Mind: A History of Working Class Intellectual Life (2019), recovers the social world of self-educated working people and the politics of working-class identity during the early 20th century.
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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