Wednesday: The future of commemoration for Canada’s residential schools

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

Canadian Studies Announcements

In This Issue:

Upcoming Events

  • “Canada’s Residential Schools and the Futures of Commemoration”

News from Canada

  • New series Three Pines brings Louise Penny’s award-winning mysteries to life

Research Opportunities

  • Last chance to apply for spring grad student funding!

External Events

  • “The Future of the Canadian Conservative Party”
  • “Overcoming Remoteness: Arctic Innovation in Transportation, Energy and Connectivity”

Beginning today, the Canadian Studies newsletter will be published every two weeks. We’ll return to a weekly newsletter in January 2023.


Canada’s Residential Schools and the Futures of Commemoration

Wednesday, Dec. 7 | 12:30 pm PT | 223 Moses | RSVP here

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-15) was formed to examine Canada’s Indian Residential Schools system, which had forcibly removed children from their families and communities since the 19th century, and its devastating effects on generations of indigenous citizens. Although it concluded that the system was a “policy of cultural genocide” and produced a list of “94 Calls to Action” in an attempt to repair relations, the commission was criticised as being ineffective; however, it did bring the issue of the residential schools to the forefront of the public consciousness and acknowledge a trauma that had been previously forgotten or denied. The trauma, however, has still not been addressed; in 2021, after the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential schools in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, multiple commemorative events were held across Canada to protest the lack of action by state and provincial authorities. In response, the Canadian government pledged to fund the creation of a national monument to commemorate the victims of the Indian Residential School system, and are currently debating how this will be achieved.

This presentation examines how Canada’s Indian Residential Schools have been recently represented in select Canadian films and museums. Building on Raymond Williams’s notion of “structures of feeling” – feelings and affective states that are associated with a group at a specific time and place that are captured and evoked in art and culture – this presentation examines how these films and museums do not only represent the trauma that occurred, but also provide affective experiences to the viewer/visitor, thus commemorating the victims and the traumas experienced in both cognitive and affective ways.

About the Speaker

Corey Schultz is an associate professor in media and communication studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China and the recipient of a 2022 John A. Sproul Fellowship from UC Berkeley Canadian Studies. He is the author of Moving Figures: Class and Feelings in the Films of Jia Zhangke (University of Edinburgh Press, 2018) and the co-editor of China’s International Communication and Relationship Building (Routledge, 2022). His research has been published in Screen, Visual Communication, Moving Image Review & Art Journal, Asian Cinema, Film-Philosophy, the International Journal of Heritage Studies, and Museum Management and Curatorship.

If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible.


New Series Three Pines Brings Louise Penny’s Award-Winning Mysteries to Life

A new television series is bringing Canada’s best-known mystery series to an international audience. Three Pines, which debuted last week on Amazon Prime, is based on the bestselling Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny, which see the titular detective solving murders in a small Quebec village loosely based on the author’s hometown. Her cozy portrayal of a small-town Canada populated by quirky locals, and Gamache’s unshakeable empathy and good-heartedness, have made her books a favorite of millions of readers across Canada and around the world. Penny published her eighteenth Inspector Gamache novel, A World of Curiosities, last month, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

This adaptation introduces new audiences to Canada’s best-loved literary detective, while offering a fresh perspective for long-time fans of the series. And fans shouldn’t worry: the new adaptation is a thoroughly Canadian production that boasts Penny’s seal of approval. Alfred Molina stars as Gamache, a casting choice that Penny praised. He is joined by junior detectives played by Canadian actors Rossif Sutherland and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, who is a member of the Kainai Blackfoot Nation. Filming for the series took place on location in Montreal and the Eastern Townships, with a 95% Canadian cast and crew, giving the production an undeniable authenticity.

Penny’s novels are intimately intertwined with Quebec’s culture, history, and politics, and the new adaptation infuses her older stories in with contemporary concerns. Showrunners were particularly sensitive to making sure that story points dealing with Indigenous issues were portrayed fairly. The legacy of Canada’s residential schools plays a central role in the narrative, and writers incorporated a new plotline centered on the police response to Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) crisis. Writers took pains to make sure their Indigenous characters were well-rounded, complex, and didn’t rely on stereotypes. This includes Tailfeathers’ character, Inspector Lacoste, who was re-written to be Indigenous in a departure from the novels.

Initial critical reviews for the series have been largely positive. Variety applauds the show’s “deep dive” into Franco-Canadian culture and “seamless” integration of Indigenous stories, which it says “are deserving of the global platform Prime Video offers, all while doing justice to the best-selling novels on which they’re based.” Roger Ebert, meanwhile, praised the series as an “intelligent”, “pleasant little surprise” for “fans of Agatha Christie or even Columbo”.

The first two episodes of Three Pines are streaming now on Amazon Prime.


Last Chance to Apply for Spring Grad Student Funding!

Spring research deadline: December 9, 2022

The Canadian Studies Program is currently accepting applications for the Edward E. Hildebrand Graduate Research Fellowship for Spring and Summer 2023. The application is open to UC Berkeley graduate students in any discipline whose work focuses primarily or comparatively on Canada. This fellowship is meant to cover direct research costs, with a typical award maximum of $5,000.

The application deadline for Spring 2023 research is this Friday, December 9; applications for Summer 2023 should be submitted by March 10.

Please visit our website for more information and full eligibility criteria, and help us share this information with your friends, students, and networks!


The Future of the Canadian Conservative Party

Tuesday, Dec. 6 | 10:00 am PT | Online | RSVP here

The British Association for Canadian Studies invites you to a discussion on the recent Conservative Party leadership election and Pierre Poilievre’s rise as party leader. What explains this result, and what does it suggests both for the Conservatives’ electoral prospects and the future of Canadian politics?

The panel will include two previous Berkeley Canadian Studies speakers, professors Allison Harel (UQAM) and Christopher Kirkey (SUNY Plattsburgh), along with Professor Jean-François Godbout (Université de Montréal).

Overcoming Remoteness: Arctic Innovation in Transportation, Energy and Connectivity

Wednesday, Dec. 7 | 11:00 am PT | Online | RSVP here

What makes the North American Arctic unique? In many ways, the remoteness and sparsity of the region that gives it its character. But its remoteness also gives rise to extreme economic challenges. Arctic communities face affordability and accessibility challenges that those in southern and urban areas do not. In particular, transportation, energy and connectivity are more difficult, and therefore more expensive, with dramatic consequences for development. This affects not only the social well-being of Arctic residents, many of whom struggle with high cost food and housing, and limited access to health services, education and employment. It also affects the competitiveness of economic and resource development, and the ability to exercise the defense and security of the region.

Please join the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute and Canada Institute for a discussion about opportunities and barriers to specific technical solutions to the region’s challenges, and assess various public and private financing mechanisms to bring them to life. The panel will consist of Heather Exner-Pirot (Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute); Madeleine Redfern (COO, CanArctic Inuit Networks), and Jessica M. Shadian (President/CEO, Arctic 360). It will be moderated by Jack Durkee, program associate for the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute and manager of its Arctic Infrastructure Inventory.

Canadian Studies Program
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Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley213 Moses Hall #2308Berkeley, CA 94720

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