Author: Alexandra Lambropoulos

U of T’s Jackman Humanities Institute’s first Indigenous Faculty Scholar links truth and reconciliation via beading and artwork

Photo | Chris Thomaidis Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette joins the University of Toronto faculty as the Jackman Humanities Institute’s first “Distinguished Visiting Indigenous Faculty scholar” and embarks on a journey to “link past and present Indigenous culture through beading.” Farrell Racette—an associate professor of Women & Gender Studies and Native Studies at the University of Manitoba—will be the first to take part in the department’s annual fellowship. At the fellowship, she will explore “several concepts related to the movement and transference of Métis women’s knowledge and artistic practice across time and place, emphasizing how women created and recreated communities, marked visual territory, and contributed to community economies through the commodification of their artwork.” Through her writing, stitching, and beading, her work seeks to make that same connection with today’s communities—both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. She takes an interesting approach, laced with tradition, in the wake of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call for post-secondary institutions to make efforts in the form of “aboriginal language programs… to help advance research in the area of reconciliation.” Universities and colleges represent a key part in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s attempt to help Canada remedy the long-lasting effects on the Indigenous community after almost two centuries worth of the residential school system. After the announcement of the TRC’s 94 recommendations for Canadians in 2015, the University of Toronto has set plans in motion—in...

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Toronto’s Take on the Women’s March on Washington

60,000 turn out for march in Toronto, 5 million worldwide On Saturday, January 21st, Toronto was one of the 34 cities across Canada who took part in the Women’s March. Many were clad in pink cat-eared hats, armed with cleverly worded signs. Protestors grouped in Queen’s Park before marching down the street. Many used the inflammatory rhetoric of newly inaugurated President Trump to their advantage with signs that read, “Nasty Women Unite” and “Build Bridges Not Walls.” Protesters chose to wield, and not yield, to the hate perpetuated throughout the election campaign and turned it into something more constructive. Over 60,000 Torontonians joined the Sister March in solidarity with their “American Sisters” participating in the Women’s March on Washington. As one protester put it in an interview with the Toronto Star, it is “important that we show solidarity, not just for women but for all the different groups that Trump is attempting to marginalize. This isn’t just about women at all. That’s really an excuse, a headline. But we all need to stick together.” A sentiment shared by both the Women’s March organizers and represented in the faces, signs, and chants of the men, women, and children who took part. The response worldwide was equally as spirited. According to the Women’s March site, there were approximately 5 million marchers, who took part in an estimated 673 marches worldwide. The result is an international display of solidarity, that touched all seven continents of the Earth. The main march in Washington,...

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