From its beginnings, Trent has been an institution known for delving into better understanding Canada, engaging in conversations and driving forward Canadian Studies scholarship. Many conversations taking place at kitchen tables and cottage docks this long weekend – about Canadian history, identity, politics and geography - have been the subject of ongoing discussion at Trent – where well-established undergraduate and graduate programs in Canadian Studies have earned a national reputation for excellence.
Is Canada an exceptional nation?
“Is there an exceptionalism in Canada about how we relate to the land, or is it simply about how Canadians have shaped their relationships over time that makes them exceptional?” poses Dr. Heather Nicol, director of the School for the Study of Canada at Trent, who shares that recent travel throughout Europe has made it very clear that other nations are also facing similar issues with reconciliation, diversity, and economic and social struggles as they evolve.
How should we observe Canada Day this year?
“What if we start with rooting our celebration of Canada Day, and every day, in understanding our connection to the land? In many ways, my family is not celebrating the birth of Canada, but a stronger belief – predating the ‘confederation dominion’ concept of Canada,” shares Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, director of the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent, who will be observing Canada Day. “Celebrating the land that has supported Indigenous people, non-Indigenous people – all of us – is an excellent place to start.”
It is a time to pause and reflect, shares Dr. Mark Dickinson, assistant professor of Canadian Studies. “There’s a really important question that we should be posing to ourselves on Canada Day and that is, do we want to re-commit, each one of us, individual-by-individual, to the best possibilities that are inherent in this flawed project called ‘Canada’? Do we want to recommit to that project and keep it going and find ways to live together in life-enhancing ways?”
Trent Canadian Studies scholars make headlines
- Trent Canada research chair, Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer reflects on the Canadian Rangers at 75 – the eyes and ears of Canada’s North
- Professor Heather Nicol looks at the Freedom Convoy and how Canadian symbols have been co-opted by this movement
- On the inaugural Truth & Reconciliation Day, Professor David Newhouse, chair for the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies shares his insight
- A new course at Trent Durham speaks to resilience and achievement in of Black Canadians
- Mapping for Change: Trent University research explores environmental inequity and injustice