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Internationalization

William Leggett receives prestigious lifetime achievement award

Dr. William Leggett.

William Leggett, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology and Queen's 17th principal, has received the H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award from the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society for his contributions to the fields of larval fish ecology.

The American Fisheries Society is the biggest association of professional aquatic ecologists in the world, with over 9,000 members worldwide.

"œIt feels good to be singled out by such large group of people who I respect so highly," says Dr. Leggett. "œI didn'™t expect to receive this award so it'™s a big honour and thrill to get it."

Dr. Leggett'™s research focuses on the dynamics of fish populations and his work as a biologist and a leader in education has been recognized nationally and internationally. A membership in the Order of Canada, a fellowship from the Royal Society of Canada, and the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education are just some of the awards he has received for outstanding contributions to graduate education and marine science.

The Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society recognized Dr. Leggett'™s "œexceptional contributions to the understanding of early life history of fishes that has inspired the careers of a number of fisheries scientists worldwide and has led to major progress in fish ecology and studies of recruitment dynamics."

The award was recently presented in Quebec City at the 38th annual Larval Fish Conference held in conjunction with the 144th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society.

 

Queen's a finalist for prestigious global engagement award

Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

Queen’s University is one of four finalists for the Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement, an annual honour handed out by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The award recognizes an institution at the leading edge of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campus.

"Queen's in the World"
Queen's in the World

Also nominated are the University of Calgary, Michigan State University, and the University of Washington. The winner will be announced during the 2017 APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, DC that runs from Nov. 12-14.

“Increasing Queen’s visibility and relevance internationally has been, and continues to be, a central strategic priority,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “To be recognized by the APLU as a North American leader in global research and outreach is an indication that our efforts are paying off and that we are heading in the right direction.”

Queen’s has been selected as a finalist because of its broad range of internationalization initiatives and achievements.

Kathy O'Brien, Associate Vice-Prinicipal (International)
Kathy O'Brien, Associate Vice-Prinicipal (International)

“In 2015, we launched our first-ever Comprehensive International Plan that set ambitious four-year targets for international research engagement, mobility, student recruitment and enrolment, and campus-based international activities,” says Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International). “Already, we’ve exceeded our objectives for international enrolment and for intercultural training programs on campus, and we’re on course to meet our 2019 goal of increasing undergraduate exchange participation by 25 per cent.”

The APLU also recognized Queen’s as a top contender for notable academic accomplishments like Dr. Arthur B. McDonald’s Nobel Prize-winning work in physics, and its 10-year, $24 million grant from the Mastercard Foundation’s Scholars Program to develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program in partnership with the University of Gondar.

“Queen’s is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community where interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning and research are fundamental,” says Ms. O’Brien. “Scientific breakthroughs are often achieved through international knowledge sharing and partnerships, and our students need to acquire the skills and connections that will help them succeed on the global stage once they graduate. This recognition from the APLU further inspires our efforts to position Queen’s as a world leader.”

The APLU is a 237-member research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 

New BISC students receive warm welcome

  • Dr. Hugh Horton presents a new BISC student with her scarf. (Supplied Photo)
    Dr. Hugh Horton presents a new BISC student with her scarf. (Supplied Photo)
  • A new spin on an old tradition - a student takes a selfie wearing their new scarf. (Supplied Photo)
    A new spin on an old tradition - a student takes a selfie wearing their new scarf. (Supplied Photo)
  • Dr. Christian Lloyd welcomes a new member of the BISC family. (Supplied Photo)
    Dr. Christian Lloyd welcomes a new member of the BISC family. (Supplied Photo)
  • Dr. Anna Taylor shares a scarf, and a smile, with a new BISC student. (Supplied Photo)
    Dr. Anna Taylor shares a scarf, and a smile, with a new BISC student. (Supplied Photo)
  • A few of the 130 students who received their BISC scarves at the welcome event. (Supplied Photo)
    A few of the 130 students who received their BISC scarves at the welcome event. (Supplied Photo)

It’s a tradition dating back hundreds of years, with roots in the European education system. New members of a university community would be granted a scarf, which featured unique colours that identified them as a member of a particular university.
 
On Sept. 10, students at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) received their scarves – a navy blue knit with red stripes and the BISC logo – in a special ceremony. The scarves were presented to the students by Hugh Horton, Vice Provost and Executive Director of the BISC; Christian Lloyd, the BISC’s Academic Director; and Dr. Anna Taylor, BISC Deputy Academic Director.

Celebrating a unique international partnership

Representatives from the University of Gondar, Queen’s University and the Mastercard Foundation highlight US$24 million collaboration 

  • Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf, Kim Kerr, Deputy Director, Education and Learning, Mastercard Foundation and Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar exchange university flags to mark the partnership. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf, Kim Kerr, Deputy Director, Education and Learning, Mastercard Foundation and Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar exchange university flags to mark the partnership. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
  • PhD student Molalign Adugna, Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar, chat with Principal Daniel Woolf and Marcia Finlayson, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Director of School of Rehabilitation Therapy. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    PhD student Molalign Adugna, Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic, University of Gondar, chat with Principal Daniel Woolf and Marcia Finlayson, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Director of School of Rehabilitation Therapy. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
  • A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony was part of the celebration, featuring freshly roasted beans. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony was part of the celebration, featuring freshly roasted beans. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
  • Guests at the launch event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, also enjoyed Ethiopian bread and other traditional foods. (Photo by Stephen Wild)
    Guests at the launch event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, also enjoyed Ethiopian bread and other traditional foods. (Photo by Stephen Wild)

It takes plenty of behind the scenes work to get a 10-year, multi-million dollar program up and running. Over the past nine months, people at the University of Gondar and Queen’s University have been working closely with the Mastercard Foundation to put in place all the supports needed to launch the unique international academic and research program.

This week, representatives from all three organizations gathered in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre to celebrate accomplishments so far and to highlight the opportunities the

[Mastercard Scholars Foundation logo]

Learn more about The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

US$24 million partnership will bring. Its overarching aim is to create outstanding and inclusive educational opportunities for young people with disabilities in Ethiopia and other countries in Africa under the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. At the same time, Queen’s will be welcoming University of Gondar faculty members who are dedicated to pursuing their PhDs or Masters.

“I want to acknowledge the vision of the Mastercard Foundation and particularly commend their leadership for choosing a program with such great social purpose,” said Daniel Woolf, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “It is the beginning of a partnership and the beginning of an exchange of cultures and knowledge that will benefit all of us.”

Under the partnership, 450 African students will become Mastercard Scholars and receive a high quality education at the University of Gondar. In total, the University will provide 290 undergraduate and 160 master’s level degrees in multidisciplinary fields that will encompass health sciences, law, education, nursing, and rehabilitation sciences, taking special care to recruit young people with disabilities, as well as young people from conflict-affected countries.

The University of Gondar will also deliver an annual Summer Leadership Camp for Scholars across the program, as well as a robust, practicum-based experiential program focused on giving back to community, through service and leadership skill development in the field of community-based rehabilitation.

For its part, Queen’s will be providing 60 University of Gondar’s faculty members with an opportunity to study here -- 16 in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program and 44 in PhD programs in various disciplines across the university. All faculty members who will study at Queen’s will enhance their skills in innovative pedagogy and in topics related to disability and inclusion on the continent.

The project will also offer funding for collaborative research to be conducted jointly on disability, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), and inclusive education, with co-Principal Investigators from the University of Gondar and from Queen’s.

The University of Gondar and Queen’s University will also collaborate to develop Ethiopia’s first Undergraduate Occupational Therapy program and will create a CBR certificate program for Mastercard Scholars at the University of Gondar.

“Along with the Mastercard Foundation, I would also like to thank Queen’s University for being an exceptional partner in providing high-caliber expertise in the areas of faculty development, research, and community based rehabilitation,” said Asrat Atsedewoyin, Vice-President Academic at the University of Gondar. “Global partnerships such at this are crucial to realizing our ambition to change the world for the better.”

Also sharing their thoughts at the event, were the first two University of Gondar faculty members to arrive at Queen’s to begin work on their PhDs.

“From my experience in teaching and administration, I have observed there is a great need for inclusion, visibility and equal access to education and employment for students with disabilities in Ethiopia,” said Molalighn Adugna, PhD Student. “I am very excited to be one of the 60 faculty who will receive further training here at this remarkable institution in order to return and support the vision of the University of Gondar to serve the community.”

Both students arrived in June and will be here for the next two years, before heading back to UoG to complete their dissertations.

“When I complete my study, I will pass my knowledge, skills and experiences to the next generation through teaching, research and most importantly by serving my community through strengthening clinical care,” said Mulugeta Chala, PhD student. “I want to thank the Mastercard Foundation for realizing this need and creating the opportunity for African youth like me to learn and prosper.”

Worldwide, the Mastercard Foundation runs a network of 28 Scholars Programs that provide education and leadership development for nearly 35,000 bright, young leaders with a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them.

“There are more than 80 million people across Africa who are living with disabilities and these young men and women deserve an inclusive education that’s designed to help them thrive, and professors and faculty that are committed to ensuring that they develop their skills,” said Kim Kerr, Deputy Director, Education and Learning, Mastercard Foundation. “The Mastercard Foundation played a role in bringing your institutions together based on common objectives, but your vision, commitment, and your passion for working together has truly exceeded all of our expectations.”

Over the coming weeks, the Gazette will continue its coverage of this partnership with a look at some of the experiences of students and faculty taking part in the program so far.

Visit Flickr to see more photos of the Mastercard celebration.

Meeting 'The New India'

  • Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
  • The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
    The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
  • His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)
    His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)

Queen’s University graduate students were introduced to “The New India” as part of a delegation visit by the High Commission of India to Canada on Wednesday.

The delegation was led by His Excellency Vikas Swarup, who was named High Commissioner in the spring. The visit marked His Excellency’s first trip to Kingston since taking office. In addition to being a highly respected diplomat and envoy, His Excellency is also a celebrated author – his most famous book, 2005’s Q&A, hit North American theatres in 2008 as Slumdog Millionaire.

During his day-long stop, he attended a lunch hosted by Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon, presented a lecture to graduate students at the Smith School of Business, and learned about Queen’s research priorities and the recent activities of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre working with the Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi, India. The day concluded with a networking reception hosted by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

“It was an honour to welcome the High Commissioner to Queen’s and to share with him some of the exciting research and innovation we are doing at Queen’s,” says Dr. Bacon. “We were very pleased that His Excellency took the time to discuss the exciting developments taking place in his country, and to elaborate on the opportunities for Queen’s and for Canada to partner with India. Expanding our relationship with India, and having meaningful international “at home” experiences for our students, such as His Excellency’s lecture, are integral parts of our Comprehensive International Plan and I want to thank everyone, and in particular our Mayor Bryan Paterson, who made the day a success.”

His Excellency’s lecture focused on the changing dynamics within the nation of more than 1.3 billion people. He spoke to the existing relationship between Canada and India, which he hoped to make “the defining partnership” of the coming century, and areas of future growth and collaboration.

"India is a very exciting place right now because it is transforming at a rapid pace,” says His Excellency. “In the new India, the most important thing is going to be partnerships. We have a massive requirement of skill...at a time when the world is aging, India has a young population and a youthful population...We are looking for partnerships with premier international universities like Queen's, so I think there is a lot we can do together."

During the visit by the High Commissioner, Dr. Bacon informed the delegation that he will make a trip to India in January to learn more about the work of the Deshpande Foundation. 

Arts + education + the BISC = unique learning experience

BISC Concurrent Education students speak with Head Teacher Barbara Gill and Special Educational Needs Teacher Liz Hubbell of Netherfield Primary School at a special Careers Evening. (Supplied Photo)

A brand new first-year program at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) is celebrating as its first cohort heads back to Kingston to complete their studies, and a new class joins the castle community.

Candidates in the Concurrent Education program complete Education courses alongside their courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science, leading towards the award of a Bachelor of Education in addition to their chosen Bachelor’s degree. The program is designed for students who might be interested in teaching internationally following their studies. Twenty four students successfully completed the year at the BISC in its first offering, and a full complement of 26 are registered for this fall.

“Offering this type of experience so early in their teaching practice really sets the BISC students apart and is likely to benefit their careers greatly,” says Christian Lloyd, Academic Director of the BISC. “Gaining exposure to the UK education system and progressing towards both their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education simultaneously will better equip these students for their chosen career path. We are pleased at the success of the first year offering of Concurrent Education and look forward to welcoming our second cohort this fall.”

Similar to the Concurrent Education program available in Kingston, the first year undergraduates are expected to spend some quality time in a grade school setting while they are students at the BISC. Each student is placed in a local primary school and a local secondary school – and the list of participating schools is growing thanks to the success of the first year.

During their time at the schools, a series of classroom observations organized at these host schools give students invaluable practical experience of working alongside other education professionals. The students can make connections between theory and practice through contact with children in real classrooms. Under the guidance of their hosts, the students are expected to assist the classroom teacher in one-on-one, or small group situations, and then discuss their observations with the host teacher afterwards.

In addition to the hands-on experience, the BISC held a dedicated Concurrent Education Careers Evening at the end of the fall term to help the students visualize where they will go after completing their studies. The evening featured a presentation by highly successful head teacher Sir Paul Grant, and an informal mixer afterwards where students had the chance to meet Liz Hubbell, a Queen’s alumnus now teaching in the UK, along with the head teacher of a local primary school, a recruiter specializing in the placement of overseas teachers in the UK, and representatives from East Sussex Local Education Authority.

Once they complete the first year studies, the students have the option of taking the accompanying classroom-taught module, ‘Self as Teacher’, on their return to Kingston either that summer, or the following fall.

“It was a joy to work with the students at Netherfield (my placement school), and the host teachers were incredibly welcoming and instructive – I learned so much from them,” says Charis Foster (Artsci’20, Ed’21), a student who has completed the Concurrent Education program. “I would highly recommend the First Year Con-Ed program at the Castle for anyone, especially those who hope to teach overseas."

For more information about Concurrent Education at the BISC, click here. You can also learn about the Kingston-based Concurrent Education program here.

International students receive an early welcome

While the majority of students arrive or return to Queen’s over the Labour Day weekend for Orientation Week, many international students are already on campus.

"QUIC student staff"
Student staff at the Queen's University International Centre are welcoming international students to the university community. (Supplied Photo)

International student orientation activities at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) began this week, as more international students arrive in town early to allow themselves more time to settle.

“Starting university can be both exciting and challenging, and for international students, the transition can be magnified when you are far from family and friends and may be adjusting to a new culture,” says QUIC Director Jyoti Kotecha. “We hope students will consider QUIC their home away from home, and use the centre to access campus services and information, meet new people, and start to connect to their new community.”

The centre is open until 8 pm every evening until Sept. 10, and is offering information sessions, social events, and walking tours of campus and facilities, including the ARC and the Isabel. As in previous years, upper year students have been hired to welcome, assist and mentor their new peers in recognition of the value of peer-to-peer connection and support. 

“Our programming is designed to help ease what can be a significant transition for incoming international students,” says QUIC Programs Coordinator Hanna Stanbury. “We aim to orient new students to campus, the Kingston community and to Canada, by offering various activities including a session about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and a bus trip to Toronto. We are really excited to welcome every student to Queen’s.”

For more information about all of the events and activities, vist the QUIC website.

Agreement with Chinese Consulate will boost student mobility

Provost Benoit Antoine-Bacon and Consul General He Wei speak at the University Club
Provost Benoit Antoine-Bacon and Consul General He Wei speak at the University Club.

Queen's University has signed an exciting new agreement with The Education Office, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto. This new Memorandum of Understanding will see up to 10 Queen’s students per year offered a China Scholarship Council scholarship which would allow them to complete part of their studies in China.

The MOU was signed Friday during a campus visit by Consul General He Wei. The agreement aims to promote student mobility at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, across all disciplines. The scholarship will specifically support Queen’s students who wish to further understand China, learn the Chinese language, or study at Chinese universities. The scholarship will be awarded annually to either five students for a full academic year, or 10 students for one term.

Signing the MOU on behalf of Queen’s was Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“Increased cultural awareness, intellectual development, personal development, and career opportunities are only some of the benefit of International learning opportunities,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “This new agreement aligns with our Comprehensive International Plan by enhancing our relationship with China and growing our reputation as a truly international institution. We are pleased to partner with the Consulate General to open up this exciting opportunity for our students, and we look forward to the announcement of our first recipients this fall.”

In addition to the signing ceremony, Mr. He’s first ever visit to Queen’s included meetings with the Vice-Principal (Research), and with the Director of China Liaison Office, followed by a lunch hosted by the Provost. Topics of discussion included research collaboration, student mobility, faculty exchange, and non-academic student support services. The visit was a part of Mr. He’s introduction to Canada – he became China’s new Consul General in Toronto in April.

During the last academic year, 19 Queen’s students participated in an exchange with partners in China and 24 participated in the Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) program, which provides students with fully funded study opportunities in China. Queen's is one of seven Canadian university members of the CLIC program, which was formed in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE), the China Scholarship Council, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada, and a number of top Chinese universities.

To learn more about exchange opportunities for Queen’s students, visit the International Programs Office website.

Collaboration on sustainability and development continues to grow

  • Participants in the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development, including a delegation of faculty and graduate students from Tongji University, gather for a group photo in the Biosciences Complex at Queen's. (Supplied Photo)
    Participants in the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development, including a delegation of faculty and graduate students from Tongji University, gather for a group photo in the Biosciences Complex at Queen's. (Supplied Photo)
  • Stephen Lougheed (Biology), Director of the Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) provides a tour of the facility for a delegation from Tongji University. (Supplied Photo)
    Stephen Lougheed (Biology), Director of the Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) provides a tour of the facility for a delegation from Tongji University. (Supplied Photo)
  • Tongji University master's student Liu Jinling presents her research as part of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)
    Tongji University master's student Liu Jinling presents her research as part of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)
  • Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher welcomes Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson during the opening of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)
    Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher welcomes Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson during the opening of the 3rd Sino-Canada Workshop for Environmental Sustainability and Development. (Supplied Photo)

A delegation of faculty and graduate students from Tongji University visited Queen’s on July 13-15 for the 3rd annual Sino-Canada Workshop on Environmental Sustainability and Development.

[Tri-Colour Globe]
Queen's in the World

The event, an initiative by the Department of Biology and School of Environmental Studies with their Chinese counterparts, featured presentations on current research projects and discussions for future collaboration opportunities. Also attending the workshop were government and industry representatives from China. Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), Innovation Park and Queen’s Industry Partnerships hosted a very informative session at Innovation Park which showcased some of the water technologies that exist in the local economy.

Queen’s and Tongji have collaborated on various projects in recent years including the 2+2 Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, a long-standing Joint Biology Field Course that occurs in China and the Queen’s in alternating years, and the Sino-Canada Network for Environment and Sustainable Development.

Internationalization in one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. China is a region of focus within the plan. For more information on the Queen’s-China Connection and Queen’s international program overall, visit the International website.

Canada-India conference builds on common ground

A recent conference hosted by Queen’s University explored the intersection of the Canadian practice of mutual accommodation and India’s use of non-violent action in addressing societal issues.

"Father Nicholas Barla holds a statue as Mohawk elder Laurel Claus-Johnson looks on during the opening dinner"
Father Nicholas Barla, who traveled from India to take part in the Gathering on Common Ground: Building Harmony through Diversity in Canada and India conference, holds up a statue as Mohawk elder Laurel Claus-Johnson looks on during the opening dinner held at the University Club. (Supplied photo)

Gathering on Common Ground: Building Harmony through Diversity in Canada and India brought together approximately 60 people from a broad range of backgrounds, including students and faculty members, as well as representatives from the private and public sectors. Women and men were equally represented and half of attendees were from India or of Indian heritage.

Another key element was the participation of Indigenous people from both Canada and India.

The objective of the conference, explain co-organizers Hugh Helferty, former Executive-in-Residence at the Smith School of Business and current adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry, and Paul Schwartzentruber, Associate Member, Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity, was to build on the experiences in mutual accommodation and non-violent action to help develop innovative, effective approaches and solutions on an array of societal issues.

After opening the conference together on the first day, attendees were placed into workgroups of six to eight people representing a variety of backgrounds.

It was a great opportunity for participants to interconnect and learn from each other, says Dr. Helferty.

“I think the richness of the conversation came from that diversity. We structured the workshops to make sure that we had this mix. I think that helped a lot,” he says. “Mostly this was a group of complete strangers getting together and I really do think we made progress toward creating a community that is willing to take some further action on this. We asked people to work on these problems and come up with ideas about what possibly might be done. The next step is to further understand and develop these ideas, share that, and figure out what to do.”

The workshops approached four challenge areas that India and Canada have in common – Indigenous peoples; minorities – religious and ethnic; poverty and economic inequality and; gender-based struggles for justice.

“These are key themes in the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity”, says Margaret Moore (Political Studies), Director of the centre and a sponsor of the conference.

The result was the sharing of experiences from different viewpoints and the development of novel ideas to help address some of these issues.

“Hugh and I just sort of synchronized on the idea that this should be a working conference where people got into small groups and a very mixed, inter-cultural dialogue happens,” Mr. Schwartzentruber says. “That was, from my point of view, the real success of things, that we had a lively, vibrant debate across many tiers of society and across the countries. People who wouldn’t probably have talked to each other really got into the meaty issues with each other.”

Another commonality is that in 2017 Canada is marking 150 years since its founding while in 2019 India will be celebrating 150 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba. In line with this, a follow-up conference is proposed to be held in India in two years’ time.

The conference opened with two keynote addresses on the main themes: William A. Macdonald provided the background on mutual accommodation and Rajagopal PV discussed the role of non-violent social movements in building an inclusive society.

Through the many discussions attendees found that, despite their different histories and social structures, India and Canada have much in common, from the experiences of Indigenous peoples to a history of cooperation and collaboration.

“I think the overarching theme of the conference is this concept of the otherness of the other, of not trying to make the other the same, but to appreciate the otherness of the other,” says Jill Carr-Harris, a specialist on Indian development policies, nonviolence activist, and researcher on poverty reduction, and gender and education, who traveled from India to attend the conference. “One rich idea was to break the majority-minority idea because minorities, marginalized people, are defined by the mainstream, which allows the legitimization of two classes or many classes, different identities, where they are less powerful than the other. What one group decided to do was not talk about multiculturalism, because that is kind of tolerating divisions. So what they talked about is intercultural awareness instead.”

For more information about the conference, including the full program, visit the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity website.

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