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National Indigenous History and Pride Month – June 2021

June is National Indigenous History Month, a time for all Canadians to recognize the history, heritage, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. This is also a time to reflect on the ongoing work of reconciliation. We hope that you will use this time to appreciate the culture, contributions, and resiliency of Indigenous peoples across Canada.

June is also Pride Month, a time to celebrate diversity and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, to uplift 2SLGBTQ+ voices, and to support 2SLGBTQ+ rights. There are events happening throughout the community and many resources available. Attached is a list of activities for the month of June from Outloud North Bay. Outloud North Bay is an organization driven by 2SLGBTQA+ individuals that supports the mental health and well-being of youth by providing a safe space for ALL YOUTH in our community.

NUFA brings you North Gay Trivia on Wednesday, June 30 2021 from 7:00-9:00 pm.  There will be rounds on 2SLGBTQ+ history, politics, celebrities, TV shows, art history and visual cultures, as well as questions dedicated strictly to Nipissing University.

Asian Heritage Month – May 2021

May is Asian Heritage Month, when we celebrate the contributions that Asian communities have made to Canada. It is also a time to honour and support the activism of peoples of Asian descent. COVID-19 has amplified anti-Asian racism with Asian communities reporting an increase in racism, discrimination, and acts of violence. These resources are being provided to highlight the diversity that is our strength and with the belief that education is the best weapon to fight fear and ignorance. Resources for Asian Heritage Month.

Nipissing University Faculty Association calls for Resignations of Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Robert Haché, President of Laurentian University

April 16, 2021 – North Bay, Ontario 

Today, the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) echoed the calls of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) and other bodies, for the immediate resignations of Ross Romano, Minister of Training Colleges and Universities and Robert Haché, President of Laurentian University along with his senior leadership team.  These motions were taken due to “the loss of confidence in the Minister’s commitment to the university sector, as well as LU President Robert Haché and his senior leadership team in failing to lead the university through this crisis, and the catastrophic mishandling of the situation at LU.”

Please see the two motions approved by the NUFA Executive below.

MOTION 1: That the NUFA Executive calls for the immediate resignation of Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano

RATIONALE: Minister Romano was made aware of the financial situation at Laurentian more than six months prior to the announcement of the CCAA process.  Not only did he fail to act to protect the students and institutions under his charge, which have now suffered serious harm; he also has consistently refused to meet with the affected parties and to be transparent about the intentions and actions of his government.  The cuts to Laurentian, now revealed, have produced outrage across the country.  His inaction has also resulted in considerable harm specifically to the residents of Northern Ontario, whose interests he is charged, as MPP, to represent.  He has failed in the most basic of ways to satisfy the obligations of his office, and must resign immediately.

MOTION 2: That the NUFA Executive calls for the immediate resignation of President of Laurentian University, President Robert Haché and his senior leadership team.

RATIONALE:

Beginning with the stalled negotiations with the Laurentian Faculty Association (LUFA), President Haché has acted in an irresponsible, untransparent, and uncollegial manner.  Indeed, LUFA was forced to pursue a bad faith bargaining complaint in an effort to force the administration to disclose the very financial information they were apparently already sharing with the government but refused to discuss with affected faculty and students.  President Haché’s decision to enter the University into the CCAA process, rather than make use of the financial exigency clauses of the negotiated Collective Agreement, was unprecedented and completely inappropriate, an effort simply to shirk his responsibilities in collective bargaining and collegial governance.  Finally, his public threats to shut down the university entirely should faculty senators or LUFA members fail to agree to the results of the secretive CCAA process demonstrates a callous disregard for the interests of the students of Laurentian and its affiliated campuses, as well as for the broader Sudbury and Northern communities that haven been and will be impacted.  He has forfeited the trust required in order to occupy the position of President, or any leadership role, and must resign immediately along with his senior leadership team.

Nipissing University Senate passes Motion in support of Laurentian University Senate

At the April 9, 2021 Nipissing University Senate meeting, the following motion was passed unanimously:

Whereas a first principle for university quality and integrity is expressed in the bicameral governance structure shared between the Board of Governors and the Academic Senate, a process clearly identified in the Nipissing University Act and Laurentian University Act; and

Whereas Senators have a right and responsibility to generate and evaluate decisions, including such decisions as program restructuring or cancellation, affecting the academic integrity of the university openly and democratically within this governance structure,

Be it resolved that Nipissing University Senate affirm its own support for the Senate of Laurentian University’s avowal of its power and responsibility to pronounce on the academic integrity of the proposals that come before it, and

Be it further resolved that the Nipissing University Senate express strong concern with the  Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process at Laurentian that has effectively by-passed transparency and academic decision-making.

NUFA Responds to CCAA Process at Laurentian University

 

North Bay, ON, March 23, 2021 – The Nipissing University Faculty Association echoes the call of the North Bay District Labour Council, published online in the Nugget/Bay Today/My North Bay Now on March 17th, for the province to end the CCAA process at Laurentian University and to provide adequate and sustained funding to ensure the continued viability of this important institution. On March 19th, the Ontario government announced $106.5 million in emergency funding for post-secondary institutions suffering financial effects of COVID 19, but have allocated none of this funding to Laurentian University.  This decision is troubling for reasons that extend well beyond the particulars of the situation at Laurentian.

First, the government’s decision to permit Laurentian to enter the CCAA process is unprecedented in Canada.  This process was designed for private corporations, and the precedent set by allowing a public institution, funded by the Province, to declare insolvency and enter the CCAA could not be more troubling: if a public university can be dismantled by a secretive, closed-door process intended for private businesses, then why not any other public institution?  A Crown corporation, perhaps?  Or a hospital?  The province needs to act immediately to stop the inappropriate and radical misuse of the CCAA process at Laurentian.

Second, there should be little doubt in anyone’s mind that what is happening at Laurentian would not be permitted to happen in vote-rich Southern Ontario.  The threat to Laurentian – and the underfunding of Northern Universities, generally – is part of a familiar story in the North, where unequal access to healthcare, under-funded education systems, and inadequate transportation networks are all well-known and long-standing problems.  As a member of the opposition, MPP Fedeli spoke up for Nipissing University when the Liberal government of the day unilaterally imposed changes to Education programs that disproportionately affected us.  Now he sits as a cabinet minister in a government that has dramatically cut support to the University system as a whole.  These cuts have a disproportionate effect on smaller, Northern Universities.  Emergency handouts, while desperately needed, do not fix the underlying problem that Ontario funds its universities at the lowest rate in the entire country. He and the government of which he is a part needs to stand up for all Northern Communities, including Laurentian and Sudbury.

Finally, it is worth noting that, just as Nipissing University contributes just shy of $140 million each year to the economy of North Bay, and is one of the top three employers in the city, Laurentian makes an enormously important economic contribution to its community.  As Minister for Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, MPP Fedeli should know perfectly well that anything that diminishes Laurentian as an institution will be deeply harmful to the economy of Sudbury and to its people.  It is time for MPP Fedeli and the Ford government to act, now, before the April 30th deadline imposed by the CCAA.

Black History Month February 2021

February is Black History Month.  We’d like to encourage you to learn more about Black history and celebrate the events and contributions that Black people have made to all sectors of society.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing events and information with you regarding Black history.  The first is an event being sponsored by the North Bay Multicultural Centre on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:30 pm “Black Canadians:  Contributions and Historical Figures”.  This is a virtual round table with panelists including Dr. Amadou Ba, who gave the first NUFA Virtual Teach-in this past fall, and a visit with the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

We’ve put together a list of recommended readings from the Harris Learning Library, the North Bay Public Library, links to the Ottawa and Toronto Public Libraries, and also some children’s books.

Books recommended by (and available at) the North Bay Public Library:

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

Books recommended by (and available at) the Harris Learning Library [call number in brackets]:

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robin Maynard [FC106 .B6 M39 2017]

The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness by Paul Gilroy [CB235 .G55 1993]

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo [E184 .A1 O454 2018]

Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson by Rona Arato [E444 .H526 A73 2008]

African Canadians in Union Blue: Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War by Richard M. Reid [E540 .C25 R45 2014b]

North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870 – 1955 by Sarah-Jane Mathieu [FC106 .B6 M318 2010]

Black Canadians: History, Experiences, Social Conditions by Joseph Mensah [FC106 .B6 M45 2010]

Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Black and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land by Graham Reynolds. Foreward by George Elliot Clarke with Wanda Robson [FC106 .B6 R49 2016]

Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia’s First Free Black Communities by Ruth Holmes Whitehead [FC2321.4 .W55 2013]

Race on Trial: Black Defendants in Ontario’s Criminal Courts, 1858-1958 by Barrington Walker [KEO1167.5 .W35 2010]

Recommendations from the Ottawa Public Library:

https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/blogs/black-history-month-canadian-black-history-making

Recommendations from the Toronto Public Library:

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/books-video-music/books/booklists/booklist.jsp?listTitle=Black+History+Month&listId=1ZW_XAZpv-F4nJRk65CfrVBNrCUzsAQA2s_2PyGKyorI&sheetId=otixfw9

Children’s Books:

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has created a listing for educators and librarians:

http://bookcentre.ca/theme-guide-black-history-month

Scholastic Canada:
http://scholastic.ca/books/seasonal/blackhistory/

Howdy, I’m John Ware – Animated Children’s Book

https://youtu.be/thA9_wLZfmM

NUFA Virtual Teach-Ins – Based on Nationwide Scholar Strike

The NUFA Virtual Teach-ins  build on the virtual teach-ins from the nationwide Scholar Strike in September 2020, in support of Black Lives Matter.  Since then, we have expanded our teach-ins which have included:

Dr. Amadou Ba – “Africa before Colonization. Dr. Ba is a part-time Member in the History Department.  The recording may be found at:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1njEw8ox1-zjRRqe2qpOW_SuYakwwfO1M

Dr. Nancy Stevens – “Indigenous Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System – Understanding How We Got Here”  Dr. Stevens is a Member of the Indigenous Studies Department.  The recording may be found at:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1njEw8ox1-zjRRqe2qpOW_SuYakwwfO1M

Please stay tuned for future events.

Orange Shirt Day, September 30, 2020

The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.  A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation.  A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.  Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.  On this day, organizers call upon humanity to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it.

Anti-Racism

Caucus of Racialized Persons (CRP) – Letter to Provost regarding Equity at Nipissing University, September 8, 2020

“Combatting anti-Black racism in the academy: A primer for faculty”.

The workshop is open to all Members and is being held on Thursday, September 24 at 10 am .  Register here.

“The workshop will be facilitated by Paige Galette who fights tirelessly for social justice – through Black liberation, the Queer movement, the Women’s movement and organized labour. You can read Paige’s most recent essay in Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada. The workshop will aim to give participants tools to combat anti-Black racism in their roles as faculty, in their associations, on campus, and beyond. Participants will be given time to reflect and ask questions throughout the session.”

 

Scholar Strike – Virtual Sit-In

On September 9 and 10, academics in Canada are planning to pause their regular teaching and administrative duties to participate in activities and actions to protest racism and police violence. In particular, scholars across Canadian universities are organizing a series of virtual teach-ins.

NUFA would like to host our own virtual teach-in on Thursday September 10th and we are looking for faculty who would like to draw from their teaching and research to participate as panelists or as moderator in a one-hour virtual event on the topics of racism, and police brutality and violence in our communities from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

If you would like to be a panelist or to moderate the event, please contact our Membership Engagement Officer, Natalya Brown ([email protected]) by noon on Monday, September 7th.

For more information on Scholar Strike Canada and their activities, please visit: https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/