Browse "Communities & Sociology"

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Labour Day in Canada

Labour Day, the first Monday in September, has been a statutory holiday in Canada since 1894. It originated in the first workers’ rallies of the Victorian era. Historically, workers marked the day with various activities. These included parades, speeches, games, amateur competitions and picnics. The holiday promoted working-class solidarity and belonging during a time of rapid industrialization. Since the Second World War, fewer and fewer people have participated in Labour Day activities. Nevertheless, it remains a statutory holiday. Many Canadians now devote the Labour Day holiday to leisure activity and family time.

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Powwows in Canada

Powwows are celebrations that showcase Indigenous music, dances, regalia, food and crafts. Commonly hosted by First Nations communities (either on reserve or in urban settings), powwows are often open to non-Indigenous and Métis and Inuit peoples alike. Contemporary powwows originated on the Great Plains during the late 19th century and, since the 1950s, have been growing in size, number and popularity. Powwows serve an important role in many Indigenous peoples’ lives as a forum to visit family and friends, and to celebrate their cultural heritage, while also serving as a site for cross-cultural sharing with other attendees and participants. Indeed, powwows provide the opportunity for visitors to learn about, and increase their awareness of, traditional and contemporary Indigenous life and culture.

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Knights of Labor in Canada

The Knights of Labor, the leading labour reform organization in the late 19th century, played a key role in the development of the working-class consciousness in Canada. It was also an important player in the development of the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada and interceded with authorities to improve living standards for the working class. The movement fell victim to internal conflict and the successes of other unions, and began fading out at the end of the 1890s.

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Lobbying in Canada

Lobbying is the process through which individuals and groups articulate their interests to federal, provincial or municipal governments in order to influence public policy or government decision-making. Lobbyists may be paid third parties who communicate on behalf of their clients, or may be employees of a corporation or organization seeking to influence the government. Because of the possibility for conflict of interest, lobbying is the subject of much public scrutiny. Nevertheless, it serves the important purpose of providing individual and collective interests with access to government. At the federal level, lobbying activities are governed by the Lobbying Act, while provinces and municipalities have their own laws and by-laws.

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Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) was founded in 1954 by a group of parents who had children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Now a national voluntary health organization with offices across Canada, MDC is dedicated to fighting over 40 different neuromuscular disorders.

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Orange Order in Canada

The Orange Order was a political and religious fraternal society in Canada. From the early 19th century, members proudly defended Protestantism and the British connection while providing mutual aid. The Order had a strong influence in politics, particularly through patronage at the municipal level, and developed a reputation for sectarianism and rioting.

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Urban Migration of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

The Aboriginal population is the most rural in Canada. One-half of a million Aboriginal people are committed to the land by heritage, by rights in a rural land base, and by a broad range of bureaucratic mandates provided by the federal government. These conditions are supported by the Constitution Act, 1982, a legal guarantee that is unique in the world for an Aboriginal population with a predominantly hunting heritage.

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Separatism in Canada

Separatism refers to the advocacy of separation or secession by a group or people from a larger political unit to which it belongs. In modern times, separatism has frequently been identified with a desire for freedom from perceived colonial oppression.

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Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada

The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, also known as the Bird Commission in honour of its chair, Florence Bird, was established on 3 February 1967. More than 900 people appeared at its public hearings over a period of six months. In addition to providing an overview of the status of women, the report tabled on 7 December 1970 included 167 recommendations for reducing gender inequality across the various spheres of Canadian society.

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Temperance Movement in Canada

The temperance movement was a social and political campaign of the 19th and early 20th centuries, advocating moderation or total abstinence from alcohol, prompted by the belief that drink was responsible for many of society’s ills. The mass movement was international in scope.

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United Farmers of Canada

The United Farmers of Canada was a militant farmers' organization established 1926 as the United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section). It combined the radical Farmers' Union of Canada and the more conservative Saskatchewan GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION.

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#MeToo Movement in Canada

The #MeToo movement protesting sexual violence against women began in the United States in October 2017 in the wake of accusations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. Since then, it has rapidly expanded internationally through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. In Canada, #MeToo and its French equivalent, #MoiAussi, have amplified the voices of victims and changed the conversation pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence, harassment and misconduct.