Browse "Communities & Sociology"

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Vision Quest

Coined by 19th century anthropologists, the term “vision quest” describes a spiritual journey in various Indigenous cultures in which participants, often adolescents, are said to receive sacred knowledge and strength from the spirit world. Practised as a rite of passage among some Indigenous cultures in North America, such as the Siksika (Blackfoot), Cree, Anishinaabe (including the Ojibwe) and Inuit, vision quests reflect the role of spirituality and contemplative thinking in Indigenous cultures, and provide an important connection between the participant, the Creator and nature. Though reduced as a practice following colonization, vision quests remain part of the cultural traditions of Indigenous populations in Canada in the modern era.

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Québec Shoe Workers' Strike

The Québec Shoe Workers' Strike, properly a lockout, 27 October-10 December 1900, was the first direct intervention in a labour conflict by Québec Catholic clergy and the first step toward the creation of Catholic unions (see CONFEDERATION OF NATIONAL TRADE UNIONS).

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Racism

Racism argues that humans can be divided into different racial groups, each with characteristics that are inherited and unchanging — and that those differences explain inequality in societies.

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Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was a secret network of abolitionists who helped African Americans escape from enslavement in the American South to free Northern states or to Canada. It was the largest anti-slavery freedom movement in North America, having brought between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to British North America (Canada).

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Urban Reform

Urban reform refers to a loosely knit set of municipal government and citizen group initiatives, from the late 1890s to the end of the First World War and from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, aimed at improving city life.

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Religion

​Religion (from the Latin, religio, "respect for what is sacred") may be defined as the relationship between human beings and their transcendent source of value.

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Residential Segregation

Anthony Richmond, in Global Apartheid (1994), suggests that refugees, racism and the new world order are integrally tied to social spatial segregation of peoples. The word apartheid literally means "aparthood" (neighbour-hood), that is, the separation of people into different areas.

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Riot

Under s67 of the Criminal Code, where a riot involving 12 or more people is in progress, a justice, mayor, sheriff or other designated official is authorized to order the rioters to disperse in the name of the Queen. In popular terms, this is "reading the Riot Act.

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Sixties Scoop

The “Sixties Scoop” refers to the large-scale removal or “scooping” of Indigenous children from their homes, communities and families of birth through the 1960s, and their subsequent adoption into predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families across the United States and Canada. This experience left many adoptees with a lost sense of cultural identity. The physical and emotional separation from their birth families continues to affect adult adoptees and Indigenous communities to this day.

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Shaking Tent

Shaking Tent rite was widespread among the Ojibwa, Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi), Cree, Penobscot and Abenaki and involved the shamanistic use of a special cylindrical lodge or tent.

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Tseshaht (Sheshaht)

The Tseshaht (also Ts’ishaa7ath or Ć̓išaaʔatḥ; formerly Sheshaht) are a Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation living in Barkley Sound and Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island, BC. As of September 2018, the federal government counted 1,212 registered members of the Tseshaht First Nation, the majority of whom (728) live off reserve.

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Socialism

Socialism is a political doctrine that criticizes the existence of social, economic and political inequality in society. Seeking to lessen class inequality, socialists call for a redistribution of power from the affluent owners to the working class.

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Sociology

Sociology is the study of human relationships, the rules and norms that guide them, and the development of institutions and movements that conserve and change society.

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Sovereignty

Sovereignty is an abstract legal concept that also has political, social and economic implications. In strictly legal terms, it describes the power or authority of a state to govern itself and its subjects. In this sense, sovereignty is the highest source of the law. With Confederation and the passage of the British North America Act, 1867, Canada’s Parliament was still legally under the authority of the British Parliament. By 1949, Canada had become fully sovereign in relation to Great Britain through landmark legislation passed overseas, including the Statute of Westminster (1931). The Constitution Act, 1982 swept away any leftover authority that remained with Britain. Questions of sovereignty have also been raised by Indigenous peoples in Canada and by separatists in Quebec, who for a time championed the concept of sovereignty-association.

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Two-Spirit

​Two-Spirit, a translation of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) term niizh manidoowag, refers to a person who embodies both a masculine and feminine spirit. Activist Albert McLeod developed the term in 1990 to broadly reference Indigenous peoples in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Two-spirit is used by some Indigenous peoples to describe their gender, sexual and spiritual identity.

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Welfare State

The welfare state in Canada is a multi-billion dollar system of government programs that transfer money and services to Canadians to deal with an array of societal needs.

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Women's Studies

Women's Studies (also referred to as Feminist Studies) is a generic label for a diverse and fast growing area of knowledge. The first few courses in Women's Studies were taught at Canadian universities in the early 1970s.