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One Big Union

The One Big Union (OBU) was a radical labour union formed in Western Canada in 1919. It aimed to empower workers through mass organization along industrial lines. The OBU met fierce opposition from other parts of the labour movement, the federal government, employers and the press. Nevertheless, it helped transform the role of unions in Canada.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Council of Canadians

The Council of Canadians is a national, non-partisan, non-profit citizens' organization dedicated to advancing global social justice and preserving and promoting Canadian sovereignty, political independence and democratic autonomy.

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Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan is an outlawed, racist, ultra-conservative, fraternal organization dedicated to the supremacy of an Anglo-Saxon, Protestant society.

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Girl Guides

The branches of the Guiding movement include Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, Rangers, Cadets and Junior Leaders, with groups in most communities in every province and territory, under the leadership of women volunteers and community leaders.

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Vancouver Women's Musical Society

Vancouver Women's Musical Society (formerly the Vancouver Woman's Musical Club). Founded in 1905 by Mrs B.T. Rogers, Mrs J.J. Banfield, Mrs C.M. Beecher, (first president 1905-7), and others and incorporated in 1916 under the guidance of Esther Beecher Weld and Mrs Walter Coulthard.

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Peace Movement

Canada has a long tradition of an active and vocal peace movement. The Mennonites and Quakers, guided by a philosophy of nonviolence, have consistently spoken out against war and militarism.

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2012 Québec Student Strike

​In 2012, Québec and Canada experienced the longest student strike in their histories. The strike lasted several months (from 13 February to 7 September 2012) and pitted students in Québec against the provincial government on the issue of tuition fee increases.

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Canadian Foundations

Foundations are "non-governmental, non-profit organizations with funds (usually from a single source, either an individual, a family, or a corporation) and program managed by (their) own trustees or directors, established to maintain or aid social, educational, charitable, religious, or other activities serving the common welfare through the making of Grants".

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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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Métis National Council

The Métis National Council represents more than 350,000 members of the Métis Nation, defined as Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and parts of Ontario, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

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Sir George Williams Affair

The Sir George Williams affair (also known as the Sir George Williams riot) took place in winter 1969, when more than 200 students decided to peacefully occupy the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building at Sir George Williams University in Montréal. These students were protesting the university administration’s decision regarding a complaint of racism that had been filed several months earlier by six Black students from the Caribbean. On 11 February 1969, to dislodge the students occupying the building, the police intervened forcefully, and the situation deteriorated, resulting in over $2 million worth of damage and the arrest of 97 people. The Sir George Williams affair is regarded as the largest student riot in Canadian history. For many observers and historians, it represents a key moment in the rebirth of black militancy in Montréal.

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Council on the Status of Women

The Conseil du statut de la femme (CSF), or Council on the Status of Women, is a government consultative and review body that has sought to promote and defend the rights and interests of women in Québec since 1973. It reports to Québec’s Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women.

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Assembly of First Nations

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a political organization representing approximately 900,000 First Nations citizens in Canada. The AFN advocates on behalf of First Nations on issues such as treaties, Indigenous rights, and land and resources. The AFN's Chiefs assemblies are held at least twice a year, where chiefs from each First Nation pass resolutions to direct the organization’s work. There are over 600 First Nations in Canada.

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Friendship Centres

Friendship Centres are non-governmental agencies that provide various programs and services to urban Indigenous peoples. As of 2017, the National Association of Friendship Centres represents 118 Friendship Centres nationwide.

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Sustainability in Canada

Sustainability is the ability of the biosphere, or of a certain resource or practice, to persist in a state of balance over the long term. The concept of sustainability also includes things humans can do to preserve such a balance. Sustainable development, for instance, pairs such actions with growth. It aims to meet the needs of the present while ensuring that future people will be able to meet their needs.