Professor Jennifer Adese on raising awareness of Métis women’s stories in Canada

Professor Jennifer Adese recently spoke to U of T News on the importance of raising awareness of Métis women and their stories within a Canadian context. Professor Adese explains that it is crucial to look into the historical accounts of Métis girls and women, examining the reasons why Métis, as a whole, were mistreated and oppressed. In order to stand in solidarity with minority communities, raising awareness of these issues is essential.

Professor Jennifer Adese is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities at the UT Mississauga (UTM) Campus. Her research focuses on the intersection of Indigenous Studies, Cultural Studies, and Critical Race Theory.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below. The full story is available on the U of T News website here.

With a focus on women, U of T researcher aims to raise awareness of Métis issues in Canada

July 09, 2020

By Carla DeMarco

An Indigenous scholar’s long-standing research related to Métis women comes at a pivotal moment when understanding and standing in solidarity with people who are oppressed is crucial.

Jennifer Adese, an associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has dedicated her efforts to Indigenous research throughout her academic career. However, it was attending the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit (NAWS) in 2012 that cemented her focus on the experiences of Métis women.

“It was at these proceedings in Ottawa that Indigenous women collectively came together to call on the provincial premiers in attendance to use their power to push the federal government to commit to a national inquiry on the high rates of Indigenous women who have gone missing…” said Adese during a recent interview for the VIEW to the U podcast.

“I had the privilege to sit alongside these women as they met with different members of government, other Indigenous organizations and even with United Nations representatives, and it gave me a pretty life-changing insight (into) the complex public strategies of resilience practised by Métis women.”

Read the full article…

Professor Ito Peng on why framing racism as a public health issue masks the real problem

Ito Peng

Professor Ito Peng recently spoke to Global News about racism and its implications when being framed as a public health issue. While beneficial for raising awareness, Professor Peng argues that framing racism as a health issue limits the scope of its both its roots and the work needed for society to dismantle racist systems of inequality.

Professor Peng is the Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy. She is also a Full Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities on the St. George campus. Professor Peng is also the Director of the Centre for Global Social Policy. Her research explores the topics of gender, family, migration, and social policy.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below. The full story is available on the Global News website here.

Should racism be treated as a public health issue? Experts explain pros and cons

June 17, 2020


In Canada, there has been growing support to declare racism — specifically anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism — a public health issue in the wake of recent protests against police brutality.

On Monday, the Ottawa Board of Health unanimously voted to recognize racism and discrimination as a determinant of a person’s mental and physical health. Just last week, the Toronto Board of Health voted to recognize anti-Black racism as a public health crisis.

“Racism, discrimination and stigma are associated with poorer physical, mental and emotional health and greater mortality, making anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism and racism against minorities an important public health issue,” the Ottawa motion read.

…Declaring racism a public health crisis would place “the appropriate amount of attention on the seriousness and pervasiveness of Black racism in a way that helps us all appreciate that it doesn’t just harm Black people but has reverberating impacts on all communities,” he said.

Ito Peng, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto and director of its Centre for Global Social Policy, said typically, when a declaration is made, it triggers an immediate emergency response, reaction and policy from respective government systems.

This could involve defunding police, making body cameras mandatory or requiring mental health workers to accompany officers for wellness checks and non-violent calls. Peng said these are all helpful, necessary steps — but they won’t end racism.

“The challenge of framing this issue as a public health issue is that it reduces everything down to health, and in some ways, it masks the real problem,” she said…

Read the full article…

Professor Jennifer Adese on UTM’s View to the U

Professor Jennifer Adese recently appeared on an episode of UT Mississauga (UTM)’s View to the U: An eye to UTM research Podcast to discuss about her current research on Métis women and their representation within a Canadian context. She also discusses racism and oppression as well as what it means to be an ally for minority communities.

View to the U: An eye to UTM research Podcast is a monthly podcast created by the UTM communications team and hosted by Carla DeMarco, UTM Office of Research. It features UTM faculty members from different disciplines, each discussing their topics and projects.

Professor Jennifer Adese is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities at the UT Mississauga (UTM) Campus. Her research focuses on the intersection of Indigenous Studies, Cultural Studies, and Critical Race Theory.

We have embedded the full episode below.


You can also listen to the full episode here.

Statement Regarding Racialized Violence

Racialized violence is an endemic problem of Canadian society. The most recent examples of violence against Black people have sparked outrage around the world. Each instance of police brutality threatens not just individuals but the legitimacy of society as a whole. These instances are not isolated events. They are connected to larger systems that reproduce racial inequalities which are particularly pernicious for Black and Indigenous communities. This social and political context is painful and dire.

As members (faculty, staff and graduate students) of the Tri-campus Department of Sociology at University of Toronto, we do not pretend that a statement will ameliorate racism in Canada, or even in our own department. Still, we must take action to address racism in Canadian society. Our department can do more, and MUST do more.

In the short term, we the undersigned agree to dedicate our resources and time to organizations that support Black Canadians. In the medium term, we the undersigned agree to assist in the promotion and realization of departmental policy and programming on these issues in the next academic year. In the long-term, we the undersigned agree to redouble our efforts to diversify our community and create a more inclusive anti-racist environment.

Adam Isaiah Green

Ali Greey

Alicia Eads

Andreea Mogosanu

Andrew Nevin

Anelyse Weiler

Angela Hick

Anson Au

Blair Wheaton

Bonnie Fox

Bonnie H. Erickson

Brigid Burke

Carmen Lamothe

Chris Smith

Christian Caron

Cinthya Guzman

Clayton Childress

Cynthia Cranford

Dan Silver

David Pettinicchio

Ellen Berrey

Elliot Fonarev

Elysha Daya

Emily Hammond

Erik Schneiderhan

Ethan Fosse

Fedor Dokshin

Fernando Calderón Figueroa

Fidan Elcioglu

Gail Super

Hae Yeon Choo

Hammad Khan

Irene Boeckmann

Ito Peng

James Lannigan

Jayne Baker

Jessica Fields

Jillian Sunderland

Jooyoung Lee

Jordan Foster

Josée Johnston

Joseph M. Bryant

Josh Harold

Judith Taylor

Julia Ingenfeld

Kathy Liddle

Kim Pernell

Kristin Plys

Lisa Iesse

Luisa Farah Schwartzman

Man Xu

Marion Blute

Markus Schafer

Martin Lukk

Melissa Milkie

Merin Oleschuk

Michelle Silver

Neda Maghbouleh

Nicholas D Spence

Noam Keren

Pat Louie

Patrick Leduc

Paul Nelson

Paula Maurutto

Phil Goodman

Philip Badawy

Ping-Chun Hsiung

Rachel La Touche

Rania Salem

Ronit Dinovitzer

Rebecca Lennox

S. W. Underwood

Sagi Ramaj

Scott Schieman

Sebastien Parker

Sharla Alegria

Shawn Perron

Sherri Klassen

Shyon Baumann

Sida Liu

Sitao Li

Soli Dubash

Steve Hoffman

Tahseen Shams

Tyler Bateman

Vanina Leschziner

Weiguo Zhang

Yifang Li

Yoonkyung Lee

Youngrong Lee

Yukiko Tanaka

Yvonne Daoleuxay