Identity politics is an evil virus spreading across society

This obsession with identity can do nothing good for a society that values equality of treatment of all its people

Identity politics is an evil virus spreading across societyOn my desk is a commemorative plate honouring the 1966 Grey Cup champions, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It includes the pictures of Canadian Football League legend Ronnie Lancaster and his teammates. A quick scan of these portraits reveals something odd: just three of the players are black. If one looks at the rosters of other CFL…

Our close bond with dogs has a long history, study shows

Dogs were certainly useful but 'people clearly had emotional attachments to their dogs from the very beginning’

Our close bond with dogs has a long history, study showsThe close bond between humans and dogs stretches back into the last ice age, according to new international research involving a University of Alberta archeologist. Genetic analysis of the remains of 27 ancient dogs shows that at least five major ancestry lineages had diversified by 11,000 years ago, “demonstrating a deep genetic history of dogs…

Charley Pride knocked down country music’s racial barriers

Audiences took a while to warm up to a black country musician. He wasn’t promoted in this fashion and photos didn’t accompany his early singles

Charley Pride knocked down country music’s racial barriersI didn’t grow up listening to country music. Nevertheless, there were country musicians I always liked. Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Roy Clark (who was also a bluegrass legend), Kenny Rogers, Oak Ridge Boys and Alabama come to mind. Then there was Charley Pride. He was in a class of his…

Science shatters misconceptions about Indigenous peoples

Archeologist believes unearthing evidence is the best way to change public perceptions – and public policy

Science shatters misconceptions about Indigenous peoplesMaggie Spivey-Faulkner lives to shatter misconceptions of Indigenous people with the power of science. “As an undergrad, I saw that a lot of American public policy was built on incorrect ideas of native cultures,” said the American archeologist, who joined the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts this fall after a stint as a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of…

Time to come to terms with Canada’s original sin

Separating one racial group of people from the rest of the nation and expecting a good result was madness then and is madness now

Time to come to terms with Canada’s original sinCanadians are watching protests on American streets that stem in part from their history of slavery. That original sin dogs America and tears at its soul. But Canada, too, has an original sin. And that’s our history with Indigenous people. It’s not that Canada treated Indigenous people poorly. (It did treat them poorly but that’s…

Margaret Thatcher and the end of apartheid

The Thatcher-Nelson Mandela relationship is a reflection of how very different people can evolve a respectful, albeit wary, understanding

Margaret Thatcher and the end of apartheidMargaret Thatcher isn’t a name most people associate with the end of South African apartheid. But Thatcher biographer Charles Moore begs to differ. And he devotes a lengthy chapter in his third volume about the former British prime minister to making his case. As Moore tells it, Thatcher’s goal was to convince the white South…

Adolf Hitler’s fateful mistake

If Hitler had declared war on Japan in support of the U.S., he might have kept the U.S. out of the European war. And that would have changed history

Adolf Hitler’s fateful mistakeAdolf Hitler began 1941 in a commanding position. He had 10 European conquests under his belt and just one active foe – beleaguered Britain and the members of the Commonwealth, like Canada. But by year-end, he’d added the Soviet Union and the United States to his slate of antagonists. And the declaration of war against…

The return of the Armenian Genocide must be stopped

Putting the health of the people in the South Caucasus at risk puts us all at risk. Diseases spread and mutate rapidly in refugee camps

The return of the Armenian Genocide must be stoppedWhen teaching history, it’s rare that an issue more than 100 years old becomes a current events lesson, but that’s what happened as I began teaching about the Armenian Genocide. The Ottoman Empire is responsible for the death of 1.5 million Armenians, primarily under the cover of the First World War. The empire collapsed after…

Dinosaur fossil fingers reveal new species

U of A alumnus leads study uncovering a new species of oviraptorid

Dinosaur fossil fingers reveal new speciesA collection of three fossilized bird-like dinosaurs with surprising fingers has resulted in the discovery of an entirely new species by a team led by a University of Alberta alumnus. “This study focuses on a spectacular fossil – a block of three bird-like dinosaurs preserved together,” said Greg Funston, lead author of the study. Funston completed…

Shedding the destructive legacy of the baby boomers

Someone said, ‘Greed is good’ and we repeated it. But the only thing that matters when you die is your legacy

Shedding the destructive legacy of the baby boomersI have to apologize to the youth of the world for the state we find ourselves in. Yes, great things have happened in my lifetime. We watched the fall of the Berlin Wall and we have taken some steps in the progress of human rights. But the legacy of the baby boomer generation leaves little…
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