Monday, 9 May 2016

Gendered war: the challenges of implementing UNSCR 1325 in future civil-military operations

Dr. Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv
Twitter: @ghoogj 

The complex civil-military operations of the early twenty-first century were a testing ground for the implementation of the groundbreaking October 2000 United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security. The test went beyond the instrumental “increasing gender awareness” amongst militaries and their governments. The very nature of these complex civil-military operations have also been gendered. The use of force and enemy-centric thinking (combat operations, raids, etc) competed with population-centric approaches that included humanitarian and development aid, and governance support, all undertaken with the intention to win a war through “hearts and minds” (trust of the population) rather than violence.

The gendering of these approaches became visible as the participating intervening nations in Afghanistan and Iraq grew weary of slow progress in these operations and a complicated and demanding environment. An increasing rhetoric from a number of participating nations favoured a return to traditional, hyper-masculinist military practices – “killing people and destroying things” over a cosmopolitan, multi-dimensional, “feminized” approach that saw a larger role for non-kinetic (non-lethal) measures. The question is whether or not the implementation of gender perspectives within military institutions will suffer a setback as a result.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

How To (Not) Work in Solidarity With Black and Indigenous Peoples

By Dr. Toby Rollo
Twitter: @TobyRollo

So you want to work in solidarity with black and Indigenous peoples. Well, here are a few things you should know but probably haven’t considered.

First, black and Indigenous peoples aren’t homogeneous. They do not hold monolithic perspectives on any issue. There is, at times, deep disagreement within these communities. You cannot and should not adjudicate between them. However, you cannot and should not use disagreement as an excuse to avoid accountability. Like it or not, you’re going to have to make some tough choices.

If you thought you could get away with ducking disagreements and fetching coffee, you’re in for a big surprise. Working in solidarity means being accountable, and you are only accountable insofar as you do work – intellectual or physical – for which you can be held to account.

Monday, 18 April 2016

The White Fantasy of Being ‘Indian’: A Brief Reflection on the Daniels Decision

Dr. Darryl Leroux
Twitter: @DarrylLeroux  

It has been several days since the Daniels decision came down from the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), and not surprisingly, it is being welcomed by an incredible range of organizations and individuals. To be clear, I'm cautiously favourable to some of the decision’s likely impacts, but I want to take a moment to focus on the section that is getting the most attention among those organizations and individuals that I am familiar with given my research.

Let me begin with the following statement, offered by Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella on behalf of the court, which is being repeated over and over again by nascent “métis” organizations a little bit all over: “'Metis’ can refer to the historic Metis community in Manitoba’s Red River Settlements or it can be used as a general term for anyone with mixed European and Aboriginal heritage,” Abella wrote. “There is no consensus on who is considered Metis or a non-status Indian, nor need there be. Culture and ethnic labels do not lend themselves to neat boundaries.”

“Now I am Metis: How White People Become Indigenous,” Native Studies Speakers' Series, University of Saskatchewan, March 12, 2015.