University of Regina announces new Canada Research Chair

By Krista Baliko Posted: May 3, 2018 8:00 a.m.

Dr. Allyson Stevenson, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples and Global Social Justice.
Dr. Allyson Stevenson, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples and Global Social Justice. Photo: U of R Photography

Today, the University of Regina announced its newest Canada Research Chair (CRC), Dr. Allyson Stevenson, a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples and Global Social Justice.

“It’s difficult to put into words how meaningful this acknowledgement of my research is, especially because it is connected to my personal values as a Métis person, and to the values of our communities,” says Stevenson.

Stevenson is focused on raising the profile of Indigenous human rights in a global context – in particular, the rights of Indigenous women and children, says Stevenson.

“Because Indigenous women and children are some of the most marginalized people in the world, to centre their experiences in this CRC reflects my goals to see social justice in research – from the design to the end of a project – as a way of actualizing justice for Indigenous communities.”

A member of the Department of Politics and International Studies, Stevenson says part of her CRC project will be to gain a deeper understanding of the Indigenous child removal system and its ties to government-based efforts of assimilation.

“While the methods of removing Indigenous children have changed over time, whether through residential schools, the Sixties Scoop or foster care, what remains consistent is that Indigenous children have been and continue to be removed from their families.”

And these practices aren’t specific to Canada. “I will also look at how Indigenous child removal happened in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and, in different ways, Latin America.”

Stevenson, an adoptee and a historian, says her research methods will reflect children’s perspectives.  

“Rather than looking at policy, my research will be tied to listening to children’s voices and testimonies, through, for example, Sixties Scoop survivors and Truth and Reconciliation testimonials.”

She will also examine Indigenous women’s political organizing, with an aim to acknowledge the role Indigenous women have played in advancing Indigenous human rights in national and international realms.

Dr. David Malloy, Vice-President (Research), says the University of Regina is thrilled to have Stevenson join the University’s research community.

“Dr. Stevenson is a versatile and innovative scholar who will add Saskatchewan and Canadian perspectives to this important global conversation, and the University community, writ large, will benefit from her expertise.”

For her part, Stevenson says she’s excited to undertake her research at the University of Regina, where opportunities for collaboration across campus abound. She says she is also privileged to be able to work and live in the heart of the Métis homeland.

“This CRC will contribute to the conversation taking place in Saskatchewan and across the country about Indigenous rights,” says Stevenson.

The Government of Canada created the Canada Research Chair Program in 2000 to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. With this prestigious federal appointment, Stevenson joins seven other current University of Regina CRCs.

Related:

Check out the latest edition of Discourse to read about one of the projects in which Dr. Stevenson is involved: Examining the Sixties Scoop and Beyond