Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Blog: Anti-racism includes unlearning the histories of the land

Marlene Epp

By Marlene Epp, Professor of History and Peace and Conflict Studies

Marlene Epp is a professor of history and peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. She lives, works, and plays on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Attawandaron, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples.


It is somewhat ironic that the Land Back Camp underway at Victoria Park is just a short walk from the Schneider Haus on Queen Street.

The Land Back Camp is where a group of local Indigenous activists began occupying a small area of the park on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21). They are claiming land that was a traditional meeting ground for Indigenous peoples, used for trade, ceremony, and relationship building. The land was taken away by white colonizers and settlers, but in 1784 the Haldimand Tract (10 kilometres on each side of the Grand River from end to end) was granted by the British to the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations), to support them in perpetuity.

The Schneider Haus – a national historic site – was built in 1816 by the Schneiders, a Pennsylvania German Mennonite family who were among the first white settlers in this region. It now functions as a museum, with vibrant programming that educates children and adults about how Mennonites and other nineteenth century white settlers farmed, gardened, cooked, preserved, played, and sustained themselves on the land.

Friday, June 19, 2020

PACS Professor Lowell Ewert Honoured with UWaterloo Teaching Award

Lowell talking to a student

Lowell Ewert, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo, has been honoured with one of the four UWaterloo 2020 Distinguished Teacher Awards. This award celebrates exemplary instructors with a record of teaching excellence over an extended period. In addition to intellectual rigour, criteria for the award include impact beyond the classroom, concern for students, and a favourable and lasting influence on students and colleagues.

Friday, June 5, 2020

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Department, we continue to follow the new wave of protests and movements for racial justice occurring across the United States. As a Department we recognize that events of racism, and systemic and structural violence are not something that simply happen ‘over there’.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Blog: Finding Resilience through a Moral Imagination

Michelle Jackett

By Michelle Jackett

Michelle Jackett is a graduate of the Peace and Conflict Studies program (BA ’11) and holds an MA in Conflict Transformation, specializing in Restorative Justice (‘13). She currently works as Coordinator of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement and teaches Restorative Justice for PACS.


Did you know caterpillars turn to goop inside their cocoons before becoming butterflies? I learned this fun fact from Rebecca Solnit in her recent article “’The impossible has already happened': what coronavirus can teach us about hope.” More than a fun fact, the caterpillar’s transformation is an analogy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Shut Up and Listen

Rachel Reist

By Rachel Reist, PACS Undergraduate Academic and Administrative Officer & Internship Coordinator

Academic advisors at UWaterloo are often the first point of contact for students who are concerned about their mental health but not sure where to go or what to do. What I have found to be the best technique in my advising practice over the last six years is “shut up and listen.”