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Canada Clinic presenters and educators at the Canadian Consulate General in Denver, CO.
In early November, the two Title VI National Resource Centers on Canada – our Pacific Northwest NRC on Canada (that links the UW Center with the Center Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University) and the Northeast NRC on Canada (that links the Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine with the Center for the Study of Canada at SUNY Plattsburgh) – offered a pre-conference Canada Clinic: Looking Beyond the 49th Parallel at the 90th Annual National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference at the Consulate General of Canada in Denver.
Fourteen educators, mostly from Colorado and representing elementary through post-secondary schools, attended the clinic. “Canada is absolutely essential to preparing our students for the future,” explained one educator about her interest in the Clinic.
State standards in the United States are very broad and most often do not include Canada specifically. Yet, Canada and the United States have the largest trade relationship in the world. An incredible one million dollars of goods and services cross the border every minute of every day. For this reason, “One section of the Consulate is dedicated to trade,” noted Jamie Caton, political and academic affairs officer. “Canada buys almost three times more from the United States than China does.”
Carol Markham, Consul at the Denver Consulate, provided a background on the defense relationship between Canada and the United States. “Canada and the United States are founding members of the United Nations and NATO. We have fought together in World Wars I and II, in Korea, in the Gulf War, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. Most importantly, the two countries are intelligence allies. It is not in the psyche of Canadians to be a world power, rather Canada has gained a reputation as a peacekeeping nation.”
The workshop offered participants 8 clock hours of professional development credit and included six presentations: “Canada 101” by Jamie Caton and Karen Palmarini, Consulate General of Canada, Denver; “Canada’s Geography,” by Betsy Arntzen, Canadian-American Center, University of Maine; “History of Canada” by Ruth Writer, Michigan State University; “A Portrait of Québec,” by Chris Kirkey, Center for the Study of Canada, SUNY Plattsburg; “Canada’s North and Inuit Homelands,” by Nadine Fabbi, UW Canadian Studies Center; “Best Practices and Resources for Teaching Canada,” by Tina Storer, WWU Center for Canadian-American Studies who also chaired the clinic, and “Tales from Canada” by Michael Cawthra a K-12 STUDY CANADA teacher associate and professional storyteller from Denver.
“My goal is to see Canada show up in our Colorado curriculum at the secondary level. We really need to see Canada in the state standards,” said Katie Lapp, former curriculum coordinator in Colorado. By comparison, the Canada-U.S. relationship is taught every year in Canadian high schools. Afterwards, another teacher commented, “This offers me an extraordinary opportunity to ‘discover’ Canada for myself and for my students”.
According to participant evaluations, all outreach objectives were ranked “excellent” to “outstanding” and the most beneficial aspects of the Canada Clinic were the “amazing amount of relevant info, clear, interesting, [and] well-prepared” as well as “the encouragement and help in understanding so many aspects of Canada and in accessing resources to enrich my classroom study of Canada.”
The special pre-conference clinic was the first in a series to be offered annually in conjunction with NCSS by the National Resource Centers on Canada. The two NRCs also shared a resource booth in the convention center’s exhibit hall, participated in NCSS International Visitors Program and Canada Community activities, and oversaw four additional conference sessions/workshops.
In 2011, the Canada Clinic will be offered at the Canadian Embassy when NCSS is held in Washington, D.C. and, in 2012, it will be offered in Seattle. Both Tina and I serve on the conference planning committee for Seattle 2012 and Tina was elected conference co-chair alongside, Margit MacGuire, Seattle University, Gayle Theiman, Portland State University, and John Moore, NCSS Vice President, Western Kentucky University.
The Canada Clinic four-year program is a Title VI grant-funded activity for the Pacific Northwest and Northeast National Resource Centers on Canada – U.S. Department of Education, International Education Programs Service – in partnership with Embassy and Consulate General of Canada offices in the United States.
||Ruth Writer, Teacher Associate and Outreach Coordinator, Michigan State University, provides an overview of Canadian history including the many intersections with U.S. history.|
Betsy Arntzen (left), University of Maine, and Karen Palmarini, Consulate General of Denver, taking notes from the Clinic.
Fourteen educators from Colorado and other states participate in the first Canada Clinic – a full-day clinic to be offered in conjunction with the annual National Social Studies Association conference.
|The organizing team for the Canada Clinic enjoys a celebration dinner hosted by the Government of Canada. From left, Jamie Caton, Michael Cawthra, Nadine Fabbi, Tina Storer, Karen Palmarini, Carol Markham, and Betsy Arntzen.||
Nadine Fabbi provides a presentation on Inuit history and current self-determination efforts in Canada and globally.
On 29 October 2010 the biennial Enders Symposium, sponsored by the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS), the Thomas O. Enders Foundation, and the Center, was held at the University of Washington.
Presenters and respondents came from across the United States and Canada including Doreen Barrie, University of Calgary; Tim Casey, Mesa State College; Heather Smith, University of Northern British Columbia; Stephen Blank, Centre for International Governance Innovation; Barry Prentice, University of Manitoba; Clayton Mosher, Washington State University; Robert Gordon, Simon Fraser University; Robert Thacker, St. Lawrence University; and Laurie Ricou, University of British Columbia.
The goal of the conference was to better understand why Americans might be interested in studying Canada and what might be some of their particular areas of interest.
Canadian Consul General, Seattle (left) discusses the symposium with Michael Treleaven, Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium (middle) and Doug Nord, symposium chair.
Douglas Nord, Chair of the symposium and President of ACSUS, opened with a discussion on “Discourse and Dialogue between Americans and Canadians” asking to what extent, over the last few years, has there been a change in how Americans see Canada. One of the most significant changes that Nord observed is that Canada is increasingly referred to by Americans as a laboratory for social policy – as an alternative case to the United States particularly in the areas of health care, same sex marriage, and foreign policy. He also suggested that American knowledge and understanding of “the people who live next door” has grown in recent decades.
Stephen Blank focused on Canada-U.S. trade integration in his presentation entitled “Making Stuff Together: An Examination of North America’s Auto Industry.” He observed that, “When we look at the infrastructure of North America we find that Canada and the United States are deeply integrated.” In fact, Blank suggested that rather than focusing solely on the Canada-U.S. trade relationship, our attention should be directed toward the “production relationship” between the two countries. “Our relationship is defined by structural integration,” argued Blank. “We don’t sell stuff to each other. We make it together. We are not a trade block, we are a production block.”
Tim Casey in his talk “A Model Environmental Nation?” discussed the utility of examining Canadian environmental policy in comparison to that found in the United States. He noted that the two countries share some similar environmental goals but may not approach them in exactly the same fashion due to differences in government structure and legal practice. He observed that in both countries, local and regional initiatives have made major contributions to the fashioning national policies.
Consul General Stevens picked up on this theme in his luncheon address, noting that there is a good deal of collaborative environmental interaction between regional groups in Washington and British Columbia. Speaking more broadly, he observed that the single largest challenge for Canada is getting the Canadian agenda on the U.S. “radar screen.” “The three priority messages of all the Canadian missions today,” noted Stevens, “are our integrated economy, our energy partnership [Canada is the number one supplier of oil to the United States], and common security concerns.” Increasingly, Government of Canada research and teaching grants awarded to U.S. faculty are helping to raise American attention to each of these issues.
Heather Smith provides a response to Tim Casey's paper, "A Model Environmental Nation? Canada as a Case Study for Informing U.S. Environmental Policy."
Clayton Mosher’s presentation “Convergence and Divergence? Recent Developments in Crime Policies in Canada and the United States” noted that the United States is the world’s largest jailer, whereas Canada has a much smaller rate of incarceration. He discussed some of the reasons for this divergence between the two countries. Mosher noted that while crime rates in Canada may be presently lower than those found in the United States, some Canadian approaches to crime and drugs are being fashioned from the American experience.
The program ended with a focus on American understanding of Canadian literature and poetry. Robert Thacker, “Reading North Through the One-Way Mirror,” pointed out that there are few American scholars of Canadian literature today. He argued that there is a need to expand American familiarity with the literature of our northern neighbors and for Americans to make their own unique contributions to its study and analysis. Literature and history used to be the largest disciplines represented at the ACSUS conference but this has changed.
This is the sixth Enders’s symposium and the first to be held at a western institution. It is also the first Enders’ symposium to focus on the U.S. perspective on Canada versus the reverse.
Thomas Enders was a U.S. statesman whose life, work, and service – particularly as U.S. Ambassador to Canada and Assistant Secretary of State of Inter-American Affairs – strengthened the political and economic links as well as the friendship between the United States and Canada. The Enders Endowment within ACSUS is designed to encourage scholarship on the Canada-U.S. relationship.
This symposium was sponsored by the Thomas O. Enders Foundation, the Government of Canada and by the Canadian Studies Center’s Title VI grant, International Programs Service, and the U.S. Department of Education.
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