Over the past year the Gladue Rights Research Database has had quite a number of enhancements. More than 900 of the existing entries have been edited and updated to better accommodate the kinds of queries that researchers were making. In addition, dozens of new d-base entries have been made relating to the newest scholarship appearing on the subject of the history of settler colonialism and Indigenous people in Saskatchewan. Researchers will also see that a host of oral interviews from sources as diverse as the Sask Archives and the Gabriel Dumont Institute have been reviewed, transcribed, and added to the database, providing gripping Indigenous voices describing the impacts of colonialism on individual’s and community lives.
The visual timeline for the database has been completely overhauled. Researchers will now find that in addition to the colour-coded thematic divisions that previously existed, the timeline now has numerous additional new entries that better reflect the impact of land and resource alienation and the impact of medical colonialism.
I especially want to draw people’s attention to the new video component of the database. Leading scholars in Indigenous studies have participated in making a series of original videos (studio quality sound and images) highlighting different features of Saskatchewan’s colonial history and the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous individuals, families, communities, lands, and foods. These represent cutting edge research and deep reflection of what Gladue rights are and how they can best be protected and accounted for. The videos also provide powerful frameworks for understanding Gladue rights in Canada.
Out team has also been working to create two interactive learning workshops that are designed to be delivered by trained and certified university students to a wide range of potential users of the database, ranging from researchers, lawyers, corrections officials, and K-12 educators. The Covid situation has caused us to put a hold on this initiative for a while, but as soon as the situation changes we will finalize the workshops and the student training and then make the workshops widely available. They will provide people with an introduction to, and a vocabulary for better understanding, settler colonialism, white privilege, and Indigenous history and culture. Stay tuned!
As always we invite people to just poke around and explore the database. It continues to grow and become more useful and powerful each day. And we encourage people to let us know if they find something on the database that doesn’t quite seem right or that needs to be revised.
We remain most grateful to the Law Society and to Legal Aid for their ongoing support.