From Racism to Critical Dialogue in the Academy: Challenges of National Minorities at the University of Regina
My presentation discuss, in a critical perspective, of the integration/segregation of cultural minorities in post-secondary institution. This paper will present the particular case of the University of Regina where, on the same campus, coexist three "minority" institutions for the Métis (Gabriel Dumont Institute), the First Nations (First Nations University of Canada) and the Francophone (Institut français). This university campus is unique in this regard in Canada; it hosts three founding people post-secondary organizations. Although, the University of Regina seems to deal in a case-to-case matter with these cultural based institutions. The university did not develop any specific politics on cultural diversity that could define the institution orientations toward minority issues. Does that mean that the University of Regina maintains a “colorblind policy” that could hide a politics of race where traditional cultural domination of the majority is reproduced? The critical perspectives in education in particular, and in social theory in general, underline the importance of identify/unmasked discourses of power (Popkewitz, 1998; Olssen, 2003; Couzen Hoy, 2004) to understand and disengage any power relations. This methodology is essential to develop strategies of resistance (empowerment) of the oppressed against social oppression (Freire, 1983; Gore 1998; Calliste 2000; Nash 2003; Sharma 2004). The paper will highlight power relations reproduced by the governance body of the University of Regina toward cultural diversity in the deployment of its governmentality. This will be analysed by the assessment of resistance practices used by these “minority” institutions in their relations with the university administration.
Keywords: Diversity, University, National Minorities, Racism
Research Coordinator, Centre Canadien de Recherche sur les Francophonies en Milieu Minoritaire, University of Regina