Restorying Canada

Reconsidering Religion and Public Memory
A Conference and Public Event

University of Ottawa
Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies
18–20 May 2017

The 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, coming as it does in the aftermath of the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is an ideal moment to re-examine the stories told of Canada’s past. Religion has played a crucial, if understudied role in Canadian history: serving as the engine of residential schools, forming the still-extant “two solitudes,” inspiring collective visions of state responsibility for health care, and shaping a multicultural identity.

Registration for the conference is closed but you can still register for our two public keynote events:

Thursday, 18 May at 6:30 pm
Decolonizing the Canon:
An Evening of Poetry, Performance, and Painting
Featuring Cris Derksen, George Elliott Clarke, and Kent Monkman

Friday, 19 May at 7:00 pm
The Future of Religion in Canada: Utopia or Dystopia?
Featuring Margaret Atwood and Leah Kostamo

Restorying Canada will inspire bold challenges to historiographic conventions of how we remember, invite critique as well as celebration, and explore multiple media and genres for evoking and interrogating the past, privileging artistic creativity along with academic rigour.

Restorying Canada asks a few fundamental questions:

  • How does our understanding of our past impact our present?
  • What aspects of our nation’s history have gone un-told, been forgotten, or been systematically repressed?
  • How have the complex interrelationships among Canada’s religious communities changed?
  • Perhaps more troublingly, how have they remained the same?

Over three days, the conference will bring together scholars, students, artists, writers, journalists, and educators from across Canada to present their path-breaking current research. Conference keynote speakers include novelist Margaret Atwood, Poet Laureate of Canada George Elliott Clarke, artist Kent Monkman, cellist Cris Derksen, and filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz. Each speaker’s important work in their diverse fields of endeavour has encouraged creative and critical re-imagination of Canada’s collective past and its ambiguous legacy.

Scholars, students, and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you will be attending all or most of our events, we ask you to register.

If you are a student and interested in volunteering for the event, please contact the organizers.

With Support From

Canadian Heritage

Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung/Foundation Religion and Diversity Project Religion & Public Memory in Multicultural Studies