Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in a Canadian City - Dr. Mary Jane McCallum (University of Winnipeg)

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The Department of History will present the following Driedger Lecture.

Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in a Canadian City

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Mary Jane McCallum (University of Winnipeg)
Day/Date:  Friday, October 30, 2020
Time:  3 p.m.
Location:  via Zoom (note: registration is free but we would ask that you register at as event details will be e-mailed)

Abstract: Structures of Indifference examines an Indigenous life and death in a Canadian city and what it reveals about the ongoing history of colonialism. At the heart of this story is a thirty-four-hour period in September 2008. During that day and half Brian Sinclair, a middle-aged, non-Status Anishinaabeg resident of Manitoba’s capital city, arrived in the emergency room of the Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg’s major downtown hospital, was left untreated and unattended to, and ultimately died from an easily treatable infection. His death reflects a particular structure of indifference born of and maintained by colonialism.

Speaker Bio: Mary Jane Logan McCallum, PhD is a Professor of History and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, History and Archives at the University of Winnipeg and a member of the Munsee Delaware Nation in Ontario.  She teaches Indigenous history and her research tends to focus on twentieth century First Nations social histories of southern Manitoba and Ontario, especially questions in the fields of health, education and labour. Dr. McCallum's published work includes Indigenous Women, Work and History 1940-1980 (University of Manitoba Press, 2014) and (with co-author Adele Perry) Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in A Canadian City (University of Manitoba Press, 2018).  Much of McCallum's academic service is devoted to Indigenous representation in post-secondary education, especially in History.  She is a founding member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and  Shekon Neechie, a website that promotes Indigenous history by Indigenous people. She is learning how to speak Lunaape (Delaware).

Inaugurated in 2016, the Driedger Lecture is delivered annually by a distinguished historian on an important historical topic. This series, along with student scholarships, is sponsored by the Driedger Fund, which was established by the children of Dr. Gerhard and Hilda Driedger to honour their parents' lifelong love of history.



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