“Statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II torn down in Canada” (BBC, July 2, 2021)
“Done with Dundas: Toronto to remove racist figure’s name from streets, infrastructure” (Global News, July 15, 2021)
“Reports of Anti-Asian hate crimes are surging in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic,” (CTV News, March 20, 2021)
The news stories above illustrate contemporary issues in Canada today, which can be linked together as challenges to traditional conceptions of Canadian identity and citizenship, whose roots are historical and can be linked to citizenship education. Canadian national identity and citizenship have been subject to discussion since Canada was founded as a collection of European colonies on lands that were, and continue to be, home to rich Indigenous cultures.
This study invites Canadians from across Canada to share their views of Canadian citizenship and identity and citizenship education. Participants will fill out an online survey exploring how they understand Canadian citizenship and identity, their views, experiences and hopes for citizenship education and their beliefs about what kind of society they would like Canada to aim towards.
The findings will serve as a starting point for theorizing a conception of the meaning of citizenship and identity in Canada. This conception aims towards the inclusion of all Canadians and the healing of past injustices, setting a foundation of inclusion that aims to address the contemporary challenges discussed in the news headlines above.
The research and theorizing of this conception of citizenship and identity will serve as the basis for the development of a citizenship education program for which resources, materials, and workshops will be made available to teachers across the country. The findings and recommendations will also be shared with Ministries of Education in order to spark discussion about possibilities for imagining the meaning of and educational means and methods of Canadian citizenship education in Canada in the 21st century that aim towards promoting an inclusive and flourishing democracy founded in acknowledging complexity and past historical wrongs and rooted in hope and belonging for all Canadians.