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Stories from Scarborough

The Stories from Scarborough Collection(SFS) and corresponding course management site (formerly known as the Scarborough Oral History Project and Nearby Studies) are part of an interdisciplinary initiative that supports course-based community research and pedagogical innovation.

The course is interdisciplinary in its design and delivery and has been offered since 2013. It has been offered in partnership with courses in History, Womens’ and Gender Studies, Anthropology, City Studies, Sociology and in the winter of 2022, Curatorial Studies. Students conduct their research in interdisciplinary teams and are introduced to qualitative interviewing research methods and the practice of storytelling. Since the first offering of the course, the final assignment has involved some form of rich media assignment – digital storytelling, mini digital documentary, podcast, StoryMapping. Course research themes have included: community leadership, migration/immigration, sense of belonging, gender dynamics, awareness of indigeneity, social justice and activism, textile production and heritage preservation. For more information on the course and its associated archive please contact: Christine Berkowitz or Connie Guberman

Interview with Madeleine Callaghan

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Madeleine Callaghan, who works with the City of Toronto in the Museums and Heritage department at the Scarborough Museum, shares her own learning experience around Indigenous histories in high school in the 1970s and college in the 1980s, as well as the current challenges faced by local museums in curating public history.

Interview with Alexandra Flynn

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Professor Alexandra Flynn speaks on her personal experience growing up in Indigenous communities and learning to become an Indigenous ally. She also notes the importance of actively integrating Indigenous knowledge into education while also touching upon the ways in which she tries to promote Indigenous knowledge in her City Studies courses.

Interview with Len Dalton

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Huan Zhao interviews secondary school teacher, Len, regarding his own past experiences on Indigenous issues in education and media representation, such as in government advertisements.

Interview with Floro

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Floro talks about his personal experience as an immigrant and his awareness of Indigenous issues and culture. Regarding his work at a Toronto Public Library, he talks about how his community's library takes a strong initiative to educate others on Indigenous culture and issues. Mentioning other branches of the Toronto Public Libraries, he speaks about how all have engaged in creating a space for Indigenous peoples to feel comfortable and respected.

Interview with Social Science Professor

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Social Science Professor talks about UTSC's initiative on Indigenous education, Indigenous representation in media, and her personal experience and past interactions with Indigenous people.

Interview with Sitharsana Srithas

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UTSC student talks about the university's student initiatives and activities to discuss and advocate for Indigenous issues.

Interview with Audry

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Despite having little exposure to Indigenous culture, Audry talks about her own understanding of Indigenous issues. She also talks about the education curriculum regarding Indigenous issues and culture as a primary school teacher.

Interview with Asalu

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Asalu shares her own personal awareness and understanding of indigenous issues as an educator, as well as her knowledge on Indigenous education.

Interview with Deb Parent

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Deb Parent reflects upon her experience in feminist activism. Deb discusses her journey in identifying herself as a lesbian and coming out in the late 1960s. Deb also mentions how she crossed paths with, and became involved in, organizations such as Gays of Ottawa and the Rape Crisis Centre and the profound impact these organizations have had on her life and her view of the importance of incorporating one's own perspective when helping others address oppression. In particular, Deb reflects on her takeaways of self-empowerment, intersectionality, and community from her involvement in initiatives such as the Take Back the Night March and her role as an instructor of Wen-Do self-defence classes.

Interview with Martha Friendly

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Martha Friendly discusses her career and involvement in childcare and research advocacy. She speaks on her role in the development of child care research, activism, and policy in Canada and Internationally. She expands on the history and evolution of child care theory, research, funding and resources, activism, politics and policy in the context of Canada, as well as comparatively in the United States, and internationally. She explains how child care research is impacted by governments, politics, and policies. Martha also mentions how child care research shows child care impacts society in many different ways. She elaborates on its role in the economy. Martha also discusses how social attitudes and perceptions on child care have shifted over time, including her own understandings and beliefs. She speaks on social reform regarding child care and its origins dating back to World War II and the women's movement.

Interview with Carolyn Ferns

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Carolyn Ferns talks about her position as the policy and government relations coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. She expands on the liberatory view of education involved in the realm of early childhood education and how it can be improved through politics and public policy. Carolyn discusses collaboration with other childcare organizations when working on initiatives surrounding the provincial budget and Childcare Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. In doing do, Carolyn also touches upon the ways in which these childcare organizations interact with and are impacted by the federal and provincial government.

Interview with Kathy Grant

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Public historian and founder of the Legacy Voices Institute, Kathy Grant briefly discusses her academic history, military career and her inspiration to become a Historian: her father, Owen Rowe. Kathy describes her father's life, education, military career, and activism. She speaks about her father's involvement in the West Indian Domestic Scheme (1955–1967) and his collection of historical materials that document the black community. Kathy also describes the Domestic Scheme in detail and comments on the work of other activists, including Donald Moore.

Interview with Nesha Haniff

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Nesha Haniff speaks about her book "Blaze a Fire" and how it weaves together class, gender, race, and multiple other aspects to portray the stories of 28 Caribbean women. Nesha briefly touches upon the process of creating "Blaze of Fire", primarily in regards to her connection with her publisher, Sister Vision Press. She talks about her ambition for "Blaze of Fire" to serve as a high school teaching tool that allowed students to reconsider their view of women. Nesha remarks that "Blaze of Fire", which was published in the late 1980s, was ahead of its time in terms of the integration of gender studies into the classroom.