Karen Bakker, lauréate du prix Connexion 2017

Karen Bakker a été annoncée lauréate du prix Connexion 2017, l’un des cinq prix Impacts 2017 du CRSH. Décernés chaque année, les prix Impacts visent à souligner les meilleures réalisations ayant émané d’activités de recherche et de mobilisation des connaissances que le CRSH a financées, ainsi que les meilleures réalisations ayant découlé de l’attribution d’une bourse du CRSH. Le prix Connexion du CRSH souligne la réalisation, par un chercheur ou une équipe, d’une initiative remarquable ayant suscité la participation de son établissement et de la collectivité et ayant produit un impact d’ordre intellectuel, culturel, social ou économique.

La Prof Bakker dirige une équipe interdisciplinaire, formée de chercheurs universitaires et de personnes d’organismes locaux, qui exécute un projet sur la gouvernance durable de l’eau et le droit autochtone.

Ses recherches sont axées sur la conception et la mise en œuvre de réformes de gouvernance ayant pour but d’accroître la sécurité hydrique, compte tenu des crises de l’eau que connaissent à répétition les communautés autochtones. Dans ses travaux, elle met l’accent sur la durabilité de l’environnement, la réconciliation et les contributions du droit autochtone à la gouvernance au Canada.

Madame Bakker est titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en écologie politique de l’University of British Columbia (UBC), où elle est professeure au Département de géographie. Elle est en outre codirectrice fondatrice du programme sur la gouvernance de l’eau de l’UBC. Elle est l’auteure de plus d’une centaine de publications savantes, dont cinq ouvrages sur la gouvernance de l’eau. Elle a conseillé le PNUD, l’OCDE, l’UNESCO, l’Institut international du développement durable (IIDD), le gouvernement du Canada et le gouvernement du Royaume-Uni. Les médias grand public publient fréquemment ses commentaires.

Madame Bakker est boursière de la fondation Rhodes et membre du Collège de nouveaux chercheurs et créateurs en art et en science de la Société royale du Canada.

Non seulement Mme Bakker est-elle passionnée par ses recherches, mais elle adore également diffuser ses connaissances au moyen de méthodes de communication créatives et évoluées, faisant appel notamment aux arts et aux médias sociaux.

Sa démarche suscite l’intérêt d’étudiants et de chercheurs qui en sont à différentes étapes de leur carrière, et elle les inspire.

Le CRSH a subventionné mes travaux de recherche, et il en a résulté plus d’une centaine de publications savantes, dont cinq livres. L’un d’entre eux, Eau Canada, a été un succès commercial des UBC Press et a suscité énormément de débats au sein de la population canadienne. Le soutien du CRSH a en outre permis de constituer rapidement l’équipe du projet Decolonizing Water : lancé en 2015 grâce à une subvention Connexion, le projet est devenu en deux ans seulement un réseau de 21 spécialistes rattachés à 15 universités et travaillant avec plus d’une vingtaine d’étudiants. L’une des réalisations dont je suis le plus fière est le soutien et le mentorat que l’équipe peut fournir pour appuyer le travail remarquable qu’effectuent les étudiants autochtones et les chercheurs en début de carrière.

Reem Bahdi to receive Guthrie Award

The Law Foundation of Ontario is pleased to announce that the 2017 Guthrie Award will be presented to Reem Bahdi. The Guthrie Award is the Foundation’s signature award to recognize exceptional access to justice champions.

Professor Bahdi is an author, researcher, and human rights expert, with particular expertise in the human rights of Arabs and Muslims in Canada. She was the Canadian Bar Association’s first Equality Advisor and was instrumental in the creation of the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association.

“Professor Bahdi has seized the opportunity to work on complex and cutting edge access to justice issues,” says Linda Rothstein, the Foundation’s Board Chair. “She has dedicated her life to changing hearts, minds, and systems to champion human rights. And, remarkably, it seems she is just getting started.”

Canada’s first tenured Palestinian-Canadian law professor, Professor Bahdi is an associate professor at the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law and a visiting professor at Birzeit University’s graduate program in democracy and human rights in the West Bank. She helped introduce a mandatory access to justice course at Windsor Law in 2003 and served as the law school’s Associate Dean from 2012 to 2015.

“Professor Bahdi is an exceptional member of our Faculty of Law, and she is engaging our country in vitally important conversations,” says Alan Wildeman, the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Windsor and the individual who nominated Professor Bahdi for the award. “She has lived and breathed access to justice, and is a role model to students, scholars, and the profession.”

Professor Bahdi’s own research focuses on the human rights of Arabs and Muslims after 9/11 and Palestinian judicial education.

She has served as an expert witness, often on a pro bono basis, in many legal proceedings involving Canadian-Muslim rights and national security, including the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.

From 2005 to 2012, Professor Bahdi established and managed an international development project called Karamah, which means ‘dignity’ in Arabic. Primarily funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, Karamah promoted human dignity in the administration of justice in the West Bank and developed a model for judicial education to advance human rights.

Professor Bahdi has authored or co-authored numerous articles, book chapters, reports, and conference papers, which have been cited extensively and helped inform policy discussions in Canada and abroad. In 2015, she was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Looking to the future, Professor Bahdi has several new research initiatives in development. These include:

  • A community-based study, funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario, with the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association about the perceptions and needs of the Arab community in Ontario as it relates to access to justice
  • The finalization of two scholarly papers about Canadian human rights tribunals and access to justice since 9/11 that include a review of over 250 decisions involving Arabs and Muslims in Canada
  • A collaborative College of New Scholars project with College Member Laura Loewen, Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano/Vocal Coach at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba to teach empathy to law students through music

The Guthrie Award will be formally presented to Professor Bahdi at a reception later this year.

The Guthrie Award has added significance this year as 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the first time the award was presented. “We wanted to pause and reflect on this important milestone,” says Ms Rothstein. “The 20th anniversary gives us an opportunity to highlight the important work that has been done over the past 20 years and the work that still needs to be done to improve access to justice 20 years from today.”

Quotes from the supporters of Professor Reem Bahdi’s Guthrie Award nomination

“Whether serving as a resource to members of her community or supporting racialized law students in need of role models, Reem has for more than 15 years advanced the cause of access to justice locally and around the world, from the classroom to the courtroom. Reem Bahdi is eminently deserving of recognition for her tireless service to the cause of access to justice.”

– Faisal Bhabha, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

“Professor Bahdi has a significant proven track record of furthering access to justice in Canada. She has achieved this work with integrity, compassion and intelligence. She is extremely humble and diligently works to further access to justice without seeking the attention and recognition that she deserves.”

– Zahra Binbrek, legal counsel, Human Rights Legal Support Centre and an executive member of the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association

“Reem is fully committed to the implementation of human rights, whether in a classroom teaching access to justice, as an expert witness in a racial profiling case, or whilst overseas working on the Karamah project with the judiciary. She has devoted her career to exposing the universality and transformative nature of human rights with a view to defending the rights of marginalized groups.”

– Leilani Farha, Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty and UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

“Reem is a leading expert in Canada’s national security’s laws and their impact on the human rights and civil rights of Canadians and non-citizens… In post 9/11 Canada… it was empowering for the community to have someone of Reem’s calibre to analyze and provide critical analysis of these laws and to explain in lay terms why they were problematic. This information gave the community knowledge and confidence to undertake various campaigns to raise awareness and mobilize to challenge these laws.

– Dania Majid, lawyer, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario and founder and president of the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association

“Professor Bahdi pushed me and others to critically examine complex social issues; taught me and others to discern when procedural, substantive, or symbolic barriers to access to justice present themselves; and challenged us to think through the range of advocacy strategies to combat such barriers, whether such strategies would unfold inside or outside of a courtroom. In the end, I am undoubtedly a much more capable lawyer because of all this.”

– Justin Reid, Former Counsel to the Independent Police Oversight Review

“Even at Windsor Law, where access to justice (A2J) is our primary institutional theme, Professor Bahdi stands out as a leading light. Her contributions to legal education are multi-faceted. From innovative teaching to mentoring, and from cutting-edge research to equity-led administrative service, Professor Bahdi has been in the forefront of not only interrogating A2J on a theoretical plain, but in making our institutional theme a lived one for faculty, staff, and students.”

– Christopher Waters, Dean and Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor Ontario

About the Guthrie Award

The Foundation created the Guthrie Award in 1996 to honour H. Donald Guthrie, Q.C., a long-time member and Chair of the Foundation’s Board. The Foundation welcomes and encourages nominations of individuals who have a significant and proven track record of furthering access to justice. Guthrie recipients have built bridges between youth and the justice system, advanced justice for Indigenous peoples, served women experiencing violence, and strengthened the community clinic system to assist people with low-incomes. Previous recipients include: Kimberly Murray, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice and former Executive Director, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada; Stephen Goudge, former Ontario Court of Appeal; the Hon. Roy McMurtry, former Attorney General and Chief Justice of Ontario; Alan Borovoy, former general counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.

This article was originally published by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

La professeure Valerie Oosterveld a été sélectionnée pour diriger un projet des Nations Unies

Faculty of Law professor Valerie Oosterveld has been selected to lead a United Nations Women-funded project to learn more on the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes from the Special Court of Sierra Leone (2002-13), created to address serious crimes committed during the brutal armed conflict in the West African country in the 1990s.

The world will have a clearer understanding of sexual and gender-based violence in Sierra Leone during its armed conflict, and, in turn, a blueprint for better prosecuting these war crimes, thanks to the backing of a United Nations (UN) grant and the efforts of a Western Law professor.

As a lawyer with Department of Foreign Affairs in 2000, Valerie Oosterveld and a colleague led Canada’s role in establishing the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international criminal tribunal created in 2002 by the UN and the Government of Sierra Leone to address crimes committed during the brutal armed conflict in the West African country in the 1990s. During its decade-long run, ending in 2013, the court indicted numerous individuals on dozens of charges.

Among them was former Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first African head of state convicted for his part in war crimes. Taylor was charged with 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, including murder, forced labour and slavery, recruiting child soldiers and rape. He is currently serving a 50-year sentence.

Oosterveld’s involvement with the court continued until 2005, when she arrived at the Faculty of Law at Western, turning an academic spotlight to the actions of international criminal courts. Today, she is leading a team to draw lessons specifically from the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence during the duration of the Special Court.

“From the very beginning, the prosecutor of the Special Court decided it would be very gender sensitive – a very big difference from all of the previous international criminal tribunals, such as Rwanda and Yugoslavia,” Oosterveld said.

“In thinking about the crimes that happened in Sierra Leone, the prosecutor realized the sexual and gender-based violence was very central to what happened there. There were thousands upon thousands of women and girls who were captured and basically made into slaves. Part of that was being a sex slave. It’s happened in other conflicts, but it had never been focused upon. The Special Court made it a central purpose of their prosecutions.”

While Oosterveld has written extensively on the judgements and convictions of forced marriage, sexual slavery and rape that came out of the Special Court, no one has truly “pulled back the curtain” to look at how it happened.

To do just that, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women awarded Oosterveld a $37,000 grant. For the project, researchers will interview a range of people – including former court investigators, prosecutors, defence counsel, judges, legal officers and civil society members – to discover the decisions they made, and the actions they took, with respect to these crimes.

Oosterveld is working with former Western Law alumna Fanny Leveau, LLB ’11, an expert in gender-sensitive international justice, and Wayne Jordash, a British lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in the international human rights and humanitarian law fields, and a former defence counsel to the Special Court. They will publish their findings as a book and series of articles, in order to disseminate the information to other international and domestic tribunals tasked with gender-related prosecutions of war-time crimes.

“I feel it was a success,” said Oosterveld, looking back at what was accomplished through the Special Court. “What it did, on sexual and gender-based violence, was actually prompt a discussion in Sierra Leone that what happened to these women and girls were crimes. It led to significant law reform – now rape is a crime, where before, it wasn’t a crime unless it was against a young girl. Rape was not a crime in marriage during the conflict.

“Not to say the entire culture has changed – there is still discrimination against women in certain sectors, still a massive problem with rape – but there are prosecutions happening. While there are criminal laws changing, you need the culture change to allow it.”

Oosterveld’s work involves constantly reading transcripts of witness evidence involving what happened to the victims; it can be quite devastating, she said. But she tries to focus on the positive as to why she is reading the transcripts – to make change and ensure there are more gender-sensitive prosecutions happening in the future.

“There has been a radical shift in the understanding of the fact sexual and gender-based violence occurs in most conflicts and needs to be investigated alongside killings, genocide, enslavement and other crimes,” she said. “Part of that radical change is understanding they need to dig deeper and once they do they will discover more violations happening and the International Criminal Court is making progress around this.”

This article was written by Paul Mayne, and originally published by Western News

La Dre Carrie Bourassa est nommée directrice scientifique de l’Institut de la santé des Autochtones des IRSC

Le Dr Alain Beaudet, président des Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (IRSC), a annoncé aujourd’hui la nomination de la Dre Carrie Bourassa au poste de directrice scientifique de l’Institut de la santé des Autochtones des IRSC. Cette nomination prendra effet le 1er février 2017.

La Dre Bourassa est titulaire de la chaire sur la santé des gens du Nord et des Autochtones de l’Institut de recherche Horizon Santé-Nord, à Sudbury. Elle a auparavant été professeure en santé autochtone durant 15 ans au Département de la santé, de l’éducation et du travail social autochtones à l’Université des Premières nations (UPN) du Canada, à Regina. Durant cette période, sa recherche a grandement contribué à sensibiliser les gens à l’incidence de la colonisation sur la santé des Autochtones et à la nécessité d’offrir des soins adaptés à leur réalité culturelle.

La chercheuse est membre du Collège de nouveaux chercheurs et créateurs en art et en science de la Société royale du Canada et représentante du public au conseil du Collège royal des médecins et chirurgiens du Canada. En 2012, elle a remporté le prix Métis en santé et en science de la fondation Wiichihiwayshinawn inc. Au mois d’août 2016, les IRSC l’ont nommée au conseil consultatif des instituts sur la santé des Autochtones.

La Dre Bourassa est métisse et fait partie du Conseil métis Riel de Regina inc. (RMCR, section locale no 34). Elle a obtenu une maîtrise en sciences politiques et un doctorat en études sociales de l’Université de Regina.

La Dre Bourassa se joint à nous à un moment très propice puisque l’organisation a récemment annoncé une série de mesures concrètes pour affermir sa relation avec les membres des Premières Nations, les Inuits et les Métis, et pour augmenter ses investissements dans la recherche en santé autochtone. À titre de directrice scientifique de l’Institut de la santé des Autochtones des IRSC, la Dre Bourassa travaillera de concert avec les acteurs du milieu à la mise en œuvre de ce nouveau plan en 10 points, visant àassurer un avenir sain aux Autochtones. Elle jouera aussi un rôle essentiel dans le développement de la prochaine génération de chercheurs autochtones, par le renforcement de la relève et le mentorat.

La nomination de la Dre Bourassa constitue un jalon pour les IRSC. En effet, pour la première fois, un institut des IRSC sera hébergé à l’extérieur des grands centres urbains. Ce changement de paradigme illustre bien l’engagement des IRSC à s’attaquer aux problèmes de santé auxquels sont confrontés les habitants des régions nordiques et rurales du Canada. Les IRSC souhaitent miser sur leur relation avec l’Institut de recherche d’Horizon Santé-Nord, où les scientifiques prennent part à de la recherche de pointe sur le vieillissement en santé, les soins contre le cancer, les maladies infectieuses, la médecine de précision ainsi que la santé des Autochtones et des habitants du Nord.