Led by the College, the Royal Society of Canada spent time in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in July, 2019 on its annual “Listening Tour”. The Listening Tour has evolved into an annual visit to an area of Canada that is remote or somehow under the radar, to sit with the people who live there, and listen. The idea is that by listening as those people describe what is taking place in their homes and their regions, more broadly, we will be better equipped to understand their experiences. By extension, learning about those experiences will inform our research and our public intellectual engagement. The College has, in the past, visited Goose Bay, Labrador and also Whitehorse, Yukon. This year, we were again delighted to be joined by a number of Royal Society Fellows.
The delegation reflected on two main themes throughout the visit:
- The first theme centred around the “food-water-energy nexus” questions that are of central importance to the people of Saskatchewan. The group heard presentations on each of these topics, and considered their impact on communities.
- The second theme was Indigenous relations, and the group visited the Wanuskewin Heritage Park and was treated to an exclusive screening of the documentary film “nipawistamasowin: We Will Stand Up” by filmmaker Tasha Hubbard.
The University of Saskatchewan proved an excellent host for the visit, showcasing its unique facilities and programs. We were, in particular, warmly welcomed by the Native Law Centre, and by the “Canadian Light Source” synchrotron, the Living Lab, and the Toxicology Centre.
This year’s group was made up of Royal Society Fellows and College Members from across Saskatchewan, as well as Fellows and College Members from Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
Planning is already underway for a visit to Fredericton, New Brunswick May 12-14, 2020. If you are interested in joining the Listening Tour in Fredericton, please contact Russel MacDonald.