18 June 2019

The Foundation’s 2019 Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows are embarking on a new teaching and learning adventure together. Upholding our tradition of bold academic and experiential learning, this year’s class is the first to take on the Foundation’s new Institutes of Engaged Leadership. The focus of the program will change each year. In 2019-2020 the focus is Power & Knowledge, exploring the intersection between these two forces and how both may be more equitably shared in society.

Christian Nadeau is a 2019 Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at l’Université de Montréal.

“Power and Knowledge are terms that we may think of as being very, very decisive factors in the 1980s, and so we may have the impression these are things that have already been deeply considered. At the same time, we realize that right now, with all the misinformation in public debate we find ourselves trapped due to various political forces that have no regard for the truth, and facts, and that sort of thing,” Prof. Nadeau said.

“So, what we can see is that knowledge represents an important countervailing power. Yes, knowledge is perhaps a form of power, but knowledge can especially be a shield, or countervailing power allowing us to fight back against various forms of pressure, whether in media, or politics, or elsewhere.”

The excitement is palpable among the 2019 Scholars, who were selected following a rigorous nomination and review process in the spring.

Steven Vanloffeld is among the new 2019 Scholars. His research is focused on “Free, Prior and Informed Consent and Development in Indigenous Territories” in the Geography Department at Western University.

“I think the knowledge and power we are producing here will benefit from the Mentors, from the Fellows, and from all the brilliant people that are part of this Foundation. Both now, but in the past and those who will come afterward,” he said.

“It is also humbling in my experience because these are often forums in which I am not a part of, right? Indigenous Peoples’ voices have often been marginalized. So, to be part of this is a unique opportunity for myself to engage in dialogue and with other people that have a similar viewpoint of making space for marginalized voices.”

Christine Hanson is a 2019 Mentor and Chief Executive Officer of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She is enthusiastic to get to work supporting the Foundation’s Leadership training.

“I think it’s quite exciting. It’s a wonderful network. I’m overwhelmed and impressed by the abilities and the diversity of the knowledge here in this group. So, I think I am going to learn a lot from the people in this network. I hope I can help guide some of the young scholars to help them with direction, and help them understand how they can use the knowledge and investment they are making in their education and learning to translate that into being able to make the world a better place.”

2019 Scholar Carlo Charles was awarded the Foundation’s doctoral scholarship for his research which focuses on ethno-racialization and nationalism at McMaster University and l’Université des Antilles.

“It’s a sense of joy for any student in the social sciences, to have the opportunity to be part of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a community of such accomplished researchers with so much experience in their fields, and who conduct research which is absolutely new and innovative in Canada. It is also having the immense, incomparable opportunity to receive mentorship. I think it is mainly that at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation: having the opportunity to be coached by people who have years of experience in their fields, whether it be in research or in other professions. It’s a real privilege and a chance to learn a lot.”