Posted by: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe | November 23, 2010

A Social History Timeline: Universal Human Rights

This is a personal lifelong teaching, learning and research tool created by Maureen Flynn-Burhoe. References are provided as much as possible. It is neither comprehensive or complete. It will always be a partial snapshot. It is shared within the spirit of the creative commons.
Sub-themes include selected events in the histories of major religions, indigenous peoples, Nunavut, Canada, women, the media, democracy and labour.



c. 1780   BCE Hammurabi Code and  local

563      BCE Origins of Buddhism with the birth of Siddhartha Gautama
450      BCE Publication of ancient Roman laws, the Twelve Tables
400      BCE Plato’s Republic
106      Diplomatic ties are established between the Chinese and the Persians.
250      The prophet Mani Paraclete (210-275) from Western Persia founded the Manichaeism religion which attempted to unite all existing religions, particularly Zoroastrianism and Christianity. The Manichaean apocalyptic cosmology doctrine declared the existence of a Dualism within the universe, which was like as a battlefield between two equal forces of good and evil, Jehovah (Creator) and Satan (Created). The Dualist doctrine was widely accepted late Middle Ages.
c. 370 Augustine lived near Carthage, which was in in the Roman state of Numidia (present day Tunisia and Algeria.) Augustine read Greek philosophers, such as Plotinus and adopted his neo-Platonic thought. He attempted to organize an Athenian-like gathering of philosophers and intellectuals who were seekers of truth.
c. 370 The Huns invade Europe from the Central Asian steppe.
410      Rome fell to Arian Christians, a heretical sect. Augustine wrote of this in his Exegesis (critiques) of Genesis, Romans, and other books of the Bible. In Confessions, the first autobiography in Western history, Augustine wrote about memory, will, and time. The City of God examines why Rome fell to Arian Christians (a heretical sect) in 410. It contains observations and commentary which are still relevant today, including a section which some believe is the beginning of the concept of a ‘just war’. He wrote voluminously works that were adopted by the Roman Catholic religion.
430.     Hippo, (Carthage) was surrounded by Vandals.
476      Fall of the Western Roman Empire
565      Emperor Justinian I’s Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law) is a classic illustration of Natural Law doctrine combining the best of classical Greco-Roman law with Christianity. The code includes honest living, inflict no harm on others and give everyone his due.
570      The birth of Muhammad.
618      The Tang dynasty is established in China.
625      Through the Constitution of Medina the clans accepted Muhammad as the Prophet of God and formed an alliance, or federation forming a political community. Non-Muslims such as Jews and Christians were members of the community as protected people, as long as they conformed to its laws. This established a precedent for the treatment of subject peoples during the later conquests. Christians and Jews, upon payment of a yearly tax, were allowed religious freedom and, while maintaining their status as non-Muslims, were associate members of the Muslim state.
629      Mohammad reentered and conquered Mecca without bloodshed and in a spirit of tolerance which established an ideal for future conquests.
632      Death of the Prophet Mohammad in Mecca marks the beginning of the expansion of the Arab Muslim Empire.
636      Muslims Caliphs consolidated the support of the tribes within the Arabian Peninsula and subsequently funneled their energies against the powerful empires of the East: the Sassanians in Persia and the Byzantines in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt; extended Islam’s temporal rule over Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Persia. The Muslim state had extended its sway over all of Syria and blunted the power of the Byzantines. The Byzantine ruler Heraclius had rejected the letter from Mohammad. The Muslim state administered the conquered territories with a tolerance almost unheard of in that age. At Damascus, the Muslim leader assured Christians and Jews that their persons, churches and properties would be respected. Throughout the Byzantine Empire, already weakened by religious dissension, Muslims gained power by offering religious tolerance to Jews and Christians. Muslim leaders protected languages and cultures in countries they controlled.
680-740 Shantarakshita was an influential Buddhist philosopher of a syncretic school combining Madhyamaka and Yogachara doctrines and contributing to the last flowering age of Buddhism in India.
657-61   The establishment of the Arabic Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus and the origin of the Sunni-Shi’ite split in Islam. At Siffen near the Euphrates,  a major schism divided Moslems into two groups Sunnis or Sunnites and the Shi’is (also called Shi’ites or Shi’ah) that continues to divide Moslems today. Iran is mainly Shi’ites while Iraq is primarily Sunnites.
713      Muslims expanded control over vast regions of Asia, Africa and Europe. They passed into Spain, defeated the Visigoths, and by 713 had reached Narbonne in France. In the next decades, raiding parties continually made forays into France and in 732 reached as far as the Loire Valley, only 170 miles from Paris. There, at the Battle of Tours, or Poitiers, the Arabs were finally turned back by Charles Martel. The religious motivations of the early Caliphs was tarnished by desires for political and economic expansion. Moslems were not unified as they were in the early years following Mohammad’s death.
724-43   During the reign of the Umayyad caliph Hisham, the Arab empire reached its greatest extent. The  Syrian Umayyads buiilt some of the most beautiful existing buildings in the Muslim world the  Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the lovely country palaces in the deserts of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. They also organized a bureaucracy able to cope with the complex problems of a vast and diverse empire, and made Arabic the language of government. The Umayyads, furthermore, encouraged such writers as ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Muqaffa’ and ‘Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya al-Katib, whose clear, expository Arabic prose has rarely been surpassed.
740-790 Kamalashila was an influential Buddhist philosopher of a syncretic school combining Madhyamaka and Yogachara doctrines and contributing to the Last flowering of Buddhism in India.
759-80   The Uighurs converted to Manichaeism under Khan Mei-yu.
800–1100s Turkish (Ottoman?) Muslims invaded India
786:     “Harun al-Rashid was Abbasids caliphate in 786 in the Golden Age of Islam. The Golden Age was a period of unrivaled intellectual activity in all fields: science, technology, and (as a result of intensive study of the Islamic faith) literature – particularly biography, history, and linguistics. Persian miniature depicts students with a teacher of astronomy – one of the sciences to which scholars of the Golden Age made great contributions. ‘Abbasid writers also developed new a genres of literature such as adab, the embodiment of sensible counsel, sometimes in the form of animal fables; a typical example is Kalilah wa-Dimnah, translated by Ibn al-Muqaffa’ from a Pahlavi version of an Indian work. Writers of this period also studied tribal traditions and wrote the first systematic Arabic grammars. During the Golden Age Muslim scholars also made important and original contributions to mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and chemistry. They collected and corrected previous astronomical data, built the world’s first observatory, and developed the astrolabe, an instrument that was once called “a mathematical jewel.” In medicine they experimented with diet, drugs, surgery, and anatomy, and in chemistry, an outgrowth of alchemy, isolated and studied a wide variety of minerals and compounds. Important advances in agriculture were also made in the Golden Age. The ‘Abbasids preserved and improved the ancient network of wells, underground canals, and waterwheels, introduced new breeds of livestock, hastened the spread of cotton, and, from the Chinese, learned the art of making paper, a key to the revival of learning in Europe in the Middle Ages. The Golden Age also, little by little, transformed the diet of medieval Europe by introducing such plants as plums, artichokes, apricots, cauliflower, celery, fennel, squash, pumpkins, and eggplant, as well as rice, sorghum, new strains of wheat, the date palm, and sugarcane.  Photo: Muslim scientists developed the astrolabe, an instrument used long before the invention of the sextant to observe the position of celestial bodies.”
800 –    Muslims built a superior civilization in Andalusia, southern Spain. Reigning with wisdom and justice, they treated Christians and Jews with tolerance, with the result that many embraced Islam. They also improved trade and agriculture, patronized the arts, made valuable contributions to science, and established Cordoba as the most sophisticated city in Europe.
861      Turks once used mainly for military protection, began to dominate the Muslim caliphate. Under the Turks, Central authority began to decline.
900      In c.900 the Moorish city of Cordoba, southern Spain, had a population of 500,000, compared to about 38,000 in Paris. According to the chronicles of the day, the city had 700 mosques, some 60,000 palaces, and 70 libraries – one reportedly housing 500,000 manuscripts and employing a staff of researchers, illuminators, and book binders. Cordoba also had some 900 public baths, Europe’s first street lights.
900      The Jews arrived in Prague as merchants building a rich, cultured community in spite of centuries of persecution including confinement within a walled section of the city. Jews were not persecuted by those Muslim traders who followed Mohammad’s teachings of tolerance.
906      The end of the Tang dynasty in China.
940      The conversion of the Qarakhanids and Uighurs from Buddhism to Islam under Satuq Bughra Khan. Manchaen religion dies out?
986      The Russians, in search of a religion, contact Muslim missionaries from Khwarezm, but decide not to adopt Islam.
988      The conversion of the Russians to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
1000    A small pocket of Christian resistance began to grow into a Christian Reconquest which was successful due to the lack of unity among Muslims.
1000? “The famous Muslim theologian Al-Ghazali, whose greatest work, the Revival of the Sciences of Religion, was a triumph of Sunni theology taught for a time at the nizamiyah schools at Baghdad and at Nishapur. Nizam-al-Mulk was the patron of the Muslim poet and astronomer ‘Umar al-Khayyam (Omar Khayyam), whose verses, as translated by Edward FitzGerald in the nineteenth century, have become as familiar to English readers as the sonnets of Shakespeare.”
1100s Attar, a Persian Sufi wrote his masterpiece The Conference of the Birds, described as an epic allegory of the seeker’s journey to God. All the birds of the world convene to choose a king. German novelist Hermann Hesse’s “Journey to the East” has been compared to this poem (Attar 1100s).
1095    Pope Urban II called for a truce among European rulers between the oppositional factions of the Eastern Orthodox and Western Christian churches, to aid the Eastern Orthodox Byzantines against the Muslims urging them to take the Holy Land from the Muslims.
1187-1280s       Moslem ruler Saladin counterattacked against the Crusaders. Saladin recaptured Jerusalem. The Europeans mounted a series of further crusading expeditions against the Muslims over the next hundred years or so, but the Crusaders never again recovered the initiative. Confined to the coast, they ruled small areas until their final defeat at the hands of the Egyptian Mamluks at the end of the thirteenth century.
1160- Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1204), from Azerbaijan, in the southeastern region of the Caucasus Mountains, collected a number of folk versions of this originally Bedouin tale from the North Arabic tribe of Amir in western Saudi Arabia (7th century CE) and shaped them into a single narrative of more than 4,000 stanzas which has been compared for its beauty and depth to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (Maclean 2000). The Khamsa (Quintet), which includes “Layli and Majnun,” “Khusrau and Shirin,” and several other stories in verse. (Bashiri 2002). The story of Layli (Layla) and Majnun is the classic love tale of the Middle East which is also prized by Sufi mystics as a profound spiritual allegory of the soul’s search for and ultimate union with God.
1193    Moslems attacked and conquered Magadha, the heartland of Buddhism in India Buddhist Monasteries in India, like Nalanda, were destroyed.
1169    The English first arrived in Ireland.
1206    Chingiz Khan becomes khan of the Mongols.
1215–94 Mongol emperor, Kublai Khan Mongol founded the Chinese Yüan. The empire reached its greatest territorial extent with Kublai’s final defeat (1279) of the Sung dynasty of China; however, his campaigns against Japan, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Indonesia failed. He recruited men of all nations for his civil service, but only Mongols were permitted to hold the highest government posts. He promoted economic prosperity by rebuilding the Grand Canal, repairing public granaries, and extending highways. He fostered Chinese scholarship and arts. Although he favored Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism), other religions (except Taoism) were tolerated. Kublai encouraged foreign commerce, and his magnificent capital at Cambuluc (now Beijing) was visited by several Europeans, notably Marco Polo, who described it. It was long thought to be the city Xanadu, featured in Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan. ( Saunders 1988). China had four classes: The tiny privileged Mongolian minority; secondly, the se-mu jen (“persons with special status”), such confederates of the Mongols as Turks or Middle Eastern Muslims [Marco Polo may have been one of these?]; thirdly, the han-jen (northern Chinese); fourthly and lastly man-tzu, “southern barbarians”, the numerical majority which was ¾ of China from Sung China. There were also many slaves.
1209    The Muslim Uighurs, under Barchuq, submit to Mongol rule.
1207-1273 Jalal Al-Din Rumi, Afghani Muslim Philosopher, religious scholar, wrote the Mathnawi which highlights the various hidden aspects of Sufism, the relationship between God and man, man and man, and man with the worldly life. Rumi influenced literature, culture, metaphysics, philosophy in Central Asia and Islamic countries.
1215    Magna Carta (Great Britain)
1200 – 1400 Small Arab kingdoms flourished in the mountains of Andalusia, Spain. It was then that they created Granada and the Alhambra described as “the glory and the wonder of the civilized world.”
1238    The Alhambra, Spain was begun in 1238 by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar who, to buy safety for his people when King Ferdinand of Aragon laid siege to Granada, once rode to Ferdinand’s tent and humbly offered to become the king’s vassal in return for peace.
1242    The Mongols stop their westward advance at the gates of Vienna.
1247    Beginning of Construction of Gothic style Strasbourg Cathedral.
1248    Al-Ahmar kept his promise to Spanish monarch, King Ferdinand of Aragon and helped Christians against Muslims in the siege of Seville in 1248. Over the years, what started as a fortress slowly evolved under Ibn al-Ahmar’s successors into a remarkable series of delicately lovely buildings, quiet courtyards, limpid pools, and hidden gardens. Later, after Ibn al-Ahmar’s death, Granada itself was rebuilt and became, as one Arab visitor wrote, “as a silver vase filled with emeralds.”
1290s Egyptian Marluks Muslims defeated the Christian Crusaders in the final expedition mounted by the Crusaders.
750s – 1250s? “The creation of the office of the vizier was only one of the innovations the ‘Abbasids brought to statecraft. Another was the development of the Umayyad postal system into an efficient intelligence service; postmasters in outlying provinces were the eyes and ears of the government and regular reports were filed with the central government on everything from the state of the harvest to the doings of dissident sects. Under the ‘Abbasids too a whole literature was created for the use and training of the clerical classes that had come into being. Since all government business was by now transacted in Arabic, manuals of correct usage were written for the instruction of non-Arabic speakers who had found government employment. There was also a vast literature on the correct deportment of princes, as well as anthologies of witty sayings and anecdotes with which to enliven one’s epistolary style. Trade flourished under the ‘Abbasids. Because Islamic rule unified much of the Eastern world, thus abolishing many boundaries, trade was freer, safer, and more extensive than it had been since the time of Alexander the Great. Muslim traders, consequently, established trading posts as far away as India, the Philippines, Malaya, the East Indies, and China.”
1220    “Genghis Khan leading the Mongols, a confederation of nomadic tribes, that had already conquered China, attacked the Muslims. In 1220 they took Samarkand and Bukhara. By mid-century they had taken Russia, Central Europe, northern Iran, and the Caucuses. In 1258, the Mongols invaded and devastated Baghdad. The Mongols adopted the religion of Islam but destroyed much of Islamic civilization. They killed or deported numerous scholars and scientists and destroyed libraries with their irreplaceable works. The result was to wipe out much of the priceless cultural, scientific, and technological legacy that Muslim scholars had been preserving and enlarging for some five hundred years.”
1260    The Mongol Yüan dynasty is established in China under Kublai Khan. 1215–94, Mongol emperor, founder of the Yüan dynasty of China. From 1251 to 1259 he led military campaigns in S China. He succeeded (1260) his brother Mongke (Mangu) as khan of the empire that their grandfather Jenghiz Khan had founded. The empire reached its greatest territorial extent with Kublai’s final defeat (1279) of the Sung dynasty of China; however, his campaigns against Japan (see kamikaze), Myanmar, Vietnam, and Indonesia failed. Kublai’s rule as the overlord of the Mongol empire was nominal except in Mongolia and China. He recruited men of all nations for his civil service, but only Mongols were permitted to hold the highest government posts. He promoted economic prosperity by rebuilding the Grand Canal, repairing public granaries, and extending highways. He fostered Chinese scholarship and arts. Although he favored Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism), other religions (except Taoism) were tolerated. Kublai encouraged foreign commerce, and his magnificent capital at Cambuluc (now Beijing) was visited by several Europeans, notably Marco Polo, who described it. It was long thought to be the city Xanadu, featured in Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan. Kublai’s name is also spelled Khubilai, Kubilai, Koublai, and Kubla. (See J. J. Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests (1971); M. Rossabi, Khubilai Khan (1988).)
1283    By the Middle Ages, major trading centers existed including the route past Chillon castle, Villeneuve near Geneva, Switzerland, residence of the counts of Savoy.
1357    In Prague, the Charles Bridge was built by King Charles IV over the Vltava River. The bridge is lined with 30 Baroque statues. To one side of the river is the old Jewish Town.
1300s Prague’s large Jewish community was confined to a walled-in section of town where like most Jews in Europe they were frequently under attack.
1348    A plague broke out in Villeneuve, Switzerland near Geneva. The town’s Jews were accused of plotting with Christian accomplices to poison the water supply, and large numbers of both were tortured in Chillon’s dungeons before being burned alive.
1389    In Prague 3,000 Jewish men, women and children were cornered and slaughtered in the infamous Easter massacre.
1403    Bedlam, London, England, was used as a hospital for patients with mental disorders.
1440    Gutenberg completed his wooden press which used metal moving type (de la Mare 1997).
1453    “Although the Crusades achieved no lasting results in terms of military conquest, they were important in the development of trade, and their long-range effects on Western society – on everything from feudalism to fashion – are inestimable. Ironically, they also put an end to the centuries-old rivalry between the Arabs and Byzantines. By occupying Constantinople, the capital of their Christian allies, in the Fourth Crusade, the Crusaders achieved what the Arabs had been trying to do from the early days of Islam. Although the Byzantine Empire continued until 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, it never recovered its former power after the Fourth Crusade, and subsisted only in the half-light of history during its remaining years.” For the West, however, the Crusaders’ greatest achievement was the opening of the eastern Mediterranean to European shipping. The Venetians and Genoese established trading colonies in Egypt, and luxury goods of the East found their way to European markets. In the history of the Middle Ages, this was far more important than ephemeral conquests. Control of the Eastern trade became a constantly recurring theme in later relations between the European countries and the East, and in the nineteenth century was to lead to widespread Western intervention.”
1455    Gutenberg completed work on his 42 Line Bible (de la Mare 1997).
1462    The attack on Mainz by soldiers of the Archbishop of Nassau, caused printers to flee the city and spread their skills around Europe (de la Mare 1997).
1490s The decline of the overland trade routes, including the Silk Road, due to a new emphasis on trade by sea marked the end of the first wave of globalization.
1482    In a trivial quarrel, the Muslim kingdom split into two hostile factions and, simultaneously, two strong Christian sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, married and merged their kingdoms. As a result, Granada fell ten years later.
1492    Christopher Columbus, under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, first arrived in the heavily populated, peaceful, prosperous Island of Hispaniola, West Indies. On January 2, Ferdinand and Isabella ended Islamic rule of Spain. Catholic Spain conquered the Alhambra, the cultural summit of 15th century Muslim culture.
1497    “Vasco da Gama led a fleet of four Portuguese ships around Africa and in 1498 found a new sea route to India from Europe. Dutch, British, and French frigates and merchantmen followed and began establishing trading outposts along the shores of the Indian Ocean, eventually undercutting both Venetian shipping and the Mediterranean trade on which the Middle East had thrived for millennia. This new route would prove devastating for the Muslim traders who had provided the European countries with imports from the Far and Middle East through the Ottoman caravans.
1492-1542 Catholic Spaniards attracted by the gold of the West Indies cruelly killed, terrorized and destroyed native peoples, almost decimating the entire indigenous population. Eye witness Las Casa estimated the genocide of 15 million First Peoples of the West Indies. He estimated that only two hundred survived (Las Casas 1542).
1517    Martin Luther protested against the Catholic Church which heralded the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, a sixteenth-century religious movement.
1520-66 “The Muslim Ottoman Empire reached its peak in size and splendor under the sultan called Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled from 1520 to 1566 and was known to the Turks as Suleiman the Law-Giver. But from the middle of the sixteenth century on the empire began to decline. This process got under way as the office of the Grand Vizier gradually assumed more power and indifferent sultans began to neglect administration.”
1542    Las Casas published the Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies based on his eye-witness observations in the West Indies.  Las Casa reported that the island of Cuba was almost completely depopulated. San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Jamaica were deserted and devastated. He compared the islands off northern Cuba to the lush gardens of the King of Seville. All the First Nations were killed or enslaved. One shipload of Natives escaped with the help of one Spanish Christian. The vast mainland was described as longer than the distance between Seville and Jerusalem. The First Nations were described as rational, prosperous, noble and peaceful. Las Casas described the motivation of the Spanish Catholics as the desire for gold (Las Casas 1542).
1520    Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for attacking papal authority.
1521    Martin Luther argued for justification by faith at the Diet of Worms rejecting the need for priests as intermediaries between God and man. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Many princes adopted this doctrine.
1533    Rabelais integrated street language including folk humour, the carnivalesque and the grotesque mixed with Latin to parody the official worlds of religion — Roman Catholic Church — and state —and the Holy Roman Empire (AGO 2000; Rabelais 1533 [1955]). Bakhtin compared the Russian Revolution to the early Renaissance through an analysis of the work of Rabelais. Inhabitants of Renaissance Europe as described in the literature of Rabelais (Bakhtin 1940 [1968]) experienced radical change during the time threshold between the dark ages and the higher renaissance.
1516-1555: Charles I ruled Spain and then the Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V during the Renaissance.
1555-1598 Philip II married Mary I of England Philip II. This is the period studied by Fernand Braudel.
1509-1547 Henry VIII ruled England.
1547-1553 Edward VI ruled England
1553-1558 Mary I ruled England
1558-1603 Elizabeth I ruled England
1515-1547 France: Francis I ruled France
1547-1584 Ivan the Terrible ruled Russia
1486-1519 Maximilian I was the Holy Roman Emperor
1519-1558 Charles V was the Holy Roman Emperor
1558-1564 Ferdinand I was the Holy Roman Emperor
1520-1566 Suleman Kanuni (the Lawgiver) was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire which expanded from Mecca, through northern Africa, to the Black Sea… During his rule trade routes prospered between London, the Rhine Valley, the Danube valley, Kiev, Algeria, Egypt and Istanbul.
1541    John Calvin established a puritan theocracy in Geneva.
1540    A confederacy of nations was formed in North American called The League of Iroquois composed of Seneca, Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida and Cayuga. The governing council of the confederacy made decisions on issues that affected all tribes and acted as arbitrator for inter-tribal affairs. Each tribe dealt with their domestic affairs without interference from the other confederate members (Daugherty 1982).
1545-63 Dark Ages in Europe with the Roman Catholic Church in control.
1545-7   The Catholic Church issued the decrees of the Council of Trent initiating the Catholic or Counter Reformation which included the censorship of books (1545-63). Those who violated the law stood being excommunicated. Britain from the 16th century regulated the press through licensing (Medialaw 2001).
1546-7   Charles V inspired by the Catholic Counter Reformation attacked the Protestant Princes.
1557    France in 1557 passed the death penalty for importing forbidden books: “experience has shown the king of France how prejudicial to the state is the liberty of the press (Medialaw 2001).”
1530-36 Swiss patriot and historian François de Bonnivard supported the revolt of Geneva against Charles III of Savoy, who imprisoned him from 1519 to 1521. He was again imprisoned from 1530 to 1536 in the castle of Chillon, romanticized in Lord Byron’s poem “Prisoner of Chillon.” Released by the Bernese, he later became a Protestant. Geneva honored him with a pension. His chronicle of Geneva was first published in 1831 (Bonnivard 1560) See also Byron and Henry James’ Daisy Miller.
1576    Martin Frobisher, attempted to find the Northwest Passage. He encountered Inuit on Resolution Island. Five sailors jumped ship and became part of Inuit mythology. The homesick sailors tired of their adventure attempted to leave in a small vessel and vanished. Frobisher brought an unwilling Inuk to England.
1590s Legends claim that Prague’s Rabbi Judah Loew (1520-1609), one of the most respected and beloved sages in Eastern Europe built Golem a man of clay, to protect the persecuted members of the Jewish community of Prague.
1608    The creation of the Protestant Union (The Evangelic Union) an alliance of princes and city’s supported by Holland, England and France led by (Frederick IV) the Elector of Palatinate (TBC).
1609    The creation of the Catholic League led by Maximilian of Bavaria and aided by the Emperor. Bohemian Phase (1618-1625 commencement of hostilities)
1618    Ferdinand Hapsburg of Austria elected King of Bohemia and begins his Catholic reformatory policies.
1618    Bohemian Protestant rebels invade the royal palace in Prague throwing two of the Kings ministers out of the windows (known as the Defenestraition of Prague). Protestants call for help from the Duke of Savoy and Ferdinand of Austria.
1612    Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor [The Western Catholic Church associated with Rome] Rudolph II’s Imperial Court was cultural and spiritual centre of Central Europe in the late Renaissance on the eve of the Thirty Years War. Rudolph II collected Paintings, sculpture, alchemical experiments, astrological tables, herbal medicine, living beasts and bottled demons in a single point in time and space – his Kunstkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities. Tycho Brahe and his assistant Johannes Kepler changed the face of the heavens. [Note: Kepler’s model of the snowflake and the munitions pile?] Here artists such as Arcimboldo and Spranger wove eroticism, scholarship, and mysticism into complex allegorical masterpieces. “During the period of Rudolph II, the Jewish Town in Prague prospered. Jews could practice certain kind of handicrafts, open goldsmith shops and sell their goods outside the ghetto [?MFB] (Havel 1997).
1620    Johanne Kepler, a Protestant in the Upper Austrian Province defended his mother who was accused of being a witch during the witch hunts of 1615-6.
1618    The Thirty Years War began. The German and Austrian regions were devastated. Counter Reformation measures put pressure on Protestants who were persecuted.
1619    The last set of city walls in Europe enclosed the new settlement of Londonderry built by merchants from London in the Ulster plantation. It was a symbol of the final triumph of English colonialism over the Irish chieftains (Megastories).
1620    Puritans drew up the “Mayflower Compact,” agreeing to abide by “just and equal laws” framed by leaders of their own choosing.
1620    With the battle on the chalk slopes of White Mountain, a Bavarian Catholic army attacked Prague which was protected by the Bohemian forces under a Hungarian nobleman. Catholic army won and Protestantism was banned in all of Bohemia.
1628    Petition of Right (Great Britain)
1641    The Court of Star Chamber was controlled by the monarch and was so named because its seat was in the royal palace of Westminster in a room with stars painted on the ceiling. In the seventeenth century, the court was used by sovereigns James I and Charles I to suppress opposition to their authority. The court met in secret and dealt out excessive and cruel punishment. The Star Chamber was finally abolished in 1641 (Guy 1977).
1640-6   English Civil War partially in response to the imposition of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings imposed by Charles I and the Archbishop of Canterbury. English society was already individualistic, with less communal ownership and interdependency than in mainland Europe. In reaction to this state imposed system the Levelers insisted on rights that reside with individuals protected by a Lockean natural law. English common law, the Magna Carta and the Petition of Right protected individual liberty. Levelers denounced the Norman yoke which they claimed corrupted common law tradition.
1600s The Merchant Adventurers Company held the sole right for trade in textiles in England.
1644    “John Milton published his famous Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, the work was illegally dispersed through the underground London printing network; its spread was a vindication of the very argument contained within. […] In 1695 censorship was allowed to lapse from the statute  book, in recognition that it had become ineffective (Elliott 1989).
1648 – 1793 War of Kings: Westphalian Monarchical, Territorial States fought wars to expand
bureaucracies, armies, mercantalistic economic strength, territories (Ostergaard 1994). In 2000 the US advances the notion of “failed states” in international affairs, which provides a mandate for the sole remaining superpower to stage regime changes in any nation deemed a failed state in the world order of nation states that has existed since the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 (Liu 2002).”
1651    Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1651 (Hobbes 1651[1996]) marks the beginning of Enlightenment thinking  on human nature and society (Viner Role of Providence; Hirschman, Passions; and Myers). Hobbes’ argued that humans are natural enemies to one another because they are by nature, self-centred and materialistic. “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes quoted in Myers 32 cited in Rassekh 2002). The realist mode of thinking (statist logic of George Kennan, Henry Kissinger) is traced to the writing of Hobbes and later Machiavelli (Falk 2000a:22). – Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1651 marks the beginning of the Enlightenment philosophers on human nature and society. (Viner Role of Providence; Hirschman, Passions; and Myers) Hobbes’ argued that humans are natural enemies to one another because they are by nature, self-centred and materialistic. “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes quoted in Myers 32 cited in Rassekh 2002:) Hobbes and Locke developed concepts of civil society as distinct from the state (Hobbes 1651[1996]).” Debates on small and big government related to the interface between civil society and state continue today and return to the Hobbes versus Locke debates of the Enlightenment.
1679    Habeas Corpus Act (Great Britain)
1688    The Glorious Revolution (Great Britain) was a bloodless coup d’etat in which the Protestant William of Orange was invited to become king to replace the Catholic King James II.
1688    The town of Londonderry, Ireland closed its gates to the Catholic James II who was fighting to regain the throne of England that he had lost in the ‘Glorious Revolution.’
1689    Locke enunciated the freedom to choose one’s belief system, “No one by nature is bound unto any particular church or sect, but everyone joins himself voluntarily to that society in which he believes he has found that profession and worship which is truly acceptable to God. The hope of salvation, as it was the only cause of his entrance into that, so it can be the only reason to stay there…A church, then, is a society of members voluntarily united to that end (Locke 1689).”
1689    English Bill of Rights (Commons 1689 [2002])
1690    Two Treatises of Government by John Locke outlines concept of natural law distinguishing between civil society and state; civil security and role of government,  self-preservation versus laws made by the society to preserve society, laws of the society confine the liberty individual has by the law of nature (Locke 1690).
1729    Jonathan Swift published his ironic essay on a Modest Proposal for alleviating the misery of the impoverished Irish (Swift 1729 [1973]).
1744    The first person to propose a union of all the colonies and to propose a federal model for it was the Iroquois Chief Canassatego speaking at an Indian-British assembly in Pennsylvania (Weatherford 1988).
1755    On November 1 Lisbon, Portugal was hit by a devastating earthquake. The Roman Catholic Church claimed this was evidence of divine justice punishing the wicked inhabitants of the city. Enlightenment scholars like Voltaire rejected the claim of divine intervention arguing that the pious city would have been spared on a Sunday morning by a just diety, not destroyed.
1757    Edmund Burke published the “Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful” (Burke 1757). Burkian empirically based theory of the sublime as fear inspired by nature, would become an integral part of Romanticism in the arts. Recent scholarship has linked the poetics of Romanticism with the politics of colonialism, Rousseau, slavery, the exotic Other, Orientalism. See Wordsworth, Coleridge, Novalis, Goethe (Persyn 2002). For Burke, “when danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and are simply terrible; but at certain distances, and with certain modifications, they may be, and they are delightful. For a contemporary reading of Burkean sublime and Kant see (Vere 2001).”
1790    Burke, Edmund. (1790) Reflections on the Revolution in France (Burke 1790).
1762    Jean-Jacques Rousseau  (1762)  The Social Contract
1763    The Royal Proclamation directed that all lands for future settlement and development in British America must first be cleared of the “Indian” title by Crown purchase. The proclamation reaffirms First Nations’ rights to the land and resources, however, conditions are placed on the rights to hunt.” The Royal Proclamation was the defining document in the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in North America (1763).
1773    “Edmond Burke prophetically recognized the first partition of Poland in  1773, (Burke 1755) as the beginning of the crumbling of the old international order. The principle of the balance of power had been historically invoked to preserve the independence of European states, to secure weak or small states against Universal Monarchy. Poland was the first nation in the European system to be partitioned out of existence without a war, a source of great satisfaction to the participating powers: Russia, Austria and Prussia. The event showed that in a world where great powers had risen, controlling modern apparatus of state, it was dangerous not to be strong. A century later, Africa, lacking strong governments, was also partitioned without war among the states of Europe.  Furthermore, the partition of Poland profoundly altered the balance of power in Europe.  Emerging Western European powers, such as France and England began championing the cause of Polish resistance and nationalism for geopolitical reasons (Liu 2002).”
1774    First Continental Congress (United States).
1774    U. S. Independence from Great Britain- Colonies won their wars with aid of Native American Nations.
1775    Official U.S. Indian Policy began when the Second Continental Congress created three Indian departments — Northern, Middle, and Southern —headed by commissioners who reported directly to Congress. Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin served as commissioners (Hirschfelder 1993).
1775-1781         American Revolution
1776    “As early as May of 1776, Congress had passed a resolution advising the colonies to form new governments “such as shall best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents.” Within a year after the Declaration of Independence, all but three states had drawn up constitutions.” (USDSO-IIP)”
1776    Declaration of Independence (United States)
1776    Common Sense by Thomas Paine
1783    “On September 3, 1783, American and British representatives signed articles of peace — the Treaty of Paris – – in which Britain acknowledged the independence, freedom, and sovereignty of the 13 former American colonies, soon to be states (USDSO-IIP)”
1784    Joseph Brant dictated Treaty of Fort Stanwick non-native claim to country by conquest (Submitted by Thompson, Carol. 2001. Akwesasne)
1789    The US Constitution
1789    French Revolution. The victors of 1789 founded a Constitutional Monarchy. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
1790    The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen by Olympe de Gouges
1791    The Rights of Man (1791-1792) Thomas Payne
1791    Bill of Rights of the United States
1791    Property ownership was the qualification for suffrage as outlined in Lower Canada’s Constitutional Act. Women were allowed to vote. Rosalie Papineau , the mother of Louis-Joseph Papineau was among the first women to vote. The Act was changed to deprive women of the vote.
1792    A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
1792    In August of 1792, the Paris Commune, the local city government run by zealous Parisian revolutionaries held a violent demonstration which overturned the newly founded 1789 Constitutional Monarchy and denounced the Monarchy as enemies of the Revolution. The Parisian revolutionaries rejected the National Constituent Assembly and the first Legislative Assembly elected under that constitution.  They called for National Convention to a write a constitution of a Republic. In the new constitution all men, not just the wealthier “active citizens” could vote for the electoral colleges that chose delegates. In reality the vote was controlled by the Jacobin leadership with leaders such as Danton declaring, “France is not republican. We can only establish a Republic by the intimidation of its enemies.” Danton justified the massacres during the Terror as necessary part of this intimidation. The National Convention did not fully represent public opinion in France. The more radical Montagnard Jacobins on the Left side of the National Convention under the leadership of Danton and Robespierre, took control over the Girondists on the Right.
1793-4   The Reign of Terror: The centralized Parisian anti-Christian, French National Convention was pitted against: the Royalists: Austria, Prussia, Britain and Holland; the Federalists who advocated decentralization, to limit Parisian centralized power especially the anti-Christian Parisian leaders; the Christian Democrats, representing, la peuple, the sans-culottes, men and women too who distrusted government and wanted radical changes. They claimed a democratic motivation which was a new use for the term. During the Reign of Terror, about 20,000 people died for being royalists, Girondins, federalists, or Hébertists, in other words urban radicals including Jacobin Montagnard Danton.
1794    The French Revolution was perceived as a secular religion of a dynamic minority that professed human equality, reason — and nationalism, equal partners in a great mission to create a better civilization free of slavery.
1793 – 1918 The War of Peoples or Nation-States began with the Atlantic-Democratic Revolution (Palmer 1959?) (Ostergaard 1994) R. R. Palmer asserts, “The war of kings is over; the war of peoples has begun.”
1794    The Jay Treaty is negotiated and completed. The Treaty asserts that First Nation People are not subjects of Great Britain and the United States and that First Nation People may pass borders unmolested. It was signed with Great Britain to avert a second war with the colonies. See contemporary First Nations artist Mcmaster.
1795    Johann Friedrich Blumenbach was a German anatomist and naturalist who established the most influential of all racial classifications, invented the name Caucasian in 1795, in the third edition of his seminal work, De Generis Humani Varietate Nativa. He claimed that the beauty of the people of this region was uncontested. Blumenbach’s definition cites two reasons for his choice–the maximal beauty of people from this small region, and the probability that humans were first created in this area. Mount Caucasus, is a mountain in the mountain range that straddles Russia and Georgia. Blumenbach believed that the autochthones of the Caucasian race (and therefore the human race) originated in this area in Georgia (Blumenbach 1775).
1788    One of the principal thinkers of ‘Strum und Drang’ , Goethe’s published on his travels in Italy. He was both fascinated and repulsed by the Rabelaisque Roman Carnival which he declared could not be written; it had to be experienced firsthand. Goethe’s work was profoundly influenced by the French Revolution, contemporary Weimar politics, his scientific research into plant metamorphosis, and colour theory. For more on carnival see Bakhtin ‘s 1940 Rabelais and His World in 1940 (Gardiner 1992:45; Goethe 1789).
1795    Kant’s Perpetual Peace (1795) a companion piece to the Critique of Judgment dramatically affected the contemporary German-speaking art circle in Rome. The painter Jakob Asmus Carstens and the critic Carl Ludwig Fernow, learned Kant in Rome in a politically charged atmosphere as Napoleon “liberated” Italians from the Austrians in 1800. Traveling artists supplied the expatriates with texts by Kant, which were read as complementary. Kant may have envisioned aesthetics as separate from politics (in addition to setting and time), but his short political book was read as a companion piece. For a discussion of this see Cheetham (2001).
1796    Bonaparte prepares to invade Italy from Nice to liberate Italy from Austrians. Bonaparte describes liberating army as generous enemies (Bonaparte 1796 [1947]).
1796    Seven Nations Treaty of Canada was signed. ( (submitted by Smoke, Rena. 2001. Akwesasne)
1798    Napoleon successfully invaded Egypt which was part of the waning Muslim Ottoman Empire. This signaled the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire.
1800    Napoleon I (1800) “If I let the press do what it would like to do, I would be out of office in three months (Medialaw 2001).”
1800    Napoleon made Italy part of his empire. In 1814 Austrian, English, Prussian and Swedish allied forces defeated Napoleon. Italy was partitioned in 1815. In 1861 Italy was united under Garibaldi and Cavour into the Kingdom of Italy.
1806    At the Battle of Jena, Napoleon defeated the Prussian monarchy.
1814    The Times of London introduced the first steam-press (Keep, McLaughlin, and Parmar).
1800s The labour press began to publish describing a social landscape in which the rights to justice, equality and property of artisans, mechanics, trades people were impeded (Hackett and Zhao 1998:16).
1807    Great Britain abolished the slave trade.
1812    The war between Great Britain and the United States: by reason of hostilities the United States considers the Jay Treaty null and void.
1814    The Treaty of Ghent permited First Nation People to cross the border of Canada and the United States without being assessed duties on their “proper goods and peltries.” However, each government would enact legislation in respect to this treaty.
1816    Hegel (and Comte) depicted the accomplishments of the human mind — with its ultimate in the intellectual — as the pivotal force behind historical epochs. The state of Prussia in 1816 was the state of intelligentsia. Hegel proclaimed the end of history. The ideals of liberty and equality were to be imminently universalized. It was a victory of western ideals of freedom and equality embodied in a liberal democratic state (Brym 2001).
1812-1930 Bedlam, a ‘madhouse, was moved from Liverpool Street to Lamberth Street, London, in what is now the Imperial War Museum. In the 18th and 19th centuries Bedlam — like a public hanging — was considered to be a place of public diversion, entertainment or spectacle (Foucault 1963). In 1735 Hogarth made reference to Bedlam in an engraving that parodied the half-penny. It showed a demented Britannia with wild, flying hair – his country, he is obliged to tell us, has ended up in the madhouse (Hogarth 1735).
1815-36 The English working class used newspapers as a vital way of contributing to an unfolding class (Gregory 1999)consciousness (Hackett and Zhao 1998:27).
1820    Great Britain imposed a pact on Arab tribes on the coast of the Arabian Gulf.
1830s France occupied Algeria.
1832    Daumier was imprisoned for his lithograph of King Louis-Philippe as Rabelais’s gluttonous Gargantua forcing the starving masses to satisfy his insatiable need for wealth by placing all their valuables on a conveyor belt that fed directly into his cavernous mouth, as he sat on his throne excreting rewards and honours to the politicians below.
1834    Daumier’s lithograth Rue Transnonian, 15 April 1834 depicted the aftermath of a massacre of sleeping men, women and children in Parisian working class district. During a public insurrection a National Guardsman was wounded and his troop murdered all the inhabitants of the house from which the shots were fired (Gregory 1999).
1835    A jury acquitted editor/politician Joseph Howe accused of criticizing the authorities. The law of seditious libel was effectively struck down (Hackett and Zhao 1998:15).
1839    Britain occupied Aden, in Yemen, at the strategic entrance to the Red Sea as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. Aden was once part of the territory of the Sabeans.
1840s Both within and outside Europe, new civilizations were discovered. On the one hand the notion and fact of popular culture as an alternative to established high culture made its imprint from the 1840s (Ostergaard 1994).
1841    Frederick Douglass is invited to speak at American Anti-Slavery Society meeting.
1842    The Treaty of Treaties on State Lack of unilateral Authority to conduct Land Transactions.
1844    Marx published the Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts.
1845-51 One million Irish Catholics died and another million emigrated because of genocidal policies. In 1841 there were over 8 million Irish Catholics. The Irish famine is the most tragic historical example of the devastating impact, mainly on the most marginalized and disadvantaged, of protectionism and local monopoly of control over goods and services.
1845   Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is published
1848    The Declaration of Sentiments sets the agenda for the US women’s movement.
1848    Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
1848    First Women’s rights convention. The early feminists who studied the moeurs of the Iroquois are: Matilda Joslyn Gage (1848); Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1848); Alice Fletcher; Laura M. Sheldon Wright; Erminnie Smith (Smithsonian Institute); Carrie S. Burnham. (submitted by Benedict, April. 2001. Akwesasne) Frederick Douglass attends first women’s rights convention
1851    Harriet Tubman, made numerous trips between the southern slave states and Canada conducting groups of escaping slaves to freedom.
1851    Mary Ann Shadd formed the Anti-Slavery Society in Toronto
1853    Mary Ann Shadd published The Provincial Freeman. She was the first Black woman to publish a newspaper in North America.
1850 – 1867 “Both the Leader and the Globe in their views of democracy expressed the central position of mid-Victorian liberalism. Both declared for a wide, popular electorate but still wanted a qualified franchise to recognize property and intelligence, and to prevent the rule of ignorance and mere numbers…. There was in this mid-century Canadian press little of the spirit of American Jeffersonian or Jacksonian democracy with their faith in the natural worth of the common man. 9”
1856    Dred Scott case: the Supreme Court decision.
1860s The Qillarsuaq family fled Pond Inlet for safety in Thule (Lynge 1993:32).
1863    Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring the freeing of slaves in all the areas then in rebellion against the U.S. (USDSO-IIP)
1863    John Stuart Mill published the first consistent exposition of Utilitarianism.
1860    The events of the 1860’s, rebellion in Jamaica and Ireland and agitation for franchise reform at home, and the critique of laissez faire associated with them, precipitated a transformation of Liberalism (Lee 1996).
1865    Jules Verne wrote From the Earth to the Moon (1865)
1866    Frederick Douglass meets with President Andrew J to discuss black suffrage.
1867 – 1960 “The federal and provincial legislatures had the primary responsibility for safeguarding human rights principles inherited from the United Kingdom (Holmes 2001:3).”
1867    A Russian Foreign Minister, Eduard de Stoekle, sold Alaska to the American Foreign Minister William Sweard for 7 million dollars (Lynge 1993:34).
1868    The Federal Government of Canada is given authority under Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act 1867, “to make laws for the Peace, Order, and Good Government of Canada,” including laws about “Indians and lands reserved for Indians.” (Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1869    The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
1869    On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
1869    “Ferdinand de Lesseps, with the backing of the French emperor, completed what would become, and still is, one of the key shipping arteries of the world, the Suez Canal.”
1871    The anthropologist Edward B. Tylor’s introduced the concept of primitive culture in 1871. The idea became popular through Tylor’s influential work and it entered the dominant discourse. Tylor set European civilization and western progress as the standard by which all others cultures should be measured (Ostergaard 1994).
1870    Manitoba Act of 1870 Indian Title. First Nations peoples were starving, demoralized, weakened by disease and plagued with alcoholism. White settlers arrived in increasing numbers. In the midst of despair natives began to speak of the Fifth Generation, a future time when there would be a rebirth of their people (York 1990:262).
1872    The Ontario Workman was founded. The labour newspaper expressed Enlightenment sentiments: “Co-operation is a principal that has shone upon the world through the progress of intelligence, and that it will gradually grow with the intelligence of the masses we have no doubt. It, or some like system, will gradually supersede the serf system of the past (Hackett 1998:21).”
1873-7   Economic slump in Britain as US industry expands.
1870    The unification and militarization of Germany.
1870s “A vignette in the Saturday Review, a popular English Victorian magazine, is typical of mid-century attitudes to race and working class life: “The Bethnal Green poor… are a caste apart, a race of whom we know nothing, whose lives are of quite different complexion from ours, persons with whom we have no point of contact…”(Malik 2001)
1871    George Chesney novel The Battle of Dorking (1871) predicted war in Europe as nations felt threatened by Germany’s unification and militarization.
1873    Intensive expansion of the Californian gold fields, the opening-up of Africa and Asia, the development of imperialism. Capitalism prevails as do Victorian values and social policy.  In 19th century Britain, the State was either passive or punitive “prevailing contemporary interpretations of poverty and deprivation, and the diverse responses to them. Several key issues are enunciated: the division of responsibility for welfare as between the individual and the State; the sources of impetus for social policy formulation and the intervention of the State; the contradictory requirements of laissez faire and safeguarding the public good; the relative influence of morality and pragmatism in social policy formulation.” Victorian values
1870-1940 France is ruled under the Third Republic starting with Napoleon III. His minister, Baron Haussmann undertook urban renewal projects provided public parks, “widened boulevards lined with uniform facades, and brought the railway to the centre of Paris. Benjamin considered Haussmann to be an artist of demolition whose tranformations consisted in clearing urban areas of slum housing by moving the poor to the suburbs. Urban renewals were undertaken in the name of progress and Paris was the symbolic epi-centre of progress. Benjamin argued that there was indeed no real progress or change, only a rearranging of the old. Daumier also criticized Haussmann’s negative impact on everyday life in Paris as pedestrians could no longer easily cross the streets, and damp, dark basement apartments became infested with mushrooms.
1880    The Department of Indian Affairs is created to enforce the Indian Act.
1880s The US founded Knights of Labor was spreading across Canada. (Hackett 1998:28)
1881    The International Paris Electrical Exposition was held leading to predictions that the future would be dominated by science, technology and electricity. The America Thomas Edison’s Electric Company exhibited incandescent devices, a model of the Edison central-station lighting system showed an arrangement of incandescent lights within a complete electrical distributing system, including novel appliances and controls of the Edison system, and his first Jumbon generator which was “direct-connected” to its driving engine. Hammer exhibited the wax cylinder phonograph at the exposition (Harding 1881 [1986]).
1881    France occupied Tunisia
1882    Britain took control of Egypt.
1882    Thomas Edison’s central station on Holborn Viaduct in London began operation. Edison exhibited at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London.  He established companies in London and Paris to manufacture electric light system components and to install central stations in Europe and the United Kingdom.  He established electric light companies in Latin America. He opened the Pearl Street central station in the Wall Street district of New York.
1883    Mount Krakatoa, in Java erupted killing 50,000 people and drastically contributing to global climate change for months after the explosion. The blast was heard around the globe.
1884    The Indian Act was amended to outlaw sundances, potlatches and thirst dances by the federal government. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald called the potlatch a debauchery of the worst kind declaring that […] it and similar ceremonies encouraged barbarity, idleness and waste, interfered with more productive activities and generally discouraged acculturation. (Francis 1995)
1884    The Fabian society of Great Britain was founded by a group of upper middle class British intellecturals who promoted utopian socialist principles. Welfare state defined by Ferdinand Lassalle (1825-1864) in response to the growing social inequalities of liberal capitalism. Lassalle argued that the state should nationalize industries, redistribute national income, and provide social security. Prominent Fabians included Sidney and Beatrice Webb (1859-1947, 1858-1943), Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and Harold J. Laski (1893-1950), Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, Sir Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley, John Maynard Keynes. In America liberal ideals are similar to fabian socialism. John Dewey, President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, B.F. Skinner, Betty Friedan, Francis Crick, Isaac Asimov promote(d) liberal ideals. It was replaced by Keynes theories in the 1930’s.
1885    Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw and others published the Fabian Essays which was based on Bismarck’s Prussian model of bureaucratic planning and management for public welfare.
1887: “Nisga’a Chiefs travel by water to Victoria to discuss the Nisga’a Land Question. They are turned away on the steps of the legislature by Premier William Smithe (PWGS 2001).”
1889    “Aboriginal fishers are excluded from commercial fishing until 1923 (PWGS 2001).”

1800s Utilitarianism advocated the goal of the greatest good of the greatest number instead of democracy based on natural rights and reason. Utilitarianism was better accepted by the ruling order, the middle class. They were concerned that democracy would lead to mob rule. (Hackett 1998:19) (Hackett and Zhao 1998) Utilitarianism and democracy are held in a long-standing tension in the United States.
1890    Jacob Riis exposed the poor living conditions of the tenement slums in How the Other Half Lives (1890) and inspired significant tenement reforms. Progressive Period
1891    Emma Borlum wrote “One day I showed some astonishment at seeing a young Indian woman, in the absence of her husband, give two horses to a friend. She looked at me very coldly and said: “These horses are mine.” I excused myself saying that in my country a woman would consult her husband before giving such expensive presents. The woman answered proudly: “I would not be a white woman!” (Indian Roots, 1990) (submitted by Benedict, April. 2001. Akwesasne)
1891    T. P. Thompson was Canada’s most prominent labour journalist. He was forced to close his newspaper when his readers turned to the commercial dailies. “It is much to be regretted that the wage earners are so stupidly blind to their own interests that they cannot see the advantage of having a live outspoken journal to plead their cause. 33” (Hackett 1998:28)
1893    Sanford Dole with the help of US troops overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy. Queen Liluokalani was held prisoner in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu by Dole’s government. She was summarily tried, found guilty of treason and forced to abdicate the royal throne of Hawaii in late 1896. It was while she was imprisoned in the palace that she wrote the song “Farewell to Thee,” which is better known as “Aloha Oe.” See Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
1893    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born in India studied to become a lawyer in educated in Britain was hired by a Muslim law firm to work in South Africa.
1894    Italian astronomer Schiaparelli taking advantage of the proximity of Mars to earth reported seeing “canali” leading to speculation about the possibility of martian life.
1895    Sidney and Beatrice Webb, founded the London School of Economics (L.S.E.)
1895    Traditional Ceremonies are made a Criminal Offence and Punishable by law. The Punishment would be 2 to 6 months in prison. The Canadian Governments’ position was that ceremonies were a “horrible fabrication of lies,” medicine people were “sinister,” and both were a “waste of time.” (Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1896    “Theodor Herzl published a pamphlet called Der Judenstaat (“The Jewish State”), in which he advocated British-backed Jewish colonization in Argentina or Palestine – with the hope of eventually creating a sovereign Jewish state. Herzl’s writings and personal advocacy led to the formal development of Zionism, a political movement dedicated to the creation of such a state, and eventually focusing on Palestine. The Zionist claim to Palestine was mainly based on the fact that there had been periods of Hebrew rule in Canaan and the land west of the Jordan River between 1300 B.C. and A.D. 70.”
1898    The Dreyfus affair attracted much attention pitting clericals and the military camp against those Georges Clemenceau called “les intellectuals.” In Central and Eastern Europe in the 1860s the term “intelligentsia” denoted liberals, socialists, and other critics of authority (Brym 2001).”
1898    President McKinley overturned President Cleveland objections to annex Hawaii. The US Navy wanted a secure Hawaiian base at Pearl Harbor in preparation for war with Spain. (the US battleship “Maine” blew up in the harbor of Havanna, Cuba.) Hawaii was already an important supply base for US ships in the Pacific.
1898    The American bison was an endangered species. Scientists were aware of the concept of species extinction.
1898    Socialist and visionary H. G. Wells wrote the War of the Worlds (Wells 1898).
1899    The poet Charles Mair traveled into the far Northwest as secretary to the Half-Breed Script Commission appointed by the government in Ottawa to carry out negotiations related to Treaty Eight with the native people of northern Alberta (Francis 1995).
1899    Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England struck down a British Columbia law that prohibited anyone of Chinese descent from working in the mines. The provincial law interfered with the federal jurisdiction over naturalization and aliens. However, the Privy Council upheld the British Columbia legislation that denied the vote to Canadians of Asiatic descent. Suffrage was a provincial jurisdiction (Holmes 2001:5).
1900?    The “Pass System” is introduced. This was to discourage participation in Traditional Ceremonies and rescind First Nation Peoples right to cross borders.(Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001) In 1885? the Department of Indian Affairs instituted a pass system. No outsider could come onto a reserve to do business with an Aboriginal resident without permission from the Indian agent. (submitted by Smoke, Rena. 2001. Akwesasne)
1901    The Department of Indian Affairs issues a “Short Hair Order” to European educated First Nation individuals in an attempt to ensure that they reject their traditional lifestyles. (Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1901    With tribal institutions seriously undermined by military defeat and the land base broken up through allotment the BIA began to intrude on the daily lives and personal habits of the people in their care. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs issued a circular to agents in the field detailing BIA actions toward Indian customs that should be modified or discontinued. Hirschfelder, A.1993. The Native American Almanac. New York. Prentice Hall. (submitted by Bruyere, Daniel. 2001. Akwesasne)
1904    A 90-year-old First Nations elder from Alberta was sentenced to two months of hard labour for participating in a forbidden dance ceremony (York 1990:264).
1904    The Shame of the Cities (1904), Lincoln Steffens Progressive Period
1904-5   German sociologist and economist published his most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber was not a Marxist but he was influenced by Karl Marx’s writings. Weber argued that capitalist institutions can trace their ‘spiritual’ roots to Martin’s Luther’s protests against the Catholic Church in 1517 which heralded the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Weber focused specifically on Calvinism, present day Presbyterianism which is based on the doctrine of predestination: God preordains individual salvation (Weber 1904-5 [1958])
1905    The Canadian federal, and provincial governments, and by the Moose Factory First Nation (now known as Moose Cree First Nation) signed Treaty Nine. This treaty recognized the rights of the Moose Cree people of this region. Signatures for the Moose Cree people were; Simon Smallboy, George Tappaise, Henry Sailor, John Nakogee, John Dick, Simon Quatchewan, John Jeffries, Fred Mark, Henry Utappe, Simon Cheena. (submitted by Earl Cheechoo)
1906    Gandhi,  lawyer, born in India, trained in Britain, working for a Moslim law firm in South Africa,  launched a campaign of nonviolent resistance satyagraha at a mass meeting in Johannesburg to protest British Government’s discrimination against Indians which included invalidating the Indian marriage. Gandhi was labeled a terrorist for his activities. When asked what he thought of Western civilization Gandhi replied, “I think it would be an excellent idea.”
1908    “Herbert Croly’s The Promise of American Life is often described as the manifesto of Progressivism; but this is not wholly apt. For one thing, it was published in 1908, by which time the progressive movement was at its peak, and had resulted in many of the reforms of city government, civil service recruitment, and anti-corruption measures for which it was known. Croly was more plausibly described – as he was by Theodore Roosevelt – as the author of a doctrine of “new nationalism.””
1910   Art critics such as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler incorporated the Kantian notions of “the analytic/synthetic distinction, the thing-in-itself and disinterestedness, and the formal autonomy of the work of art as a way of conceptualizing and justifying cubism (Cheetham 2001:78).”
1910    “Prime Minister Laurier promises to settle the land question.” ((PWGS) 2001)
1910    The Progressive Era (1910 – 1918) Social and political upheavals of the early twentieth century transformed the role played by government in American society. The relationship between the governed and those governing was also changing. Women in the United States began demanding suffrage in 1848 at the Seneca Falls convention. [1] For over seven decades, women’s suffrage supporters protested their lack of full citizenship by protests writing, lecturing, wrote, marching, lobbying, and practicing civil disobedience. In 1920 the 19th Amendment granted women the vote. (1920) MFB
1910    Pablo Montana the opening of the reservation to white homesteaders
1910    That act was a blatant violation of the tribes 1855 treaty with the United States. Watertown Daily Times 2001 02 18. (submitted by Terrance, Peter. 2001. Akwesasne)
1911    Italy seized Libya.
1913    “Nisga’a Land Committee submits its Petition to the British Privy Council in London.” (Haig-Brown 1995:61).
1914    It was not until the outbreak of the great war in 1914 that the simple equation of Europe and civilisation ceased to hold sway. Only as a result of the terrors of this mass-industrialised war and its outcome in the form of revolutions, nationalist hysteria, facism and Nazism, the awareness of crisis became all-pervasive. As a result, self-doubt has come to dominate most discourse on Europe ever since to such a degree that it has become virtually impossible to use the words Europe and civilisation in the same breath. Instead it has become normal to talk of the “so-called European civilisation” (Ostergaard 1994).
1914-18  New amendments were made to the Indian Act making it even harsher in regards to banning ceremonies.
1914    Manitoba Premier Roblin stated his opposition to votes for women
1914   “Nellie McClung and the Political Equality League staged a mock “Women’s Parliament” in the Walker Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The women played the parts of the members of parliament, with Nellie as the premier. They debated the pros and cons of granting men the vote, exposing the sanctimonious and contradictory arguments used by male politicians to deny female suffrage. Receiving a deputation of vote-seeking men pushing a wheelbarrow full of petitions, Nellie congratulated them on their “splendid appearance,” but told them “man is made for something higher and better than voting (””
1915    Horace Kallen’s “Democracy versus the Melting Pot,” published in two installments in the Nation in 1915.
1916    “John Dewey’s “Nationalizing Education,” published in Journal of Education, 1916. (Jane Addams and John Dewey had observed in Chicago during the 1890s that deracination had happened but not a corresponding process of reracination, and a good deal of Dewey’s educational theory reflected his concern for what you might call the reracination of urban children and migrant children alike.)” “One characteristically Deweyan touch was the claim that American nationality is constituted by democracy, while a second was his insistence that the “hyphen” is good when it attaches, bad when it separates. Dewey was by this time–1916–the most famous educational theorist in the world, and it was an anxiety about the misuse of the educational system for polemical and propaganda purposes that led him to write this essay and several others in defense of pluralism in American education Ryan (1995).”
1914-1918 World War I
1914-18 Women contributed to WWI often engaging in work usually assigned to men.
1914-1918 Western countries penetrated the Middle East during the First World War. The Ottoman Empire sided with Germany. Great Britain encouraged and supported the Arab Revolt against the Turks. Britain promised Arabs aid independence from the Ottoman Turks. The Arabian campaign was romanticized in T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) and in Lawrence’s own writings. The Arab Revolt contributed substantially to the Allied victory.
1916    The report of the 1912-6 McKenna-McBride royal commission on the condition of Indian Affairs in BC was published revealing that First Nations were vocal in expressing concerns about administration as governments and missionaries exerted more influence and increased their power. As governments and missionaries increased their presence on reserves First Nations representatives voiced concerns about opening discussions on education that would misinterpreted as an acceptance of the extinguishment of land title (Haig-Brown 1995:50-4).
1917    Declaration of the Rights of the People of Russia
1917    The Russian Revolution was a particularly violent eruption of conflict along ideological lines. The impact spread beyond Russian boundaries pitting communism, facism-Nazism against liberal democracy and communism against liberal democracy (Ostergaard 1994) (Palmer 1959). Bakhtin compared the Russian Revolution to the early Renaissance through an analysis of the work of Rabelais. Inhabitants of Renaissance Europe as described in the literature of Rabelais (Bakhtin 1940 [1968]) experienced radical change during the time threshold between the dark ages and the higher renaissance. Russians in the years before and after 1917 lived in the temporal borderlands between Czarist Russia and post-revolution Russia. Rabelais integrated street language including folk humour, the carnivalesque and the grotesque mixed with Latin to parody the official worlds of religion — Roman Catholic Church — and state —and the Holy Roman Empire (AGO 2000; Rabelais 1533 [1955]).
1919    “At the end of WWI France and Great Britain secretly agreed to partition most of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire between them and eventually obtained mandates from the League of Nations: Britain over Iraq, Palestine, and Transjordan; France over Syria and Lebanon. The mandates were inconsistent with British promises to the Arabs and, furthermore, contrary to the recommendations of President Wilson’s King-Crane Commission, a group sent to the Middle East in 1919 specifically to ascertain the wishes of the Arab peoples.”
1919    Paris Peace Conference ends World War I. In WWI there were 37 million casualties, including 9 million dead combatants.
1919    International Labour Organization founded
1919    Engineer then President Herbert Hoover founded the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace within Stanford University is a public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs. The Hoover Institution originated as a specialized collection of documents on the causes and consequences of World War I.  Herbert Hoover 31st US, “The principles of individual, economic, and political freedom; private enterprise; and representative government were fundamental to the vision of the Institution’s founder. By collecting knowledge, generating ideas, and disseminating both, the Institution seeks to secure and safeguard peace, improve the human condition, and limit government intrusion into the lives of individuals.”
1919    Treaty of Versailles signed.
1919-33 Weimar Constitution was adopted in 1919. The democratic Weimar Republic was wrought with lawlessness, disorder, dissension and economic chaos such as massive inflation in 1923 which severely affected both the German middle and working classes. There was widespread dissatisfaction with the Weimar government. Extreme opposition from right wing forces including the military argued that left wing politicians, Communists, and Jews had caused the havoc. The 1920’s economic recovery was overly dependent on American loans. In 1929, the economic crisis engendered by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 hit German economy badly. In 1933 unemployment reached 6.1 million. In this environment of social instability and dissatisfaction with the government, the German population was ready for a Nazi alternative. The Jewish community was blamed for German economic problems.
1920    The Indian Act is amended to make education compulsory and include both voluntary and involuntary enfranchisement.
1921    The RCMP raided a potlatch on Vancouver Island confiscating artifacts such as masks (York 1990:264).
1920    American Civil Liberties Union founded
1920    Walter Lippman and Charles Merza accused The New York Times of reporting the Russian Revolution by “seeing not what was, but what men wished to see. (Hackett 1998:40)”
1920    Opening session of the League of Nations
1920    US women win the right to vote
1921    Agnes Macphail was the first woman elected to the House of Commons. She fought for women’s rights, penal reforms, world government, disarmament and the end of militarism.
1921    Reza Khan, an Iranian military officer, toppled the Iranian government (Walsh 2001).
1921-24                          Knud Rasmussen, a Greenlandic-Danish expedition leader completed the longest journey ever made by dog sledge from Thule to Nome.
1921    National Socialist German Workers’ Party, a right-winged party of demobilized soldiers was led by Führer Adolf Hitler by 1921. Hitler appealed to national pride, militarism, and a commitment to the Volk and a racially “pure” Germany, condemning Jews. [Antisemitic feelings prevailed in Europe for centuries.]
1924    “Nisga’a Nation allotted 76 square kilometres of reserve land.” ((PWGS) 2001)
1925    Reza Khan seized power in Iran taking the Persian name of Shah Pahlavi (Walsh 2001).
1926    General strike Baldwin’s role in causing ?
1927    Slavery Convention (League of Nations)
1927    Heidegger published Being and Time. See Levinas who acknowledged Heidegger contributions to philosophy while lamenting his affiliation with Nazism. (Heidegger 1927). In his lectures in the 1930s Heidegger believed that poets emerged at the beginning and end of a weltanschauung. He considered the Romantic Hölderlin to be a prophet of a nation coming into being seyn. By 1943 the Holderin was widely celebrated by Third Reich (Holderlin and Santner 1797)
1927    The Indian Act is amended to make it illegal to, “receive, obtain, solicit, or request from any Indian any payment for the purpose of raising a fund or providing money for the prosecution of any claim.”
1927    The Indian Act prohibited the political organization of Natives beyond local levels of government effectively denying Natives the right to organize and lobby.
1929    Scheduled air services begins along the Mackenzie Valley (Alia 1994:109).
1929    The Persons Case five women from Alberta (Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Henrietta Muir Edwards) successfully appealed the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision that women were not qualified persons within the meaning of the British North America Act, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the House of Lords in England.
1929    A group of historians under Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre initiated a journal and a school devoted to studying the “Annales d’histoire économique et sociale” in which they reject traditional historiography.
1930s Surnames given by Soviet government to Siberian Yuit people (Alia 1994:109).
1930    John Dewey engaged in debate with University of Chicago president,   Robert Hutchins–a dispute sparked by Dewey’s negative review of Hutchins’ book The Higher Education in America (1936). This debate over liberal arts curricula is similar to the 1980s – 2000 debates between the academic left and right. Dewey’s progressive education advocated the education of informed citizens in an environment of intellectual independence. Students were being prepared to participate as citizens in a democracy aware of their rights and responsibilities. His methods were participatory. “Hutchins maintained that the principal function of higher education was to imbue a select group of intellectually superior students with the great truths of Western culture. His book bluntly concluded: “Education implies teaching. Teaching implies knowledge. Knowledge implies truth. The truth is everywhere the same. Hence education is everywhere the same Ryan (1995 citing Hutchins 1936:279).”
1930s Alexandre Kojeve, a brilliant Russian emigre taught a highly influential series of lectures on Helgelian concepts at the Parisian Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes which impacting on Sartre, Aron and postwar existentialism. Kojeve developed the Hegelian concept of the end of history coinciding with the creation of a liberal democracy protecting man’s universal right to freedom which exists with the consent of the governed. Kojeve believed that the heroic creation of the European Common Market was the embodiment of liberal democracy. See (Fukuyama 1989).
1930s Great Depression
1930’s   Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”
1930    John Maynard Keynes published “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” (1930, Nation and Atheneum) which would spark a Keynesian Revolution of economic theory, whose influence would continue well into the 1970’s. President Richard Nixon declared that even he was a Keynesian. (Keynes 1935-36)
1933    Hitler was appointed Chancellor. Nazi party was the largest political party in the German Reichstag. This marked the end of the Weimar Republic.
1934    Marcel Mauss published ‘Techniques of the Body,’ (1992 [1934]) in which he described the lengthy process of corporeal apprenticeship bodies undergo to acquire culturally specific bodily techniques specific such as how to dig a hole in the ground. Mauss observed how English and French spades were designed specifically for culturally defined ways of digging. He deduced that a society’s material culture equally recalls particular bodily postures and attitudes (Roderick 1998).
1935    Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary Triumph of the Will celebrated the Nazi Regime. It is the classic propaganda film.
1935    The American Newspaper Guild’s code of ethics upheld the value of objectivity: “The newspapermen’s first duty is to give the public accurate and unbiased news reports. (Hackett 1998:40)”
1936    The Olympic Games took place in Berlin in spite of human rights violations in Germany.
1936    Ayn Rand’s first novel, We the Living, criticized totalitarianism particularly Soviet-style communism which had taken everything from her family. Rand strongly promoted individual rights to property.
1937    Seattle labour strike against media magnate Hearst and his policies. Strikers called for a 40-hour work week.
1937    Quebec’s “authoritarian premier, Maurice Duplessis introduced the Padlock Act to shut down what it considered to be “Bolshevik or communistic” publications. The Supreme Court overturned the Padlock Act in 1957 (Hackett 1998:79).”
1937    Alberta Press Bill. The Government of Alberta granted the Social Credit Board — a government agency — the power to prohibit the publication of a newspaper, to force a newspaper to make corrections the Board considered inaccurate. The Social Credit Board wanted to protect the weakened Alberta economy and encourage the public to accept the government policies enforced to correct the province’s economic downturn. The Supreme Court found that Alberta’s prohibition threatened the freedom of the press. The prohibition also impacted on banking, interest and legal tender that were under federal not provincial jurisdiction (Holmes 2001:7).
1937    Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek fled the capital Nanking and the Chinese National army abandoned the city which was then occupied by Japanese military.  Japanese soldiers went on a rampage of killing, looting, and raping. During the Rape of Nanking at least 190, 000 people were killed. 20, 000 Chinese women were raped. Fleeing soldiers and civilians, including women, children, and old men were brutally and cruelly tortured and killed. The Rape of Nanking was subject to an enquiry at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. However, there has been criticism from the Chinese that the second holocaust was forgotten and apologies for the atrocities have been seriously inadequate. A recent popular account by 29-year-old Chinese American Iris Change has met with much controversy with both positive and negative critiques (Entenmann 1998). Richard Falks discusses the Rape of Nanking and the reawakening of obstinate memories of the massacre, in light of the need for the US to re-examine the atrocities committed by its own military actions in WWII. He argues that American society has been reluctant to confront accusations of its own injustice especially in relation to African American and indigenous peoples (Falk 2000:203)
1939    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled the Inuit were entitled to the same health, education and social services as the Indians were granted in the 1876 Indian Act (Hessel 1998:190).
1939    Hitler published Mein Kempf in which he described his philosophy of racial purity and his weltanschauung.
1939    The concept of iconology was developed by Abby Warburg and refined by Panofsky both at the Warburg Institute, in Hamburg, London and in the United States. Iconology (Panofsky 1939) provided the paradigmatic theoretical underpinning of   all critical histories in this century (Mitchell 1986 and Holly 1997). Erwin Panofsky’s writing became more empirical and less theoretical after Panofsky emigrated from Germany to the United States. In spite of this famous turn, Panofsky continued to use Kantian philosophy especially as a sign of humanism that might combat authoritarianism. For a deeper discussion see (Cheetham 2001). Panofsky elitist, ethnocentric approach located Western civilization, particularly Gothic France and Renaissance Italy, as the pinnacle of civilization upon which all art forms from all times, cultures and places were judged.
1939-1945         World War II
1930-40s            Disc numbers (Alia 1994:109).
1939    Panofsky published Studies in Iconology which situated him as one of the pivotal founders of the discipline of art historical interpretation or Kunstwissenschaft offering grand Hegelian schemes accounting for a diachronous process in which historians center on highpoints of Western civilization, particularly on French Gothic and the Italian Renaissance using these as a template for interpreting and evaluating all other works of art from all other times and places. See also Warburg (Panofsky 1939).
1941    During WWII British and Russians forced Reza Shah, a German ally, to abdicate his throne to his son (Walsh 2001).
1940    Christie v. York Corporation S.C.R. 139 The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the claim of a black man who had been refused service in a tavern. The Supreme Court of Canada defended the right to freedom of commerce over freedom from discrimination. Merchants could choose customers (Holmes 2001:5).
1940s The 1940’s also saw the birth of Mohawk journalism with the publication of Akwesasne’s first newspaper, Kawehras! (“It Thunders!”) by a young Ernest Benedict, who later went on to establish Akwesasne Notes and the North American Indian Travelling College in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. (submitted by Arquette, S. Akwesasne)
1941    President Roosevelt gives the “Four Freedoms” address
1940s RCMP conducted a census of Inuit populations. They assigned the infamous identification numbering system that imposed the wearing of numbered discs. These disc numbers were dropped during “Operation Surname” in the 1960s.
1940s Japanese Canadians had their property confiscated and were forced into internment camps during WWII. This had a profound consciousness-raising effect on Canadians (Holmes 2001:7).
1941    The Atlantic Charter, signed in 1941 by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill announced the intention of the Allied powers to fight the Axis powers. The Charter encouraged citizens to defend their nations and to assert their rights and “the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live.” (Churchill, did not intend to dismantle the British Empire and to grant sovereignty to the British colonies. “We mean to hold our own. I have not become the King’s First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.” In spite of this, colonial subjects were inspired by the Charter and began to press for self-determination.
1941    Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) is founded jointly by Canadians and Americans (Alia 1994:109).
1942    The Beveridge Report was published advocating the setting up of a Keynesian welfare state in the United Kingdom with an emphasis on citizenship and social equality. The report delineated the role of the State in the direction of labour, control of food supply, emergency medical service, empowerment of women, provision of nurseries and child care.
1942    Declaration of the United Nations
1944    F. A. Hayek published his The Road to Serfdom on the relation between individual liberty and government authority. Hayek argued against any form of socialism, communism or increasing government control through collectivist ideas. He warned they would “would inevitably lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy” (Fukuyama 1989).
1944    The British government published its White Paper on Employment Policy committing the government to aim for Keynesian full employment objectives.
1944    “The Bretton Woods conference of 1944 set up the post-World War II international economic system. Within this agreement countries would maintain fixed exchange rate parities vis-a-vis one another and could rely on one another for loans through the International Monetary Fund. Countries accessing these funds had to abide by IMF rules in order to provide macroeconomic equilibrium. The IMF could demand that debtor nations implement macroeconomic policy adjustments in order to bring the balance of payments back to a sustainable level. In the case of extreme debt disequilibrium the IMF could demand a devaluation of the debtor’s nation’s currency.
1944    Ontario’s Racial Discrimination Act prohibited the publication, display or broadcast of anything indicating an intention to discriminate on the basis of race or creed. This pioneering statute was significant in that it declared that racial and religious discrimination was against public policy. Therefore the judiciary could not subordinate human rights to the interests of commerce, contract or property (Holmes 2001:8).
1945    Charter of the United Nations
1945    “Before 1945, the only rights individuals had under international law were in the treaties abolishing the slave trade, the Geneva and Hague conventions that regulating the conduct of war and the minority rights treaties concluded after Versailles. But these were rights held only by virtue of membership in particular groups and in specific situations. It is only since l945 that the individual acquired legal personality in international law. This simple fact matters more than the rights enumerated in the Declaration (Ignatieff).”
1945-1946         The Nuremberg Trials world leaders pledged “Never again…” promising that there would be intervention to prevent genocide and making world leaders subject to accountability.
1945    “Yalta. With the defeat of Nazi Germany imminent, the Big Three Allies meet in the Crimean resort town of Yalta from February 4-11. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agree to jointly govern postwar Germany, while Stalin pledges fair and open elections in Poland.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1945-51”Between 1945 and 1951, this universal individual was enfranchised, not just in the Universal Declaration, but in the UN Charter; the Nuremberg case law; the Genocide Convention; the Geneva Conventions; the European Convention on Human Rights; and the UNESCO statement on race, in which prominent anthropologists undertook a scientific exorcism of Dr Pannwitz’ `aquarium effect’ (Ignatieff).
1945-6   Canada threatened to deport Japanese Canadians.
1946-9   During this period of Pre-McCarthy McCarthy figures such as Nixon, Parnell Thomas and J. Edgar Hoover strongly criticized left-leaning journalists and advocates of public housing.
1940-50s            The ideas of German Jewish refugee and political scientist, Leo Strauss became popular. He reiterated a self-interested Hobbseian human subject, rejected any form of deluded idealism and mass tyranny and advocated realpolitics. He encouraged forceful leadership willing to make unpopular decisions based on pragmatic realism.
1946    “Eleanor Roosevelt is elected as head of the United Nations Human Rights Commission; She begins to draft the Declaration of Human Rights; She initiates the creation of Americans for Democratic Action, a group which focuses on domestic social reform and resistance against Russia and the developing Cold War.”
1946    Canada took arbitrary measures in dealing with the Gouzenko spy affair
1945 – 1950 Fabian’s program is carried out by the British Labour government. Nationalisation of some of the basic industries The creation of the ‘Welfare State’ Rejection of Marxism which is equated with the doctrine of totalitarian Stalinism Pressing for greater democracy Greater participation of the workers in the control of the nationalized industries Fabian socialism through a British Labour government “implemented welfare and health care benefits, governmental economic management and political ‘consensus’ within a framework of increasing consumerism.” Postwar The post-war social problems – increasing unemployment in the distressed areas, low standards of health and diet, rising maternal and infant mortality rates, housing shortage. Political uncertainty – minority governments and growth of Fascism and Communism. Economic crisis, fall in demand and growth of ideas to ‘plan the way out of crisis’. Planning as formative idea, the growth of municipal planning schemes of slum clearance, building of planned estates,targeted aid for distressed areas, formation of planning groups for social research (PEP). The Keynesian revolution. The projected economic policy of demand management and government investment for the creation of employment. The growth of mass consumption in areas of Britain, increase in health insurance and hospital provision, innovation of assembly line Fordist production methods.
1946-89 Cold War was a war between two superpowers separated by divergent ideologies of communism and liberal democracy (Ostergaard 1994).
1946    Canada and the United States build weather stations, signal stations and air-defence posts in the North (Crowe 1991:180 cited in Alia 1994:109).
1946    Canadian Army’s Arctic military exercise “Operation Muskox” at Baker Lake. Major Cleghorn noted the high quality of carvings in the Keewatin area and suggested this potential be developed.
1947    India was granted independence ending British rule (1740s – 1947).This is a major victory for Gandhi’s nonviolence movement which began in 1906. Congress partitioned the country into India and Pakistan. This is another step towards de-colonialization.
1947    M.V. Nascopie sinks off Cape Dorset. To some this becomes the symbol of the end of one era and the beginning of another.  Canadian government assumed responsibility for Inuit welfare in the late 1940s. (Hessel 1998:8)
1947    Truman Doctrine: On March 12, President Truman requests $400 million in aid from Congress to combat communism in Greece and Turkey. The Truman Doctrine pledges to provide American economic and military assistance to any nation threatened by communism. .” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1947    The Marshall Plan named after General George C. Marshall, then Secretary of state was a post-war foreign aid plan which became the European Recovery Program.
1946-1948         The Tokyo Trials
1947    Canada becomes the first Commonwealth country to gain its own citizenship act when the Canadian Citizenship Act takes effect on January 1, 1947. Prior to that, Canadians were considered British subjects residing in Canada, not Canadian citizens. Prime Minister Mackenzie King received the first citizenship certificate. (Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1948    Eleanor Roosevelt speaks on “The Struggles for the Rights of Man” at the Sorbonne during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris; She threatens her resignation from the UN if Truman does not recognize the newly formed state of Israel; She joins her daughter, Anna, for a radio discussion program on ABC.
1948    Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948 Charter of the United Nations: “We the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeded generations from the scourge of war […] and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights …” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations. This was a declaratory not legally binding document (Holmes 2001:7).
1948    Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (United Nations)
1948    Canada played a prominent role in the United Nations and in the development of a language of human rights. This motivated Canadians to improve the domestic situation of human rights protection.
1948    Charter of the Organization of American States
1949    “Nisga’a Chief Frank Calder is elected to the B.C. legislature.” ((PWGS) 2001)
1949    Geneva Conventions
1949    China. In June, Chinese communists declare victory over Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces, which later flee to Taiwan. On October 1, Mao Tse-tung proclaims the People’s Republic of China. Two months later, Mao travels to Moscow, where he negotiates the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1949    The Supreme Court of Canada became the final appeal court in Canada replacing the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. However, the Canadian judiciary continued to rule on issues of rights only in terms of the division of legislative powers between provinces and the federal government (Holmes 2001:6).
1949    In his 1949[1969] publication La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II, Fernard Braudel irreversibly transformed the way history  was written. The social science turn in historiography was propelled forward by Braudel’s methodology based on “la longue durée”. Braudel examined white writings on the surface of the profound oceans to explore societies in relation to their geographic environments, social structures, their trade routes and their intellectual histories. Braudel examined the geography, political economies and sociology of the cities, Venice, Milan, Genoa and Florence in the age of Phillip II. Images of the immobility of time in Borges map contrast with the rapid acceleration of time in traditional history where centuries and millenia were encapsulated into the lives of singular heroic figures from Alexander the Great, Caesar, Gengis Khan, Louis XIV to Napoleon (Braudel 1949[1969]).
1950    Establishment of northern communities (Alia 1994:109).
1950    James Houston arrives in Inukjuak on a project with the Canadian Handicrafts Guild and the federal government (Alia 1994:109).
1950    Inuit first vote in Canadian election (Alia 1994:109).
1951    NWT includes elected as well as appointed members (Alia 1994:109).
1950s Alberta’s Conservative Premier Ralph Klein described the 1950s as a Golden Age when Canadians “looked to the newspapers for their information, and … to governments for answers.” Klein and many others were convinced that in the 1950s “The news simply reported on “reality,” and political journalism treated politicians and authority figures with enough respect that they could communicate with their publics without worrying about the distorting lenses of the media.” (Hackett 1998:136)” This cognitive certitude was pervasive. It existed in academia as well.
1951    The first guide for teachers on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was published. (Symonided 1998:xi)
1951    A UNESCO publication entitled “On Race and Race Differences” declared that capacity for intellectual and emotional development was not influenced by inherited racial genes; that biological differences within the same race may be greater that between races (UNESCO 1951).
1950s The realist mode of thinking (statist logic of George Kennan, Henry Kissinger) is traced to the writing of Hobbes and Machiavelli (Falk 2000a:22).
1951    Refugee Convention (United Nations)
1951    “Parliament repeals provisions of the Indian Act that outlawed the Potlatch and prohibited land claims activity (PWGS 2001).”
1952    Levi-Strauss was one of a team of renowned anthropologists who studied the race question in modern science in UNESCO funded research and in response to the horrors of genocidal politics of the holocaust (Levi-Strauss 1952)
1952    U.S.-sponsored coup topples the Guatemalan government of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. Guzman was the elected leader of Guatemala. He passed a law which the US considered to be too socialists. The agrarian reform law re-distributed unused lands from holdings over 223 acres to landless campesinos. At this time, the US-based United Fruit Company (UFC) was Guatemala’s biggest landowner, but no more than 15% of its 550,000 acres   were under cultivation. As a result, the government expropriated 400,000 acres, offering compensation based on the UFC’s own figures which had under-valued the land for tax   purposes (Costello 2001).”
1953    European Commission on Human Rights founded
1950s-60s: Naationalization was common during the postwar period with social democratic or socialist governments.
1953    Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources formed; Arctic division is devoted solely to Inuit (Alia 1994:109).
1953    Pahlavi Reza Shah was briefly deposed. United States intervened in covert operations to restore the antidemocratic Shah to power in Iran (Falk 2000b:46).
1953    Stalin dies. Korean War ends. “Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies of a stroke on March 5. On July 27, an armistice is signed ending the Korean War, with the border between North and South roughly the same as it had been in 1950. The willingness of China and North Korea to end the fighting was in part attributed to Stalin’s death.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1954    “After a long siege, Vietnamese communists under Ho Chi Minh defeat French colonial forces at Dien Bien Phu on May 7. In July, the Geneva Accords divide the country at the 17th parallel, creating a North and South Vietnam. The United States assumes the chief responsibility of providing anti-communist aid to South Vietnam.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1954    United States intervened in covert operations to overthrow the Arbenz government in Guatemala (Falk 2000b:46).
1955    On January 12, Dulles, U.S. Secretary of State announced the doctrine of Massive Retaliation threatening to use full-scale nuclear power against the Soviet Union in response to communist aggression anywhere in the world. CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1955    Work begins on Distant Early Warning (DEW) line (Alia 1994:109).
1955    Inuit families are moved from Inukjuak and Pond Inlet to Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord in the High Arctic (Alia 1994:109)..
1956    At the XXieth Party Congress Krushchev delivered his “secret speech ” in which he attacked and denounced the errors and brutalities of Joseph Stalin. No one had dared to do that before. It was the central most important event of the decade. It in effect made Khrushchev the father of the later Gorbachev Revolution (Rempel).”
1957    Russian author, Boris Pasternak published his novel, Doctor Zhivago in Italy which was admired world-wide. His hero from the Russian intelligentsia managed to retain his own human values at the cost of his life, in the midst of the turbulence of the Revolution and Civil War, and the early Soviet system.
1957    John Diefenbaker came to power. He was an advocate of entrenched human rights.
1957    The International Labour Organization recommended the need for adoption of international standards to govern the relations between indigenous peoples and states.
1957    The Indian Act is amended; the criminal offence of Traditional Ceremonies is removed as well as the Pass System. However, this information is not shared with First Nations Leaders and Individuals. (Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1957    Abraham Okpik, George Koneak, Ayaruak and Shingituk make a “historic first appearance at the Eskimo Affairs Committee meeting in Ottawa (Crowe 1991:203 cited in Alia 1994:109).
1958    First Inuit community council formed at Baker Lake (Alia 1994:109).
1959    Declaration of the Rights of the Child (United Nations)
1959    Fidel Castro and his socialist forces took power in Cuba overthrowing the conservative government of Fulgencio Batista. Castro nationalized the sugar industry and signed trade agreements with the Soviet Union.  In 1960 Castro took over U.S. assets on the island.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1959    Nixon, Richard. “Kitchen Debate”
1959    Federal government started cooperatives for Native people (Alia 1994:109).
1959    Houston introduced printmaking at Cape Dorset (Alia 1994:109).
1958    A group of Inuit whalers near Tuktoyatuk discovered all the fish in an inland lake had been killed because of pollutants. Political consciousness was raised from this incident and eventually Inuit formed the Committee on Original Peoples Entitlement (CORE) (? :287).
1960s The Fair Practices Act was not made for Nunavut. It was made for the Northwest Territories years ago, and was adopted by Nunavut. That act is more like laws which were in place in the rest of Canada in the early 1960s.  During the workshop, the Fair Practices Officer for Nunavut, Mr. Bill Riddell, described his difficult job, including what it is like to have the responsibility to both investigate and resolve human rights complaints (Amagoalik 2001).
1960-07-15        Kennedy “accepted the Democratic nomination in a speech that he delivered before 80,000 people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 15, 1960. It became known as the New Frontier speech. The candidate spoke of an old era ending and said that “the old ways will not do.” He spoke of “a slippage in our intellectual and moral strength.” He said: “The New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises; it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them. It appeals to their pride, not to their pocketbook. It holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security.” What Kennedy hoped to foster was a renewed sense of national purpose in which shared values were reinforced in an atmosphere of heightened civic participation and mutual sacrifice. That was the way, he said, “to get this country moving again.” His voice was in sync with the spirit of the times. Americans were fired with the idea that they could improve their circumstances, right wrongs and do good. The Interstate Highway System, an Eisenhower initiative, was under way. The civil rights movement was in flower. And soon Kennedy would literally be reaching for the moon (Herbert 2010-11-23).”
1960    Declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations called for an end to colonialism. Third world national liberation struggle picks up momentum.
1960    The CIA was involved in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in the 1960, Cuba to subdue the Communist uprising led by Fidel Castro.
1960    Twenty year old, Rachel Erkloo and her husband Elijah left Pond Inlet and went to Ottawa to work with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. Pond Inlet inhabitants were “independent, proud and who took care of one another, and of everyone. They took proper care of the children and made sure that they were properly equipped and knowledgeable for the future challenges that lay ahead in their lives […] Children were born in the community, with traditional midwifery being practiced.” Clothing was skin clothing made by the women of Pond Inlet (Rachel Erkloo cited in Amagoalik 2001 ).
1960    First Nation People of Canada were granted the right to vote in Canadian elections (Federal, Provincial, and Municipal).
1960    A French language CBC journalist complained that the CBC reporting was “objective to the point of being virginal. 13” (Hackett 1998:39)
1960    Canadian Bill of Rights enacted by Parliament. The Charter of the Bill of Rights differs from these laws by being part of the Constitution of Canada.  Canadian Bill of Rights was introduced as a statute not a constitutional Bill of Rights by PM John Diefenbaker, a civil rights advocate.  A constitutional Bill of Rights would have required the consent of all the provinces (Brooks 2000:273) Overview.
1960 – 1982 Canadian Bill of Rights: Human rights codes were enacted at both the federal and provincial levels. The courts were expressly invited to take a more active role in settling controversial human rights issues. They didn’t (Holmes 2001:13).
1960s Conservative think tanks, business, politicians and media scholars describe the 1960s news media as left-liberal and anti-authority. A new breed of journalists was branded as adversarial, “gotcha”, disruptive and cynical. (Hackett 1998:136).
1960s 60s & 70s saw revival of Marxist analysis. The Criticizes Welfare State as oppressive, stigmatising, and supportive of capitalism.
1961    United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
1961    Amnesty International founded.
1961    A non-profit Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was created to counteract the mediocrity of the three existing commercial profit-driven television networks which provided only a “vast wasteland.” The non-profit network was to promote excellence as defined by a group of cultural elite for the public good. PBS was funded by the Ford Foundation and by the federal government. It has been criticized as being an instrument of liberal Democrats.
1961    At the height of the Cold War both the Soviet Union and the United States Union had enough weapons of mass destruction between them to destroy the planet a dozen times. Canadian artist Kurelek experimented with various painterly media in the security of his bomb shelter. American school children had regular drills similar to Canadian fire drills. They were taught to hide under their desks for safety in the event of a nuclear attack.
1962    Ontario adopted the first human rights code to consolidate various anti-discrimination provisions including those related to race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, place of origin. Ontario established a commission and full-time staff to administer and enforce the law.
1962    The Cuban Missile Crisis. Americans failed in their attempt to invade the Bays of Pigs, Cuba.  In response to the attack, the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles in Cuba capable of reaching most of the continental United States. After U-2 flights confirm their existence, Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba on October 22 until the Soviet Union removes its missiles. On October 28, the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles, defusing one of the most dangerous confrontations of the Cold War. CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1962    Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society
1962    Inuit in Districts of Keewatin and Franklin vote in a federal election for the first time (Alia 1994:110).
1962    Andre Gunder Frank moved to Latin America where he researched and published on the dependency theory, underdevelopment in Latin America and the world system. His focus changed after the 1973 military coup in Chile (Frank 1967).
1960? Gustavo Gutierrez was the originator of the theology of liberation which incorporated Frank’s theory of dependency and underdevelopment (Frank 1967).
1963    Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (United Nations)
1963    Organization of African Unity founded
1964    Free Speech Movement at Berkeley
1964    Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Speech
1964    Residential school at Churchill, Manitoba is closed (Alia 1994:110).
1964    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. North Vietnamese patrol boats fired on the USS Mattox in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2. On August 7, the U.S. Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, granting President Johnson authority to send U.S. troops to South Vietnam. CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1965    Abraham Okpik was appointed the first Native Member of the NWT council (Alia 1994:110).
1965    Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations recognized that colonialization perpetuated racism. It was also recognized that Indigenous Peoples are frequently denied their political, economic, social and cultural rights. Cultural rights include “Shared belief of indigenous people in cooperation and harmonious relations are recognized as fundamental source of international law.”
1966    Simonie Michael becomes first Inuk and Aboriginal person to be elected to the NWT council (Alia 1994:110).
1966    “In an anti-communist coup, General Suharto toppled Indonesian President Bung Sukarno on March 12. At least 500,000 alleged communists and ethnic Chinese were slaughtered in army-organized massacres during the next two years.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War. General Suharto came to power in 1965 with a “boiling bloodbath” that was “the West’s best news for years in Asia” (Time), a “staggering mass slaughter of Communists and pro-Communists,” mostly landless peasants, that provided a “gleam of light in Asia” (New York Times). Woolcott offered some illustrations of “Kissingerian realism.” Noting with diplomatic understatement that “the United States might have some influence on Indonesia at present,” he reported that Kissinger had instructed US Ambassador David Newsom to avoid the Timor issue and cut down Embassy reporting, allowing “events to take their course.” Newsom informed Woolcott that if Indonesia were to invade, the US hoped it would do so “effectively, quickly, and not use our equipment”—90% of its weapons supply. Indonesia has a population of 200 million people living on its 17,000 islands; only China, India and the US have larger populations. (The capital, Jakarta, is on the island of Java, where about three-fifths of Indonesia’s population lives.) Indonesia’s army and government are among the most brutal in the world. In 1975, East Timor had a population of about 690,000. In the twenty years since then, more than 200,000 East Timorese have died as a result of the Indonesian occupation (Jardine  and Chomsky 1995).
1965-80 The Berger Inquiry and the politics of transformation in the Mackenzie Valley.
1966    In 1964, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (responsible at that time for Indian Affairs) commissioned the Survey of the Contemporary Indians of Canada, directed by Harry Hawthorn and M.-A. Tremblay. Published in 1966 following months of meetings with bands, the report examined the social, economic and educational position of Indians in the different regions of Canada.
1966    United Nations adopts the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
1966    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights   (Symonides 1998)
1966    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Symonides 1998)
1966    United Nations adopts the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1966    Simonie Michael becomes first Inuk and Aboriginal person to be elected to the NWT council (Alia 1994:110).
1967    Andre Gunder Frank published Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America proposing a Neo-Marxist theory that adapted Lenin’s theory of imperialism to geopolitical regions that were not colonialised but were underdeveloped and suffered with lack of health care, inequality. See also modernization and dependency theories. His dependency theory was widely adopted in the social sciences. Frank’s dependency theory was incorporated into the theology of liberation (Frank 1967).
1967    The leaders of the Nisga’a Tribal Council retained the services of Justice Berger to sue the government of B.C. to obtain recognition of their Aboriginal title (Berger 1999a).
1967    Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (United Nations)
1967-70              Royal Commission on the the Status of Women.
1968    In the case Murdoch vs Murdoch, Irene Murdoch, the wife of Alberta rancher Alex Murdoch, lost her court case against her husband in which she claimed the right to the capital benefits of a full partnership in her twenty five year marriage. Her case was dismissed as an irritant and her work trivialized by the courts which considered her work as ranch wife to be unexceptional even though she had run the ranch for about five months of each year single-handedly. Although the Supreme Court recognized her contributions, it was deemed that she did no more than any other wife, and therefore, could not make any claim to a partnership with her husband. In the early 1970s, Irene Murdoch sued her husband for a share of the family ranch. Eventually taking her fight all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, this case was instrumental in bringing to the attention of the public the sorry state of matrimonial property laws in Canada. In 1973, Murdoch was finally granted a lump sum maintenance payment, but the court did not recognize her partnership in the household.
1968    The National Indian Brotherhood was formed in 1968 to present the interests of status Indians to the federal government. © Public Works & Government Services, Canada (1995). sub. Flinders, Lori.
1968    Prague Spring. “On January 5, reformer Alexander Dubcek becomes general secretary of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, pledging the “widest possible democratizations” as the Prague Spring movement sweeps across the country. Soviet and Warsaw Pact leaders send an invasion force of 650,000 troops in August. Dubcek is arrested and hard-liners are restored to power.”
1968    Proclamation of the Tehran Conference on Human Rights (Symonides 1998)
1968-71 Project Surname (Alia 1994:110)
1969    The Canadian Government attempts to “rid the country of the Indian problem” with the “White Paper.” Under pressure from the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood and other First Nations across Canada, the government shelves the White Paper, but those concepts and policies will resurface with each government in power.(Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1969    The White Paper of 1969 ignored the policy recommendations of the Hawthorn Report and presented only another thinly disguised form of the assimilationist goal based on a candid rejection of any special aboriginal rights. Native leaders angrily rejected the White Paper, presenting their own Red Paper, entitled ‘Citizen Plus,’ to the government. © Public Works & Government Services, Canada (1995). sub. Flinders, Lori.
1969    American Convention on Human Rights.
1969    International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (United Nations)
1970    Greer’s Female Eunuch raises consciousness of women’s liberation (Greer 1970).
1970    RCSW landmark report established the first bench-marks of equality for Canadian women. Recommendations included paid maternity leave, fair employment practices and changes to the Indian Act so aboriginal women did not lose their status when they married non-status men. The report inspired the creation of a number of women’s groups that worked to implement these changes including the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Feminists reveal flaws in Welfare State policies including a neglect of gender issues and incorporation of gender bias through ideas of motherhood and family as evidenced in social institutions whose role is social welfare: health, social security, health and housing.
1970    Public Broadcasting Services produced a number of blockbuster miniseries including Clark’s Civilization (Clark 1970).
1970    Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) a national political association, formed by Inuit students living in the south. Inuit politics was born. Before the 1970s the co-op was the only organized voice Inuit had (Myers 1980:139). The ITC moved from Edmonton, AB to Ottawa, ON in 1972. Eventually regional organizations emerged to represent the diversity of a population of over 30, 000 peoples spread across Canada’s polar regions: Committee on Original Peoples Entitlement (COPE),  Kitikmeoq Inuit Association, Keewatin Inuit Association, the Baffin Association, Makivik Corporation (Newfoundland) and the Labrador Association. The Tungavik Federation of Nunavut was created as umbrella organization for those east of the MacKenzie Delta region.
1970    Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act during the October Crisis. 450 activists, journalists and writers were arrested under suspicion of being sympathetic to the separatist movement (Hackett 1998:79).
1970    Sir Kenneth Clark’s BBC popular television series Civilisation was aired by PPS. Clark compared an African mask that belonged to Roger Fry to the marble head of the Apollo of the Belvedere that Napoleon looted from the Vatican. “Whatever its merits as a work of art, I don’t think there is any doubt that the Apollo embodies a higher state of civilisation than the mask (Clark 1970).”
1970    The decade brought dramatic change to Pond Inlet. “The community had become dependant on government for handouts, rations and welfare. The strong, self-reliant people were changed […] Hardly anybody was practicing the traditional ways of survival: hunting, taking care of oneself or one another. We were even shocked to learn that even many of the men had stopped hunting altogether. The people were desperately long for Inuit traditional foods (Rachel Erkloo cited in Amagoalik 2001 ).
1971    Alaska Native claims settled.
1971    Inuit Tapirisat of Canada founded (Alia 1994:110).
1971    Nixon signed the Alaska Land Claims Settlement Agreement (ANCSA), a contentious agreement that spawned others in Canada (Lynge 1993:22).
1970s “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police placed left-wing groups and producers of left-wing periodicals under surveillance (Hackett 1998:79).”
1972    Rosemary Brown became the first Black woman to be elected to a provincial legislature.
1972    Watergate scandal toppled President Nixon.
1972    The Arab-Israeli War in 1972 sparked sharp increases in oil prices, put pressures on the economies of Third World countries and partly contributed to the debt crisis of the international system.
1973    Western control of the Middle East was extended since WWI setting the stage for one of the most tragic and intractable conflicts of modern times: the conflict over Palestine which has, since 1948, ignited four wars, sent masses of Palestinian Arabs into exile, contributed to the energy crisis of 1973, and, from 1975 on, fueled the civil war in Lebanon.”
1973    A bloody military coup, with U.S. connivance, overthrew Chile’s elected Marxist president Salvador Allende…. The new military regime unleashed a reign of terror that saw thousands of Chileans arrested, tortured, murdered, and/or exiled. Political parties were banned, the press was censored, and freedoms of speech and assembly were restricted. The junta pursued decidedly free-enterprise economic policies, but it took sixteen years for some semblance of liberal democracy to be restored (Hackett 1998:166).”
1970 – 73 United States intervened in covert operations to destabilize the Allende government in Chile (Falk 2000b:46).
1973    “The Calder Decision: the Supreme Court of Canada rules that the Nisga’a had held aboriginal title before settlers came but the judges split evenly on whether aboriginal title continues to exist.” ((PWGS) 2001) In the Calder case, the Nisga’a Tribal Council asked the courts to support their claim that Aboriginal title had never been extinguished in the Nass Valley, near Prince Rupert. Although the court ultimately ruled against the Nisga’a on a technicality, the case is important because in Calder the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Aboriginal title is rooted in the “long-time occupation, possession and use” of traditional territories. As such, title existed at the time of original contact with Europeans, regardless of whether or not Europeans recognized it. After the Calder decision, Canada agreed to begin negotiating treaties to define Aboriginal rights to land and resources (1973).
1973    The government finally acknowledged a limited responsibility for native land claims, and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) was instructed to resolve such claims through a new policy announced in 1973. © Public Works & Government Services, Canada (1995). sub. Flinders, Lori.
1973    National Indian Brotherhood (NIC) publication Indian Control of Indian Education is cited as the first expression of concern about education however allusions to this struggle were published in the early 20th century (Haig-Brown 1995:50).
1973    The Supreme Court of Canada gave judicial recognition to the place of Aboriginal rights in Canadian law. Berger worked for six years for the Nisga’a Tribal Council on a law suit against the government of B.C. to obtain recognition of their Aboriginal title On that day, Canada entered the modern era of treaty-making (Berger 1999a).
1973: “Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) begins a study of Inuit land use and occupancy which eventually demonstrates the extent of Inuit aboriginal title in the Arctic. This study forms the geographic basis of the Nunavut Territory (GN 2000).” See also (Freeman 1976).
1973    The Arctic Peoples’ Conference is held in Denmark (Alia 1994:110)
1973    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Irene Murdoch, an Alberta rancher, was not entitled to a share of the ranch she and her husband built up over 25 years. Women across Canada were galvanized to fight an injustice, in particular, those women of Irene’s age who knew first hand of the work and effort that a “wife” puts in to the sustenance and growth of a farm, ranch or family business. Marilou McPhedran, a LEAF founding mother, still tells the story of being in law school at the time and having her previously uninvolved mother calling her and asking her what she was going to do about it. There was such a strong public outcry following the decision, that provinces across Canada made significant changes in their laws affecting matrimonial property (LEAF).
1974    United Nations establishes the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
1974    The Fraser Institute was established. The Fraser Institute is a pro-business think tank and lobby group.  1970’s New Right gained strength as Welfare State crumbled. New Right accused Welfare State of interference with market economy. New Right claimed that Welfare State removes consumer choice, reduced individual initiative and responsibility causing a dependency on welfare benefits. New Right Thatcherism favoured the private sector, reduces taxation, reduced inflation and de-institutionalised by directing groups out of public institutions and back into the family and community.
1975    Declaration on the Protection of All Persons From Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (United Nations)
1975    “The communist Khmer Rouge takes power in Cambodia on April 16. Cambodia’s educated and urban population is forced into the countryside as part of a state experiment in agrarian communism. Under the regime of Pol Pot, as many as 3 million Cambodians die from 1975 to 1979.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1975    East Timor declared its independence. President Suharto of Indonesia responded by invading East Timor. Shortly afterwards Suharto hosted US President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a state dinner. (Jardine  and Chomsky 1995).
1975    Other regional groups of Human Rights Watch formed after military takeovers in Chile in 1973, in East Timor in 1975, in Argentina in 1976, and after the Chinese Democracy Wall Movement in 1979 (Human Rights Watch 1994).
1975    Helsinki Accords.
1975-6   James Bay agreement and northern Quebec claims settlement (ICC) (Alia 1994:110).
1975    Mohawks of Kanesatake, near Oka, filed an official land claims for loss of territory depriving them of sufficient land for living. Their claim was delayed for nine years. This triggered the Oka Crisis of 1990 (York 1990:277).
1976    ITC proposed the creation of a Nunavut Territory as part of a comprehensive settlement of Inuit land claims in the Northwest Territories. The Nunavut Proposal calls for the Beaufort Sea and Yukon North Slope areas used by the Inuvialuit to be included in the Nunavut Territory (GN 2000).
1976    The Inuvialuit split from ITC to negotiate a separate land claim agreement lured by the prospect of development in the Beaufort Sea area (GN 2000).
1976    “Nisga’a begin negotiating with Ottawa. BC government attends as observer. The federal government adopts a “comprehensive land claims policy.” The Nisga’a claim is the only one in BC started under this new policy (PWGS 2001).”
1976    A federal electoral boundaries commission recommends dividing the Northwest Territories into two federal electoral districts: Nunatsiaq and the Western Arctic. This recommendation is put in effect for the 1979 federal election (GN 2000).
1976    “By the l970’s, the Cold War had evolved into a system of complicity, in which the West agreed to keep silent about human rights abuses in return for Soviet co-operation in the maintenance of geopolitical order. The Helsinki Final Act of 1976 was intended to ratify this regime of complicity. The West acquiesced in a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe in return for guarantees of human rights protection within the Soviet area of influence. At Helsinki the communist world finally acknowledged that there were not two human rights cultures in the world but one. This ideological concession was meant to be symbolic only, but it had unexpected results. First in Poland, then in Czechoslovakia and finally throughout Eastern Europe, rights groups sprang up to demand that their regimes keep the promises made at Helsinki. Human rights language enabled Eastern Europeans to hoist their rulers on their own petards (Ignatieff).”
1976    The Canadian Immigration Act takes effect. The Act spells out the principles of Canadian immigration policy and imposing on the government the responsibility to plan immigration arrivals for the future. It also creates a separate class for refugees to distinguish them from immigrants, and establishes Canada’s first refugee determination system.(Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1976    Military takeover in Argentina
1977    PBS broadcasts two viewpoints about economics: Milton Friedman’s (1977) Free to Choose and Galbraith’s (1977) Age of Uncertainty. Friedman’s is funded by the Olin Foundation.
1977    Eben Hopson, mayor of Borrough, Alaska a pioneer in aboriginal peoples land claims hosted a preparatory meeting prior to the creation of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (Lynge 1993:20).
1977    Inuit Circumpolar Conference adopted Inuit as the designation for all Eskimos, regardless of local usages (1996) Arctic Perspectives.
1977    Since the Canadian Human Rights Act was adopted almost 25 years ago the status of women in Canada has improved markedly. It is striking, however, that more than one in five complaints received by the Commission this past year involved discrimination on the grounds of sex. This signals that we cannot remain complacent about gender equality, nor think that the battle has been won. Perhaps surprisingly, the percentage of sex discrimination cases has not diminished over the past three years, but has in fact slowly increased. The types of complaints received have also become more complex. Discrimination is often subtle — hidden in laws, systems, or actions that, on their face, seem fair and reasonable.” (CHRC 2002f)
1977    The federal government enacted the Canadian Human Rights Act that had strictly federal jurisdiction (Holmes 2001:9).
1978    Democracy Wall Movement: young activists called for democracy as the “Fifth modernization,” demanding the ouster of “Maoists,” Deng Xiaoping came back to power (Wang 1998)
1979  Foucualt, Michel, Discipline and Punish, 1979, New York: Vintage.
1979-81 Iran held 52 Americans hostage (Wallechinsky).
1979    Iranian Revolution sparked sharp increases in oil prices, put pressures on the economies of Third World countries and partly contributed to the debt crisis of the international system.
1979    The oil crisis caused by Arab-Israeli War and Iranian Revolution deeply affected lender policies and made it extremely difficult for Third World countries to repay debts.
1979    “In the l950s, most emerging nations were so anxious to sign up to the modernising project that they ratified international human rights treaties in somewhat the same way that they sought to have their own airlines: as part of a general wager on modernisation. But when modernisation and state building ran into difficulties, a cultural backlash against the individualist bias of human rights language began. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 provided the focus and the leadership for this revolt (Ignatieff).”
1979    Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the Iranian Revolution which pitted anti-western and Islamic nationalists against the pro-western Shah. The Islamic Republic of Iran became a model  for other Islamic nations (Walsh 2001).
1979    The Chinese Democracy Wall Movement.
1979    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (United Nations)
1979    Rising cost of the Welfare State becoming burdensome. New Right argues against welfare costs.
1980    Margaret Thatcher and conservative Republican Ronald Reagan championed neo-liberal market-oriented backlash.
1980    Pacific Rim countries enjoyed high growth rates and surging export markets.
1980    In Nuuk, Alaska Inuit from Canada, Alaska and Greenland formed the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (Lynge 1993:20).
1980    At its Annual General Meeting in October, ITC delegates unanimously pass a resolution calling for the creation of Nunavut (GN 2000).
1980    Arrel H. Gibson concluded that “Colonists copied (Iroquois) democratic procedures and models.” (submitted by Benedict, April. 2001. Akwesasne)
1980 – 1981      “In 1980 a Royal Commission on Newspapers, chaired by Tom (Kent), rang the alarm bell as daily newspapers fell into fewer and fewer corporate hands, and concentration reached ‘dangerous levels’. Now Kent says ‘the issue is democracy….the greater the power, the more it is abused’ as Black drives up the profit ratios on his papers, and reduces the quality and diversity of the media to Canadians as a whole.” The Tom Kent Royal Commission on Newspapers reported that “The great majority [of Canadians] believe that newspapers and the mass media in general, have responsibilities to the public different from those of other businesses.” The mass media is expected to function in public interest, not just economic self-interest (Hackett 1998:1). “It is those newspapers with a large advertising market to protect and with a readership all social classes of society that have taken the initiative of setting up existing press councils…. The various press councils established in Canada until now are seeking to perpetuate the social consensus which has ensured the success of the so-called omnibus newspapers …. Whose formula is specifically designed towards advertising led consumer patterns and whose basic unit is the traditional family (Hackett 1998:92).”
1981    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1981    The United Nations Human Rights Committee agrees to hear the case of Sandra Lovelace, an Aboriginal woman from the Tobique reserve in New Brunswick Like Jeanette Lavall and others, Lovelace claims that the Indian Act is discriminatory. In 1981, the Committee finds Canada in breach of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
1981    African Charter on Human and People’s Rights
1981    Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (United Nations)
1982    Native leaders argued for and received a role in the constitutional process of 1982. A significant result was the recognition and affirmation in the Constitution Act, 1982 of “existing Aboriginal and treaty rights” for all Aboriginal peoples of Canada, Indian, Métis and Inuit. Subsequent action on constitutional issues and Indian self-government was less successful, however, owing to the resistance of the provinces and lack of consensus among Indian organizations. Between 1978-85, discussions of Aboriginal issues entered the constitutional arena where legal questions dominated the debates.
1982    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms decisively changed the face of Canadian politics. “The Charter has legalized our politics (Michael Mandel).” Rights are more likely to be decided by the courts that by the elected legislature. The language and venues of rights have also changed with the Charter. Individuals, institutions and even governments use litigation to influence public policy. 1, 000 Charter cases a year are heard by the courts. (Brooks 2000:266). Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed Canadians fundamental rights and freedoms. The judiciary was accorded the constitutional mandate necessary to rule on substantive validity of legislation. The courts ensure that the rights and freedoms granted by the Charter are respected (Holmes 2001:3). Constitution Act ended the authority of the British Parliament in Canada. “The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.” As a result, the Charter expressly modified the tradition of parliamentary supremacy with the principle of constitutional supremacy and thereby ushered in a while new era of judicial review (Holmes 2001:11).”
1982    Constitution Act Charter of Rights of Freedom “The Charter came into effect on April 17, 1982. It was part of a package of reforms contained in a law called the Constitution Act, 1982. One section of the Charter, section 15, came into effect only on April 17, 1985, three years after the rest of the Charter. This delay gave governments time to bring their laws into line with the equality rights in section 15.” Overview Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrined “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication,” subject to “such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” Legal scholar Harry Glasbeek “predicted that the Charter’s freedom of expression clause could be used “to defend individuals generally and the media in particular from state controls, but not individuals or their defender, the state, from private interests,” thus helping the private press “to retain its sovereignty as a purveyor of information and opinion.47” In effect free speech is interpreted as a property right of corporate entities, not as a human right of individual citizens. (Hackett 1998:80) “Constitution of Canada recognizes and affirms existing aboriginal rights.” (PWGS 2001)
1983    REAL Women organization was created as a conservative backlash against progress made by feminists.
1980s:   Privatization, a term probably coined by UK’s The Economist, spearheaded by the Thatcher and Reagan administrations as part of their strongly neo-liberal policies, became the trend.
1984    Meares Island case, B.C. Supreme Court, ongoing. In 1984, Nuu-chah-nulth people and other protesters blocked the access of MacMillan Bloedel to Meares Island. The Province of B.C. regarded the vast majority of the island as Crown land, but the protesters claimed allowing logging on Meares Island interfered with Aboriginal title. A court injunction was sought to halt MacMillan Bloedel’s operations until the claim had been resolved. The B.C. Supreme Court denied the request, but the B.C. Court of Appeal, which does not usually hear appeals in such injunction cases, overturned that ruling. The court indicated that Aboriginal claims should be resolved by “negotiations and by settlement … in a reasonable exchange between governments and the Indian nations.”The Meares Island case is adjourned by agreement of the Nuu-chah-nulth, MacMillan Bloedel, the Province and Canada. The injunction on logging is still in effect and none of the parties has requested the trial resume (2003).
1984    Guerin decision, Supreme Court of Canada, 1984: In the Guerin case, the Musqueam Indian Band sued the federal Crown for breach of trust concerning the leasing of reserve land to a golf club in the late 1950s. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government had a “fiduciary responsibility” for Aboriginal people – that is, a responsibility to safeguard Aboriginal interests – which it had breached. Chief Justice Brian Dickson described First Nations’ interests in their lands as a “pre-existing legal right not created by the Royal Proclamation…the Indian Act…or any other executive order or legislative provision.” The ruling was especially significant because it recognized pre-existing Aboriginal rights both on reserves and outside reserves (1984).
1984    Sir Anthony Parsons, British ambassador to Iran from x to y, published The Pride and Fall: which described how Pahlavi Reza Shah considered Iran to be part of Western civilization, separated by an accident of geography. Arab invasions with its Islamic religion had suffocated Iranians innate talents and abilities. Parsons noted that with the power of governance firmly in the hands of the Ayatollah, he was vulnerable to the same fate as the deposed Shah in 1973: in the minds of the populous, he could be blamed for social ills. Even the most tyrannical dictators need a minimum of popular acquiescence for survival (Parsons 1984).
1984    Brian Mulroney elected Prime Minister of Canada
1984    Using statistics from the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, NDP MP Margaret Mitchell raises the issue of wife battering during a speech in the House of Commons. Male MPs respond with laughter and catcalls.
1984    Pauktuutit, the Inuit Women’s Association, is incorporated.
1980s “1980s, the Government recognized Aboriginal self-government as an inherent right and set about to negotiate individual or group self-government agreements with First Nations. The plan was that as communities came under their own self-government regimes, the Indian Act would eventually wither away. That, however, has not been the case because although negotiations have been continuous, agreements have been few.”(CHRC 2002d)
1980s United States raised interest rates on national and foreign debt to protect its own economy. The US economy had supposedly suffered because of instabilities in the price of oil. Countries —like Brazil — that were heavily indebted, found themselves constrained by unmanageable payments of raised interest rates. Brazil was forced to go to the International Monetary Fund for emergency funds. The IMF insisted on deep, drastic cuts into basic social services, such as health and education, as a condition of the emergency loans.
1983    Inuit participants in the workshop emphasized that the equality of all persons is fundamental.   Participants at the workshop learned that in 1983, the Nunavut Constitutional Forum held extensive public discussions throughout Nunavut about what the Nunavut Government should look like.  Members of the Nunavut Constitutional Forum believed that the non-Inuit minorities in Nunavut were entitled to assurances that their human rights would be protected and respected in Nunavut (Amagoalik 2001).
1983    Therefore, in the first blueprint for the government of Nunavut in the early 1980s, one of the key recommendations was that a strong human rights act be an important part of the Nunavut Constitutional Forum’s model for Nunavut: Building Nunavut, 1983, published by the Nunavut Constitutional Forum (Amagoalik 2001).
1985    United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (“The Beijing Rules”)
1985    Bill C-31 is introduced. Bill C-31 gave “status” to “Indian women and their minor children” who had married “non-Indians.” The First Nations wanted these new population numbers to be taken into account in calculating shortfalls of Treaty Lands.(Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1985    The United Nations World Conference on Women was held in Nairobi. Canadian women played a leading role in the adoption by the UN of the Nairobi Conference Report: Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women.
1985    ?Madame Justice Bertha Wilson became the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
1985    The Supreme Court was divided into two wings — a philosophy of activism and a philosophy of deferring to the legislators (Holmes 2001:11).
1986    Declaration on the Right to Development (United Nations)
1986    “The preparations for the World Assembly provide an opportunity for debate in Canada on current policies and practices affecting seniors. One area that deserves attention is the provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act that permits employers under federal jurisdiction to force employees to leave the workforce at a set age. Although the federal Government abolished mandatory retirement for its employees in 1986, the Act still permits it for federally regulated private employers.” (CHRC 2002a)
1987    Dianna Ortiz, a Catholic nun working among the Maya in Guatemala’s highlands was arrested, tortured, raped, in a Guatemala City detention centre when she was mistaken for another Dianna who was a guerilla fighter After her release it was revealed that her tormentors had American collaborators (Schulz 2001: 137).
1987    Madame Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dube was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
1988    Brian Mulroney elected Prime Minister of Canada
1989    “Gorbachev renounces the Brezhnev Doctrine which pledged to use Soviet force to protect its interests in Eastern Europe. On September 10, Hungary opens its border with Austria, allowing East Germans t o flee to the West. After massive public demonstrations in East Germany and Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall falls on November 9.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War. “The Eastern European revolutions that seemed to arise out of concern for global democratic values quickly deteriorated into a stampede in the general direction of free markets and their ubiquitous, television-promoted shopping malls (Barber 1992).”
1989    “East Germany’s Neues Forum, that courageous gathering of intellectuals, students, and workers which overturned the Stalinist-like regime in Berlin in 1989, lasted only six months in Germany’s mini-version of McWorld. Then it gave way to money and markets and monopolies from the West. By the time of the first all-German elections, it could scarcely manage to secure three percent of the vote. Elsewhere there is growing evidence that glasnost will go and perestroika — defined as privatization and an opening of markets to Western bidders — will stay (Barber 1992).”
1989    International politics moved out of its western dominated phase (Ostergaard 1994).
1989    Fukuyama published 1989 The End of History and the Last Man in which he declared an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism and the ultimate triumph of the West and Western liberal democracy over all other regimes (Fukuyama 1989).
1989    The end of the cold war, ideological passivity of China, spread of market liberalism set the stage for a new period in human rights. The new western political ideology claims that only democratic forms of governance are legitimate and promote human rights (Falk 2000b:47).
1989    China cracked down on pro-democracy activists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. This was denounced by Clinton when he was campaigning for the US Presidency.
1989: Economist John Williamson coined the term Washington Consensus to describe the list of ten policy recommendations made by ‘academics, policy makers and the better-informed segments of the world’s populations’ for poor countries willing to reform their economies. The western world assumed that there was a clear consensus on the necessary steps towards prosperity.
1989    European Torture Convention
1989    Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations)
1989    Madame Justice Beverley McLachlin was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
1989    Genevièe Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Havernick, Barbara Mafia Klueznick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, and Annie Turcotte are killed when Marc Lépine opens fire in Montreal’s École Polytechnique before turning his weapon on himself. The Montreal Massacre, as it comes to be known, provokes discussion throughout the country about violence against women and gun control.
1989-99 Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo (AP 2002).
1990    Americans with Disabilities Act
1990    Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that unreasonable amounts of time spent by accused persons in jail violates s. 11B of the Charter (Brooks 2000:265).
1990    Quebec Police attacked a Mohawk barricade triggering the Oka Crisis.
1990    Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African anti-apartheid leader visited a remote Indian reserve in northeastern Ontario with international media shaming the federal and provincial governments on the international arena (York 1990:277).
1990    In 1990, changes were made to the comprehensive claims policy in an attempt to expedite the process. A Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was set up with a broad mandate to examine in detail the relations, both historical and contemporary, among the Aboriginal and Euro-canadian peoples of Canada. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples is the most extensive commission ever to examine these issues in Canada. It produced its reports and provided documentation of its hearings in 1995-96.
1990    “British Columbia formally enters Nisga’a negotiations.” (PWGS 2001)
1990    Sparrow decision, Supreme Court of Canada. “In the Sparrow case, a member of the Musqueam Indian band appealed his conviction on a charge of fishing with a longer drift-net than permitted by the terms of the band’s fishing license under the Fisheries Act. He based his appeal on the argument that the restriction on net length was invalid because it was inconsistent with Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 — the section of the Act that recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights. The Sparrow case was the first in which the Supreme Court of Canada was called on to interpret what Section 35 actually meant. In overturning Sparrow’s conviction, the court ruled that the Constitution Act provides “a strong measure of protection” for Aboriginal rights. Any proposed government regulations that infringe on the exercise of those rights must be constitutionally justified. It further ruled that: “Aboriginal and treaty rights are capable of evolving over time and must be interpreted in a generous and liberal manner; governments may regulate existing Aboriginal rights only for a compelling and substantial objective such as the conservation and management of resources; and, after conservation goals are met, Aboriginal people must be given priority to fish for food over other user groups (1990).”
1990    Determined, intelligent, sophisticated and resourceful aboriginal leaders shifted the balance of power between the federal government and aboriginal peoples through a brilliant strategy that led to the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. Elijah Harper was the final actor but it was largely because thousands of natives formed a time-consuming parade of speakers that paralyzed the compulsory public hearings in Manitoba that were to precede the final signatures (York 1990:273).
1990    Tungavik Federation of Nunavut (TFN) and representatives of the federal and territorial governments sign a land claims agreement-in-principle in April. The agreement supports the division of the Northwest Territories and provides for a plebiscite on boundaries (GN 2000).
1991: “Soviet Union collapses. While vacationing in the Crimea, Gorbachev is ousted in a coup by Communist hard-liners on August 19. The coup soon falters as citizens take to the streets of Moscow and other cities in support of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who denounced the coup. Military units abandon the hard-liners, and Gorbachev is released from house arrest. He officially resigns on December 25 as the Soviet Union is dissolved.” CNN Interactive: The Cold War
1991    Dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
1991-1995 Prosecutors began their arguments on the 61 counts of war crimes, including genocide, that Mr. Milosevic faces for the 1991-1995 Croatian and Bosnian wars (AP 2002).
1991    “A tripartite framework agreement is signed.” (PWGS 2001)
1991    Exhibitors at the 1991 Cannes film festival expressed growing anxiety over the “homogenization” and “Americanization” of the global film industry when, for the third year running, American films dominated the awards ceremonies (Barber 1992).
1991: ‘Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist at the World Bank addressed a conference in Prague on theme of ‘Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?’ (Who guards the guards themselves?’) in a situation of rapid privatization. He acknowledged that there were major disagreements between economists. Stiglitz was opposed by Jeffrey Sachs, a Harvard economics professor, and Lawrence Summers, a colleague of Sachs and now the Treasury Secretary. ”They thought you needed to pursue privatization rapidly and that infrastructure would follow,” Stiglitz says. ”It was a divide then (Lloyd 1999).”
1990    Iraq invaded Kuwait
1990s Non-westerners complained about human rights language that was biased in favour of western values while ignoring Asian values and Islamic perspectives (Falk 2000b:8).
1992    Ombudsman Barry Mullin’s column criticized his own paper, the Winnipeg Free Press, for its coverage of the Los Angeles riots. The continent’s major news story was carried on the back pages while front page carried soft stories. The newly appointed Thomson publisher disagreed with Mullin’s level of independence. Mullin’s departure heralded journalists’ concern for autonomy (Hackett and Zhao 1998:93).
1992    Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (United Nations)
1992    Rio’s Global Forum and Earth Summit
1992    United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro. At this conference it was recognized that extreme poverty and social exclusion of vulnerable groups persisted and inequalities had become increasingly dramatic in spite of economic development. At this conference the term sustainable development referred to “economic development, social development and environmental protection as interdependent and mutually reinforcing components (Symonides 1998:3).”
1992    U.N.’s International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
1992: Nunavut Land claim agreement: “In January, TFN and government negotiators come to an agreement on the substantive portions of a final land claims agreement for the Nunavut region. The agreement contains commitments for the creation of a Nunavut territory and government, subject to a boundary plebiscite and the conclusion of the Nunavut Political Accord. This Accord would detail the timetable and process for establishing Nunavut (GN 2000).”
1992: “In October, TFN and government representatives sign the Nunavut Political Accord, setting the creation of Nunavut as April 1, 1999 (GN 2000).
1992: “In November, in a Nunavut-wide vote, the Inuit of Nunavut ratify the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (GN 2000).”
1992    Soviet delegates became full Inuit Circumpolar Conference members. (Alia 1994:110)
1992    Television Northern Canada (TVNC) begins broadcasting in January (Alia 1994:110).
1992    There is a recognized ethical turn in the work of Jacques Derrida (Critchley 1992).
1992    The Supreme Court of Canada rules in the case of Olive Dickason, a 72-year-old professor of native history at the University of Alberta. The Court finds that in the context of the tenure system, discrimination based on age is reasonable and justifiable. Like many women, Dickason began her academic career in later life, having taught for only ten years before hit the mandatory retirement age of 65.
1993    “Delgamuukw Decision: BC Court of Appeal rules that Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people have “unextinguished, non-exclusive aboriginal rights, other than right of ownership” to much of their traditional territory.” (PWGS 2001)
1993    Vienna Human Rights Conference revealed the ideological schism between the Western bloc of liberal democracies embodied in European and North American countries and diverse ideologies of fifty non-Western countries including Communist Cuba, Buddhist Myanmar, Confucian Singapore, Vietnam, North Korea, China, Muslim Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Libya which the West lumped together as Asian-Islamic.
1993    The final document of the World Conference of Human Rights stressed the importance of human rights education, training and public information (Symonides 1998:xi).
1993-2003 The decade 1993-2003 was declared the UN decade for Indigenous Peoples.
1993    Scathing report by CHRCThere were no real improvements for Canada’s natives. 1993 statistics “also show that their rates of unemployment, disease, suicide, incarceration and abuse continue to exceed the national average. In Africa, in Eastern Europe, in Asia and Latin America, the carnage often obliterates any semblance of rights, he said. “And even in Western Europe and North America there are disquieting signs of racism and ethnic disharmony.”
1993    Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities
1993    Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women
1993    UN Security Council establishes the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
1993    United Nations establishes the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
1993    “Canadian Human Rights Commission first focused on the situation of he Innu in 1993 when it undertook a special study of grievances brought to the Commission’s attention regarding their treatment by the federal Government. That study found that the Government had not fulfilled its constitutional and moral responsibilities to the Innu. It recommended a number of measures to correct.” (CHRC 2002d)
1993    Nunavut Act was signed in May. In June, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act and the Nunavut Act are adopted by Parliament and receive Royal Assent (submitted by Smoke, Rena. 2001. Akwesasne).
1993    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Catherine Peter, a housewife was entitled to compensation for the contributions she had made during her marriage.
1993    Boris Yeltsin suppressed parliamentary resistance in Moscow
1994-5  Boris Yeltsin waged war against Chechenya.
1994    United States retreated from Somalia. This weakened the UN efforts to help victims of gross human rights abuse. 1992 – 1994 UN/US intervention in Somalia was a failure. “The lesson of Mogadishu” established the Mogadishu line, the line over which the US military could not pass. Once that number of US soldiers were killed, Americans would refuse to support the war (Falk 2000b:45).
1994    The response of the Mexican government to the Chiapas rebellion may have been more moderate because of the Zapatistas’ use of the Internet to communicate with their sympathizers world wide (Hackett and Zhao 1998:191). The EZLN [Zapatista National Liberation Army] staged an uprising in Chiapas against the Mexican government, catching both the Administration of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and an admiring world that had been marveling at Mexico’s market reforms by surprise (Naim 1999).
1994: January 1, 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] signed in 1993 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States came into effect.
1994    Cairo Population Conference
1994    President Clinton encouraged trade with mainland China in spite of human rights abuses. “Let me ask you the same question I have asked myself,” he said, “Will we do more to advance the cause of human rights if China is isolated?” “Clinton in his presidential campaign had sharply attacked Bush for extending trade privileges to China in the years following the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, accusing him of “coddling criminals (Devroy 1994).”
1994    UN Security Council establishes the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Rwandan 1994 genocide
1994    United States opposed a strong UN effort to curtail genocide of the Tutsi population by the Hutus in Rwanda. This too weakened the UN efforts to help victims of gross human rights abuse. It is also an indication of the intertwined relationship between human rights and geopolitics. Rwanda has little geopolitical importance (Falk 2000b).
1994    Maxwell Yalden, the Chief of the Canadian Human Rights Commission reported that ‘Aboriginal peoples are still at the bottom of the social and economic ladder no matter which indicator you look at.’ It notes that last year was the U.N.’s International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, but that did not lead to real improvements for Canada’s natives. The year’s statistics “also show that their rates of unemployment, disease, suicide, incarceration and abuse continue to exceed the national average,” says the report. The failure to achieve a real solution to the problems facing Canada’s aboriginal people “can only continue to tarnish Canada’s reputation and accomplishments,” the report warns. The Commission report says Canada’s natives are not alone in experiencing human rights abuses. It says the “unacceptable treatment of women, racial unease and the systematic exclusion of disabled people” are also real concerns. The report says the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act must be amended and strengthened. The disabled, women, the elderly, gays, visible minorities and aboriginals need more protection against discrimination and more access to jobs and services (IPS 1994).”
1994    Representatives of indigenous peoples crafted the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (Falk 2000:50) A key concept of the Draft is that indigenous peoples are distinct and separate from other peoples, yet equal and fully entitled to claim the right of self-determination. The 1948 Declaration failed to recognize that indigenous peoples do not necessarily share the “foundational secularist, modernist, and statist assumptions of the human rights mainstream (Falk 2000:51).” Indigenous peoples were not considered to be part of the process of establishing what was universal (or normal) that is norm-creating process. (Falk 2000:51) “At the very least, they insist that the traditionalist alternative be legitimized, and to the extent necessary, safeguarded. Such a concern is far from symbolic, as such peoples are being displaced and their lands plundered in many parts of the world — perhaps most flagrantly in Amazonia and South Asia. The importance that indigenous peoples attach to self-determination is bound up with their claims of autonomy and with the history of their encounters with settlers intent on destroying them and their way of life (Falk 2000b:51).”
1994    Richard Nixon observed, “Today China’s economic power makes US lectures about human rights imprudent. Within a decade it will make them irrelevant. Within two decades it will make them laughable (Huntington 1997:195).”
1995    In 1985, the government passed Bill C-31 to this end. Native women in New Brunswick were among those most active in bringing about the return to the reserves of women who regained their status under the Bill. But resistance to their return by generally male leaders has been a divisive force in many Aboriginal communities. In a highly publicized decision, the Federal Court ruled in July 1995 in favour of the Bill C-31 registrants following the Twinn v. R. case which pivoted on the constitutional right of bands to determine membership and prohibit the admission of Native women and children reinstated through Bill C-31. © Public Works & Government Services, Canada (1995). sub. Flinders, Lori
1995    Beijing Declaration was the Fourth World Conference on Women  where women from 187 Nations negotiated the Beijing Declaration & Platform for Action. The Platform for Action names 12 critical areas of concern -poverty, education, health care, violence, militarization, economic structures, politics & resources, power & decision-making, mechanisms to promote women’s advancement, human rights, media, environment and the girl child.
1995    The World Summit for Social Development was held in Copenhagen. The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted. The Copenhagen stressed the urgent need for countries to deal with social problems such as poverty, unemployment and social exclusion (Symonides 1998). This was the largest gathering ever of world leaders. The declarations, programmes included a pledge to put people at the centre of development, to conquer poverty, to ensure full employment, to foster social integration (Development 1995).
1995    “There is a consistent request that the quality of Native education be equal to that received by non-Native students without obliterating the history of First Nation cultures (Haig-Brown 1995:50).”
1995    Robert Putnam published his influential article “Bowling Alone” in which he argued for a renewed invigorated civil society (Cohen 1998).
1995 – 2004 United Nations declared this the Decade for Human Rights Education (Symonides 1998)
1995    Sovereignty Referendum in Quebec
1995    United States led the UN effort to preserve the democratic process in Haiti and protect Haitians against the brutalities of the military junta. The United States was concerned about the number of Haitian refugees attempting to enter the US illegally (Falk 2000b:44).
1995-6:  “Footprints in New Snow and Footprints II, documents written by the Nunavut Implementation Commission, recommended that certain headquarter and regional functions of the Nunavut government be decentralized to communities. Footprints II is used as the blueprint for the foundation of the Government of Nunavut (GN 2000).”
1995–6 Unprecedented multi-billion-dollar-mergers in North American media.
1996    On August 21st, 1996, Chief Justice Lamer, writing for the Supreme Court of Canada, in R. v. Van Der Peet (1996) 137 D.L.R. (4th) 289; [1996] 2 S.C.R. 507, said: “In my view, the doctrine of aboriginal rights exists … because of one simple fact: when Europeans arrived in North America, aboriginal peoples were already here, living in communities on the land, and participating in distinctive cultures, as they had done for centuries. It is this fact, and this fact above all others, which separates aboriginal peoples from all other minority groups in Canadian society and which mandates their special legal, and now constitutional, status (Berger 1999b; Lamer 1996) .”
1996    “When the Royal Commission report was issued in 1996 the Canadian Human Rights Commission called on the Government to carefully consider the recommendations and quickly implement the key ones. Some recommendations have been implemented, but many more have been gathering dust for more than five years.” (CHRC 2002d)
1997    The Universal Declaration of Democracy was adopted by the Parliamentary Union in Cairo. Elements of democracy include ensuring that every citizen has an effective voice in public affairs and popular control over government (Symonided 1998:3).
1997    Substantial numbers of countries experienced financial crisis. Bail out relief programs structure adjustments that produce political turmoil and massive impoverishment. Ex Indonesia (Falk 2000a:28).
1997: “The Office of the Interim Commissioner is established to help prepare for the creation of Nunavut. It is responsible for setting up an operational government ready to function effectively on April 1, 1999 (GN 2000).
1998    “Amendments to the Nunavut Act are adopted by Parliament and receive Royal Assent (GN 2000).”
1998    The former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was in Britain for medical treatment. A Spanish court requested Pinochet’s extradition to face charges relating to crimes of state involving Spaniards who were in Chile during Pinochet’s rule. The English House of Lords voted in favour of the extradition so that Pinochet’s alleged responsibility for crimes against humanity could be prosecuted in Spain. A second court ruled Pinochet was too old to stand trial. Anti-Pinochet factions were pitted against Chile’s pro-Pinochet ruling party. The tension here is between peace — covering up old wrongs — and justice — making dictators accountable for their crimes. There is also a tension between respecting the state’s claim to protect it’s former ruler and the international community’s claim for justice (Falk 2000a:26).”
1998    “In 1998 the Diplomatic Conference in Rome adopted the Statute for the International Criminal Court. Once entered into force, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The Statute contains elaborate definitions of these crimes, often referred to as “gross human rights violations” or “violations of international humanitarian law (Boot 2002).”
1998    “On August 4, the Nisga’a Treaty is initiated in Gitlakdarnix, making news around the world.” (PWGS 2001)
1998    Canadian Supreme Court judges faced criticism from all sides for using the Charter to strike down government policies. In the United States during the 1960s and 1970s Supreme Court judges expanded the rights of the criminally accused, banned prayer from public schools, declared that women had a constitutional right to abortion, required the busing of children to achieve racial integration of schools. Judicial activism is not always popular with the general public. Judges are accused at times of judicial imperialism (Brooks 2000:289).
1999    NATO carried on a 78-day air war over the fate of Kosovo. Belgrade was involved in an ethnic cleansing campaign against Kosovar Albanians. NATO bombed Belgrade into submission (Falk 2000b:3).
1999    When Tony Benn announced his retirement from Westminster, it marked the end of Fabianism in Britain (Hyland and Marsden 1999).
1999    Seattle showdown pitting loosely connected NGOs against the World Bank and IMF.
1999    John Lloyd published his influential article “Who Lost Russia? (Lloyd 1999)
1999    The Supreme Court of Canada made the unpopular ruling about the possession of child pornography in a case in British Columbia (Brooks 2000:289).
1999    Madame Justice Louise Arbour was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
1999    Beverley McLachlin appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
1999    Supreme Court judges left Ottawa and traveled together to Winnipeg to get closer to the people. However this public relations exercise resulted in meetings with other members of the legal profession (Brooks 2000:289).
1999    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled (Corbiere) that, “s. 77(1) of the Indian Act, which requires that band members be “ordinarily resident” on the reserve in order to vote in band elections, violates s. 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Hence – all citizens of First Nations, not just those residing on reserve, could vote in elections. (Mainville, Elmer and Flinders, Lori 2001)
1999    “Meiorin and Grismer decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada made it clear that when deciding whether an employee is fit for work, he or she must be tested against a realistic standard that reflects the unique capabilities and inherent dignity of each individual. Accommodation up to the point of undue hardship must be an integral part of such an assessment. Two important Human Rights Tribunal decisions handed down in 2001 helped to further define the duty to accommodate.”(CHRC 2002b)
1999: “The Nunavut Territory and Government come into existence on April 1 (GN 2000).
2000    United Nations outlines: Basic principles on the use of restorative justice programmes in criminal matters
2000    “The Committee also urged the Government to respond to the Canadian Human Rights Act Review Panel’s 2000 Report by adding express references to key international human rights instruments to the Canadian Human Rights Act and providing the Commission with adequate resources for human rights promotion and education, legislation, and policy review.” (CHRC 2002d)
2000    In August, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia wrote President Bush in August that relations between SA and US had reached a crossroads, where hardliners in the SA kingdom who were both anti-American and hard-line Muslims were gaining a stronghold. Prince Abdullah had concerns that he could have the same fate as the Shah of Iran (Walsh 2001).
2000    “On September 14, Wilp Si’ayuukhi Nisga’a, Lisims government’s new legislative and administrative building, opens as the formal seat of Nisga’a government in Gitlakdamix. A new era begins.”((PWGS) 2001)
2000    Filipono activist Bello director on Focus on the Global South summarized the historic September 2000 Prague Castle debate between activist representatives from civil society and the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Bank and IMF directors James Wolfensohn and Horst Kohler. The encounter was hosted by Czech president Vaclav Havel and chaired by Mary Robinson, the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner and former President of Ireland (Bello 2000).
2001    “As one small contribution to the World Conference and the fight against racism, the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2001 published a casebook describing the types of complaints, recourses, and remedies available to deal with discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, and national or ethnic origin.” (CHRC 2002e)
2001    “New legislation in Ontario the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, gives some idea of how such a new approach to disability rights might work. This Act allows for the establishment of barrier-free standards on accessibility matters such as building access and public transportation. All governmental institutions, including municipalities, school boards, and hospitals, are now required to publish yearly plans on the steps they are taking to remove barriers to access and employment. They are also required to establish accessibility advisory councils. A special agency has been established to advise the Ontario government on accessibility matters. Human rights advocates have criticized the legislation for a lack of clear goals and enforcement procedures, and its reliance on voluntary compliance. Nevertheless, it is the first example in Canada of standards-based barrier removal legislation.” (CHRC 2002c)
2001    War on terrorism continues in Afghanistan
2001    United Nations General Assembly designated the Year 2001 as “the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations”.
2001    “A world conference against racism was convened in South Africa in late August by the United Nations to bring states together to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. As history has shown time and again, this is a daunting challenge.” A World Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa. Racism includes acts of discrimination based on race from xenophobia to acts of intolerance. But is also includes acts of discrimination based on religion, national or ethnic origin, or language. The latter were not adequately included in the discussions. Parallel meetings of national human rights institutions led to a consensus action plan. “The National Institutions’ Declaration, with negotiations chaired by the Canadian Commission, was adopted by consensus. It set out a range of areas for concrete action and cooperation, including on issues such as human rights education and promotion, racism in the media, conducting public inquiries, and sharing best practices among national human rights institutions in how to investigate, mediate, and adjudicate complaints of racism.”((CHRC) 2002e)
2001    September 11
2001    “The Minister of Indian Affairs conducted consultations on the Indian Act throughout 2001. While not dismissing negotiated self-government agreements, the Minister called for new governance legislation to enable First Nations governments to respond more effectively to their citizens’ needs and for these citizens to be better able to hold their leaders to account. The legislation would also address other critical issues, such as the rights of Aboriginal women.” ((CHRC) 2002d)
2001    In Teheran nationalist riots led often by the swelling numbers of unemployed youth defy the Iranian government calling for more religious and social reforms. Iran’s ruling power is divided between the more liberal President and clerical power of Khomeini who has, in effect become the Shah.
2002    “As a follow-up to the Declaration, in 2002 the Commission will be undertaking a comparative study on best practices of human rights commissions in addressing racism. This will contribute to an International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions on the same subject in the spring of 2002. Of particular note, the National Institutions Declaration called on governments to adopt action plans against racism, and the Commission has urged the Canadian Government to move forward quickly with a Canadian national action plan.” ((CHRC) 2002d)

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[1]  Two hundred women, (including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott) and forty men gathered to claim the vote for women. were  to make the claim for full citizenship.

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