This article aims to provoke a discussion around conceiving community members as community-based research facilitators and leaders of their own process of change. It argues this is possible by rescuing Gramsci’s legacy of organic intellectuals that is present in community-based research literature, particularly under the participatory research rubric. However, this perspective has been overshadowed by a strong emphasis on community-based research (CBR) as a collaborative research approach rather than a people’s approach for knowledge production that leads to social transformation. Furthermore, such a view of community-based research is fruitful within an adult education and social movement learning framework. In a sense, social movements provide an environment that facilitates critical consciousness and the formation of organic intellectuals and in which communities and academics learn to better engage in partnership for community-led social change. In this context, CBR is still a collaborative approach, but one led primarily by organic intellectuals.
Canada-wide efforts are being made to close the gaps that exist in the health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples besieged by a past of cultural genocide, oppression, and exploitation. The purpose of this essay is to provide members of Colleges and Institutes of Canada (CICan) access to a proposed program to engage in reconciliation, with the objective of facilitating Indigenous community engagement through social innovation, training, and applied research. The proposed program is exemplified through the relationship built between Collège Boréal and Dokis First Nation located in northern Ontario. The proposed Reconciliation Engagement Program consists of two streams that encourage CICan members to utilize, among other possible decolonizing methods, the tenets of a Critical Indigenous Methodology to value and foreground local Indigenous voices. The first stream would consist of networking activities to establish relationships, understand Chief and Council’s vision, and seek opportunities for capacity building within an Indigenous community. The second stream would be project-based so that capital costs and human resources can be accessed to complete each project. While proposing the new program is important, the present essay can also be used to exemplify how Canadian colleges and polytechnics can adopt a decolonizing approach during their engagement with Indigenous communities.
This case study provides an important socio-historical snapshot of the same-sex marriage debate in a small city in central Alberta between December 2004 and August 2005. We explore the relationship between professors and small-town newspapers in fostering democratic dialogues on key social issues through an analysis of faculty columns and the responding Letters to the Editor in a local paper. In so doing, this research focuses on two social groups located in a particular social environment, each representing a particular frame: the professors working in the local university who maintained an op-ed column in the local paper and supported a equality frame; and the general public living in Camrose and the surrounding rural area who supported a morality frame. This article contributes to our understanding of scholarly engagement in the town-gown context, the democratic role of the press, and how a particularly contentious social and political issue—same-sex marriage—was experienced and framed by concerned citizens in a small conservative rural city that is also the home to a liberal arts and sciences university campus.
This field report summarizes and advances key learnings for leveraging community–university partnerships addressing housing service gaps for high-risk, marginalized populations with complex needs. We describe our navigation of existing and forged intersections to develop a strength-based and individualized approach to humanizing housing service delivery for individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Our account is framed by four questions: why community and university partners came together to develop a responsive approach through the CanFASD network; who became key stakeholders in the partnership; how our humanizing housing approach is guiding the navigation of complexities inherent in service delivery for individuals with FASD; and what insights about creating intersections are we applying to our community-university partnerships.