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Woolford, Andrew

Professor, Sociology

Department Head, Sociology


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Keyword Discipline

Aboriginal Studies

Behavioral/Social Sciences

Conflict/Dispute Resolution

Behavioral/Social Sciences


Behavioral/Social Sciences


Behavioral/Social Sciences

Social Movements

Behavioral/Social Sciences

Sociolegal Studies

Behavioral/Social Sciences

Research Description

I am currently working on three primary research projects:

1) For the past 6 years Bob Ratner (Emeritus, UBC) and I have been gathering data for a comparative analysis of post-genocide/mass violence reparations in 47 countries. To do so, we have created an analytical grid for mapping the life course of reparations claims from launch to resolution;

2) Bryan Hogeveen (U of Alberta) and I are conducting a study titled "Experiencing Neoliberalism in Two Prairie Cities" through which we hope to trace the effects of neoliberal policy shifts at the government level on people living in precarious or marginalized situations in the inner-city;

3) I am beginning a comparative study of Indigenous boarding/residential schooling experiences in the United States and Canada. This research will involve an evaluation of both cases through the lens of "genocide", as well as an examination of the differing paths taken by each respective government in the aftermath of the boarding/residential school experience. With respect to the latter issue, the fundamental question is: how did Canada arrive at a three-pronged reparations strategy (apology, compensation, truth commission) while the United States has done little to recognize boarding school injustices?

Teaching Description

At the undergraduate level I teach: Criminology; Criminal Justice and Corrections; Sociology of Law; Genocide, Crime and Society; Restorative Justice; and Theorizing Law, Crime and Social Justice.

At the Graduate level I have led (or will soon lead) seminars on Genocide and Criminology, Criminology and the Camps, Restorative Justice, and Truth and Reconciliation.

Public/Media (Non-Technical) Description

I am happy to provide comment on issues related to genocide, reparations, conflict resolution, reconciliation, apology, restorative justice, inner-city Winnipeg, and mediation.

International Activities

Workshop: Colonial Genocide and Indigenous North America

In the workshop "Colonial Genocide and Indigenous North America" researchers from Canada, the USA, Australia and Europe will discuss various destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America. Massacres, residential/boarding schools, land appropriation, the collapse of the buffalo and other species, disease spread, forced sterilization, and forced political restructuring will all be examined through the lens of genocide -- namely, what impact did these events, individually or combined, have on the ability of Indigenous groups to survive as groups? And what can be done today to redress and educate non-Indigenous North Americans about these harms? These questions will be addressed by experts from a variety of disciplines (History, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Studies, Conflict Resolution, and Native Studies), who will assess not only the historical record of these events, but also what they mean for current and future Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations in North America.

Partners Centre for Human Rights Research (University of Manitoba); Rutgers University's Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights; Social Justice and Criminology Research Coordinator (University of Manitoba)
Funding Agencies Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Aid to Scholarly Workshops)
Location University of Manitoba
Countries Canada, United States
Dates 2012 - 2012

Boarding/Residential Schools, Genocide and Redress in Canada and the US

This project compares American Indian boarding schools and Canadian residential schools as total institutions designed for purposes of assimilation and consider whether or not these institutions can be considered genocidal in accordance with recent advances in the genocide studies literature. Based on this historical backdrop, the project contrasts the differing paths toward redressing the boarding/residential school experience taken in the United States and Canada. Key questions include:

1) Does the boarding/residential School experience constitute genocide according to prominent legal and sociological definitions of the phenomena?

2) Why is it that Canada has arrived at a tripartite reparative process for residential schools (i.e., a truth and reconciliation commission, compensation, and a public apology) while American boarding school injustices have been left largely unaddressed?

3) In light of arguments in favor of applying the term genocide to boarding/residential schools, what are the benefits and drawbacks of implementing truth and reconciliation commissions, compensation, and public apologies for such harms? Does the Canadian Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement represent a potential model for American boarding school reparations?

4) In what ways is our shared colonial past embedded in our attempts to correct this history? Can mechanisms of “transitional justice” offer a pathway to a decolonized North America that overcomes the destructive pressures of settler colonialism?

Funding Agencies Fulbright, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Location University of New Mexico
Countries Canada, United States
Regions Manitoba, New Mexico
Dates 2012 - 2012

Curriculum Vitae

CV_WoolfordAndrew.pdf(PDF - 286.19 KB)Download

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