Scholars’ Hub @ Home series explores sustainability implications of COVID-19 and the Mi’kmaq people of the Atlantic coast

Do you enjoy hearing about the latest thought-provoking research? The Scholars’ Hub @ Home speaker series features discussions on a broad range of topics, with engaging lectures from some of York’s best minds.

The Scholars’ Hub events are done in partnership with Vaughan Public Libraries, Markham Public Library and Aurora Public Library, and are presented by York Alumni Engagement. Students, alumni and all members of the community are welcome to attend.

Mark Winfield
Mark Winfield

The series will continue on Sept. 29 with a previously postponed talk featuring Professor Mark Winfield, discussing “COVID-19 and the Environment: Behaviour, Policy and Implications for Sustainability.” The event will be hosted via Zoom and begin at 12 p.m.

This presentation will focus on the effects the pandemic has had on human behaviour, such as reduced travel, related fossil fuel use and emissions due to remote work arrangements vs. the potential for declines in the use of low-carbon transportation options, particularly public transit, and moves in the direction of lower density urban forms. Winfield will also discuss the changes in environmental law, regulations and policies that have been made in the context of the pandemic, and the extent to which they further embed unsustainable activities and behaviours or move a post-pandemic recovery in the direction of sustainability.

Winfield is a professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, co-chair of the Faculty’s Sustainable Energy Initiative and coordinator of the Joint Master of Environmental Studies/Juris Doctor program offered in conjunction with Osgoode Hall Law School. He has published articles, book chapters and reports on a wide range of climate change, environment and energy law and policy topics. Winfield has acted as an advisor to the environmental commissioner of Ontario and federal commissioner for environment and development. He is a member of the Conseil d’administration (board of directors) of Transitions energetique Quebec, a Crown corporation established in 2017 to implement a low-carbon energy transition strategy for Quebec.

For more information, or to register, visit
Bonita Lawrence

On Sept. 30 the series will feature a presentation by Professor Bonita Lawrence, titled “Addressing Mi’kmaw History in the novel N’In D’la Owey Innklan: Mi’kmaq Sojourns in England.” The event will be hosted via Zoom and begin at 12 p.m.

According to Lawrence, Indigenous peoples are too often expected to be pre-modern in outlook and to focus on the local rather than the international, and yet, Native peoples have been adapting to modernity since first contact, and have travelled the world (particularly to England as the imperial capital) for centuries. This historical novel focuses on the Mi’kmaq people of the Atlantic coast, whose histories are seldom addressed in Canadian history and whose leaders first dealt with the imperial world over 400 years ago.

Lawrence (Mi’kmaw) is chair of the Department of Equity Studies, and coordinator of the Indigenous Studies program. Her research and publications have focused primarily on urban, non-status and Metis identities, federally unrecognized Aboriginal communities and Indigenous justice. She is the author of Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario (UBC Press, 2012) and “Real” Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native People and Indigenous Nationhood (University of Nebraska Press and UBC Press, 2004).

For more information, or to register, visit