The Perception & Reality of “Imported Conflict” in Canada (2014)

Since 2008, we had become known in part for our research into how Canadians from diaspora communities can enrich the content and direction of Canada’s foreign policy as it relates to the promotion of peace. We had also gained some recognition (and later won a prestigious national award2 ) for our design and delivery of innovative programs involving Canadian youth connected to different sides of overseas conflicts in peace dialogues and globally-minded service projects. This work had been important, inspiring, and even life-changing for hundreds of young people, but it had not led to any discernible expertise on our part concerning the threat of terrorism to Canada. At first blush, therefore, the announcement of the Kanishka Project seemed notable, but not directly related to us and to our work. Happily for us, though, we were encouraged by the extremely supportive and collaborative officials of Public Safety Canada to think about the research mandate of the Kanishka Project more broadly and more creatively. We soon realized that one of the guiding premises behind our work – that Canada’s diverse population has memories of or connections to either historical or ongoing conflicts around the world – was extremely germane to the “Kanishka” mandate.

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