How a U of A grad is reshaping video game culture from within

Writer Shelby Carleton is changing the narrative for women in the gaming industry

How a U of A grad is reshaping video game culture from withinAs a teenager growing up in Fort McMurray, Shelby Carleton played Call of Duty so hard she literally wore out the disk. Some 15 years later, Carleton is a narrative designer for the video game, one of the most popular in the world. She helped shape some of the characters in the series’ latest release, Call of…

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social network

Artifacts dating back 50,000 years help us better understand human connections

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social networkIt’s one of the most enduring craft traditions in human history, stretching back 50,000 years: tiny donut-shaped beads made from ostrich eggshells. They reveal the oldest social network ever identified, according to a study by Jennifer Miller. The beads probably originated in eastern Africa and spread west and south through the continent as people traded them…

Cynthia Ann Parker’s story didn’t end with her death

Courage, charisma and adaptability allowed her son to mingle smoothly with the white world

Cynthia Ann Parker’s story didn’t end with her deathMy previous column told the story of Cynthia Ann Parker. Kidnapped as a nine-year-old in an 1836 Comanche raid, she was assimilated into the tribe, married a war chief with whom she had three children, and was then ‘rescued’ by Texas Rangers in 1860. She died a decade later, miserable and unwilling to reintegrate into…

Decline of biodiversity, health of Indigenous peoples interconnected

Indigenous resource management key to ending environmental degradation and loss of culture

Decline of biodiversity, health of Indigenous peoples interconnectedWhen Danika Littlechild was growing up in Maskwacis, Alta., her uncle would pick her up after school and walk her home through the bush to her kôhkom’s (grandmother’s) house. He would show her different plants and fungi along the way, teaching her their names and telling stories about when to harvest and how to use them for…

Why the things we take for granted could be keys to innovation

Organizational cultures are ripe for change when the familiar starts to seem odd

Why the things we take for granted could be keys to innovationImagine having never seen a handshake. You would know nothing of the different levels of importance and intimacy, when it should be done, what’s happening during the shake and even whether you can learn something from the shake itself. Trying to learn about it all at once would be akin to learning a new language.…

Inuk author sends up settler stereotypes in short stories

Norma Dunning’s latest subversive collection has earned her a Governor General’s Literary Award

Inuk author sends up settler stereotypes in short storiesInuk author Norma Dunning loves to court the absurd. In one of her short stories, called “Eskimo Heaven,” an Inuit ancestral spirit visits a priest from the North. “The spirit says, ‘Come with me, we’re gonna take a walk on the wild side,’” explained Dunning, a lecturer in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education…

Canada must overcome its lingering linguistic imperialism

Nowhere else in the world could a person speak only one language and be considered educated

Canada must overcome its lingering linguistic imperialismA Czech proverb says, “You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.” Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau got himself into hot water recently due to his inability to speak French. How he was chosen to lead a corporation that’s expected to offer services…

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist roots

Incorporate Hart Massey’s original model for Massey Hall and charge $1 for tickets to the first few concerts

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist rootsCOVID-19 remains a significant health problem around the world. Fortunately, some things are slowly beginning to shift into what’s commonly referred to as the “new normal.” It’s certainly happening in Canada. Many sports stadiums have returned to full capacity. Small and large businesses like movie theatres, gyms, hair salons and (fairly soon) restaurants are increasing…

The Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s team

Just like Canada, baseball has a way of bringing diverse groups together

The Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s teamThe Toronto Blue Jays are often referred to as Canada’s team because they’re the only Major League Baseball organization in the country. This season they’re playing the most exciting baseball we’ve seen in years, and even though their ranks don’t include many Canadian players, they certainly look a lot like Canada. There are as many…

Artifacts from composer’s life included in international registry

Designation signifies late U of A professor’s importance to the Canadian cultural landscape as a renowned classical music composer

Artifacts from composer’s life included in international registryAn archival collection documenting the life and accomplishments of a University of Alberta music professor has struck a high note by earning a world-class designation. The Violet Archer fonds at the U of A has been accepted into the Canada Memory of the World Register, part of a UNESCO program that showcases the most meaningful documents in humanity’s…