The Singh Family Distinguished Lecture Series
University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences alumnus, Shawn Singh, (political science/sociology, 1998) has had a multi-faceted career path. Originally, from Ottawa, he is currently General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Managing Director at Luminus Management, a multi-billion dollar investment firm in New York City. Some of the many hats he wears include - film producer (Altered Minds, 52: In Search of the Loneliest Whale in the World), entrepreneur, board member, faculty volunteer, and philanthropist.
In 2017, Shawn and his spouse Khush established the Singh Family Distinguished Lecture Series designed to bring the world’s top leaders, academics, entrepreneurs and public servants to uOttawa. During the same year, the Faculty of Social Sciences hosted Charles Doran, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University, as well as Lieutenant-General (ret.) the Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire, founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, celebrated human rights advocate, respected government and UN advisor, and former Canadian Senator. On November 4th, 2019, we hosted Natan Obed is president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national voice for Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic.
Thanks to the Singh family’s generosity, the Faculty of Social Sciences looks forward to hosting more distinguished leaders in the years to come.
Natan Obed - Inuit Self-Determination: Working towards a National Inuit Policy
On November 4th, 2019, we hosted Natan Obed is president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national voice for Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic. He has devoted his career to working with Inuit representational organizations to improve the well-being of Canadian Inuit. In this era of reconciliation, the federal government and the Canadian public have struggled to match an earnest wish for a new relationship with the tools to secure it.
Natan Obed opened the discussion on implementing Inuit self-determination at the federal level, developing an Inuit Nunangat (Inuit regions) policy and the implications for how Canada defines itself. We discussed ways in which Inuit have worked with the federal government to break down barriers that have kept them from equitable funding and rightful control and participation in essential areas, such as the Inuktut language, tuberculosis, suicide prevention and housing.
Alongside our keynote speaker, a University of Ottawa panel including members of the Faculty of Social Sciences shared their insights:
Veldon Coburn, Assistant Professor, Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies
Willow Scobie, Assistant Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies
Janique Dubois, Assistant Professor, School of Political Studies
Ralph Nader - Corporate crime, state violence and accountability in the Trump era
A four-time presidential candidate, Ralph Nader has a record of achievement eclipsing that of many U.S. presidents. Most famously, his legacy includes now-standard car safety features such as seat belts and airbags, which have saved millions of lives around the world.
He was instrumental in the creation of key U.S. agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board, Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He is also credited with helping to bring about landmark legislation, such as the Freedom of Information, Clean Water, and Consumer Product Safety acts.
A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Nader has helped launch dozens of citizens’ organizations, including Public Citizen and the Public Interest Research Group movement (OPIRG Ottawa is one such group). General Motors inadvertently provided the seed money for his first group after he won a lawsuit against the company for hiring private detectives to spy on him. He used the $425,000 settlement to start the Center for Study of Responsive Law, an incubator for the young volunteer legal researchers who came to be known as Nader’s Raiders.
Now 84, Nader writes a weekly blog, co-hosts a talk show, the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, and continues to produce a steady stream of books. He has never been one to rest on his laurels — nor, he would argue, should citizens of Canada or anywhere else. The stakes are currently too high not to be engaged in pressing for positive change.
Nader brought his urgent message to uOttawa on September 24 at the start of Criminology Week 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Social Sciences' Department of Criminology. In a talk titled "Corporate Crime, State Violence and Accountability in the Trump Era," he offered both a trenchant critique of troubled times and a stirring call to action.
Roméo Dallaire - The road to recovery: panel on post-traumatic stress disorder
On November 8, 2017, the Faculty of Social Sciences welcomed on campus, Lieutenant General (retired), the Honorable Roméo Dallaire as keynote speaker. After almost two decades of retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces, Dallaire discussed his journey living with PTSD after his mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
Following General Dallaire’s presentation, a panel of experts from the Faculty of Social sciences spoke about the factors that played a role in the development of this disorder.
The panel was composed of the following experts:
- Hélène LeScelleur, PhD candidate, veteran and 2017 Invictus Games competitor
- Stuart Fogel, professor, School of Psychology
- Andrea Ashbaugh, professor, School of Psychology
- Jean-François Martinbault, intensive case management program coordinator, Sandy Hill Community Centre
Excerpt from Talk between Roméo Dallaire and Michael Enright
Charles Doran - Canada-U.S. relations: 100 days into the Trump administration
On May 4, 2017, during the University of Ottawa Alumni week, the inaugural lecture, featured international relations scholar Charles Doran, an expert on Canada–US relations. Selected to kick off the lecture series by the dean and vice-dean of research at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Doran spoke about the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Facebook Live: Canada-U.S. Relations: 100 Days into the Trump Administration