During the fall break, Jennifer Evans was invited to Winnipeg to participate on a roundtable on teaching difficult subjects, part of a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum educational workshop on structural racism in the Canadian Prairies and Germany during the Third Reich. This was part of a series of outreach events co-sponsored by the University of Winnipeg, including an evening program featuring former executive director of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and residential school survivor Theodore Fontaine.
Although different in many ways, the history of racism in Nazi Germany and the Plains region in Canada illuminates some universal phenomena that manifested in distinct historic persecution of groups considered “others” in society. By exploring emerging research in different historical disciplines on the representation of historical persecution, this educational forum examined the lasting impact of persecution on memory and identity for targeted communities. In bringing together educators and scholars from diverse disciplines, the goal was to initiate meaningful dialogue about trauma, identity, violence, cultural genocide, and discrimination against communities in Europe and Canada. Paying special attention to historical persecution of Indigenous peoples in Canada, Japanese-Canadians, LGBTQ populations, and minorities, Jewish people in particular, in Nazi-occupied and allied Europe, participants and audiences will grapple with how, when, and why governments and ordinary people supported, complied with, ignored, or resisted targeted oppression and racial violence in different historical contexts.