Simon Orpana and Rob Kristofferson: Showdown! Making Modern Unions

Simon Orpana and Rob Kristofferson discussed their 2016 graphic novel, Showdown! Making Modern Unions. Simon Orpana is an educator, scholar and artist with a Ph.D. from the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Rob Kristofferson is an Associate Professor cross-appointed to the Social and Environmental Justice and History Programs at Wilfrid Laurier University. He also teaches in McMaster’s program in Social Justice and Community Engagement

Seventy years ago, thousands of North American workers took a stand for a better life. And they won. In 1946, in the United States, over a million workers in the steel, meatpacking, and electrical industries put down their tools and walked out; and striking Canadian workers tied up provincial rubber and logging industries, the Southam newspaper chain, central Canadian ports, and the national steel industry. Workers in Hamilton, Ontario hoisted picket signs at Westinghouse, Firestone, Stelco, and The Hamilton Spectator, and with the support of rallying friends and neighbours, turned the strikes into a community-wide struggle for decency, respect, and security.

Based on interviews and other archival materials, this graphic history illustrates how Hamilton workers translated their experience of work and organizing in the 1930s and early 1940s into a new kind of unionism and a new North American society in the decades following World War II.

The book is available from Between the Lines Books:

Dr. Rick Hill: The Creation Stories Project

Dr. Rick Hill, Senior Research Coordinator at Deyohaha:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic on the Grand River territory discussed The Creation Story project. During the month of his CCENA fellowship over the summer, Rick Hill was able to complete a book he has been working on for some time on Six Nations artists’ renderings of the Haudenosaunee creation story. This book reproduces images of these beautiful works and offers commentary based on interviews with the artists on their connection to this founding teaching in Six Nations tradition and their efforts to interpret that story in contemporary art