Upcoming Event:

 TBD: Strategic Planning Meetings

2023 Events:

July 14th - 16th, 2023:  Standing Bear Indigenous Physical Activity & Leadership Symposium 

SMU representitives at the Standing Bear SymposiumThe City of Halifax (Kjipuktuk) and Millbrook First Nation are located in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional land of the Mi’kmaq Nation. The territory is covered by the "Treaties of Peace and Friendship" which Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG: took place on this territory between July 15th and 23rd. Established in 1990, the NAIG is a multi-sport event held every three years (pandemic notwithstanding) throughout North America that provides thousands of Indigenous athletes with an opportunity to compete. The vision of the NAIG is “to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities which encourage equal access to participation in the social/cultural/spiritual fabric of the community in which they reside and which respects Indigenous distinctiveness.” In the spirit of this vision, we—Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario and the Scott McCain and Leslie McLean Centre for Sport, Business and Health— organized a three-day Indigenous sport and physical activity symposium in the lead-up to the Games that featured a variety of opportunities for interested parties to gather, share, and learn. It took place at The Inn on Prince in Truro, Nova Scotia, July 14-16, and included a choice of activities such as the Aboriginal Coaching Module (ACM), plenary sessions with guest speakers, research presentations, a space designated for Indigenous youth engagement, an opportunity to discuss the formation of a broader research agenda, and a trip to the NAIG Opening Ceremonies.

Click Here To Watch Event Videos

Book Launch for Hardscrabble Diamonds by Colin Howell

Part history, part memoir, part statistical analysis, this book tells the remarkable and largely forgotten story of how the baseball hotbed of Canada’s northeastern Maritime provinces evolved into “NCAA North” during the 1940s and 1950s. A summer training ground for players from leading U.S. college programs, the region attracted talented players seeking higher salaries than they could get in the American minor league system.

Click here to purchase the book.



Pat Sassa, Digital Storytelling, and Community Histories with Dr. Carly Adams

Photo of Carly AdamsDuring her visit to the CSSH in Winter 2023, Dr. Carly Adams gave a talk as part of the History Department’s Seminar Series on The Nikkei Memory Capture Project, a community-based oral history project in collaboration with Dr. Darren Aoki (University of Plymouth, UK) and the Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge and the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. It explores the cultural and social histories of Japanese Canadians in southern Alberta from 1950 to the present. In her 2004 article, ‘Passing Time, Moving Memories,’ Pamela Sugiman writes “the pain caused to all persons of Japanese descent by the Canadian government’s actions during the Second World War is etched in my memory. It has become an integral part of my existence, as well as a defining moment in my own family’s history.” So too, is this moment etched in the memories and personal and family histories of our interviewees. In this talk, Dr. Adams shares and reflects on Pat Sassa's (long time Lethbridge resident and Japanese dancer) co-created short film where she reflects on the importance of her bodily movements and her efforts to grow and sustain Japanese folk dancing in her community. Stories like Pat’s challenge the notion that one story, the dispossession and oppression of Japanese Canadians during and following the Second World War, can singularly define Japanese Canadian life.

Indigenous Sport Week 2022

Silhouettes of two hockey players

In collaboration with Athletics & Recreation,  and Ryan Francis and the CSSH assisted with the organizing of the first ever Indigenous Sport Week at Saint Mary’s. This included men’s and women’s basketball games recognizing Every Child Matters, men’s and women’s Red Tape hockey games, a display of the Mi’kmaw Sports Hall of Fame, an assortment of Indigenous vendors, and an evening dedicated to bringing awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People. Notably, the Red Tape anti-racism initiative at SMU was initiated by former student Logan Prosper of Whycocomagh First Nation.

Click here to learn more about the Red Tape Movement.

Athlete Mental Health with Kendra Fisher

Event poster: Kendra's headshot with the time and location detailsThe CSSH partnered with SMU Athletics and Athletic Council on campus to host   Kendra Fisher on Monday, November 14th, 2022, in the Sobey Building. Kendra is a   former goaltender in the women's Canadian National Hockey Program who had to   stop short of reaching her Olympic dreams on account of mental illness. Kendra   was on a national speaking tour of Canadian colleges and universities and Saint   Mary's was her first stop.


The Queen of Basketball: a film screening and panel discussion with Ben Proudfoot, Jennifer Vanderburgh, Letisha Brown, and Chanel Smith

Poster advertising Ben Proudfoot eventWe were pleased to be joined by Oscar winner Ben Proudfoot, basketball athlete Chanel Smith, and scholars Dr. Jennifer Vanderburgh and Dr. Letisha Brown on Thursday October 18th, 2022 in Sobey 260. Ben is a Halifax-born film producer who created a short documentary about Lusia Harris, a Black basketball athlete who was the first and only woman ever drafted to the National Basketball Association. Audience members watched a screening of the film and then the panel discussed the intersection of film, basketball, and Black women. This event was planned and supported collaboration with librarian Suzanne Van der Hooven, AVP Diversity Excellence Dr. Rohini Bannerjee, and President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray. 

Collaboration with Gujarat National Law University and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute

Dr. John Reid and Dr. Brian Kennedy spoke in a lecture series titled "Sports in India and Canada: History, Health, and Regulation". The series ran March 5th, 12th, and 19th. 

Click here to view the event pamphlet.

Speaker Series on Women in Sport & Health

Presented by HWSS 3000 Students in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Sport & Health

Student-organized speaker series in Winter 2022 featuring seven pre-made 15-30 minute videos created by women working in sport and/or health. The goal was to amplify women's voices as they presented their health-related careers or sport participation and the challenges that have empowered them. Speaker videos were uploaded on Fridays concluding with a video in which students discussed the major themes presented by the speakers as they related to broader intellectual discussions happening in academia. Audience members were invited to comment on the seven videos and suggest discussion questions for the class. 

Speakers: Fabienne Blizzard, Dr. Tina Atkinson, Jessica Platt, Maggie Campbell, Sue Rodgers, Jillian Reid, Robin Hunter

Click here to view the videos on the CSSH YouTube channel.  

Special thank you to the Saint Mary's University Athletic Council for their support. 

Book Launch for Overcoming the Neutral Zone Trap: Hockey's agents of Change

Editors: Cheryl MacDonald & Jonathon Edwards
Publisher: University of Alberta Press
Date: December 2nd, 2021 
Host: CSSH Senior Research Associate Dr. Brian Kennedy, author of Growing Up Hockey (2007) 

Overcoming the Neutral Zone TrapOvercoming the Neutral Zone Trap challenges hockey’s norms, pushes its boundaries, and provides new ways of conceptualizing its role in North American culture. The editors of this engaging interdisciplinary collection use the metaphor of the neutral zone trap to explore the ways that hockey’s culture and structures work to exclude marginalized people. The book features both personal and scholarly accounts of agents of change—people, ideas, and events—that confront the challenges associated with making hockey a more inclusive space. By exposing assumptions about hockey culture, Overcoming the Neutral Zone Trap opens up critical discussions of previously underexplored topics as they relate to the women’s game, Indigenous participation, viable career pathways, masculine identities, hockey parents, mental health, and social media. This is a book for fans, players, organizers, and researchers alike.

Angie Abdou, Kieran Block, Cam Braes, William Bridel, Judy Davidson, Jonathon R.J. Edwards, Catherine Houston, Colin D. Howell, Chelsey H. Leahy, Roger G. LeBlanc, Cheryl A. MacDonald, Fred Mason, Brock McGillis, Vicky Paraschak, Brett Pardy, Ann Pegoraro, Kyle A. Rich, Tavis Smith, Noah Underwood


The Hockey Conference (10th Anniversary)

The Hockey Conference is a biennial event held in a different location across North America and soon Europe. It has been a driving force for academic research on ice hockey. It has also facilitated conversations among a  diverse group of scholars, artists, athletes, coaches, administrators, members of sports media, and fans of the  game. Through conference participation, attendees have raised significant questions about the sport, and importantly advanced our understanding of who plays the game, how they play it, and under what conditions. This conference has worked to enrich collaboration and cultivate a critical group of individuals who are pushing the boundaries of scholarship on hockey.

The Conference was founded by Dr. Colin Howell at Saint Mary’s in 2001 and returned in 2004 and 2012. Notable guest speakers at the event have included Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden, Hazel McCallion, Stacey Wilson, Ted Nolan, Billy Bridges, Jennifer Botterill, Harnarayan Singh, and Karl Subban. It returned to Saint Mary’s for its tenth anniversary in 2020 (2021 edition due to COVID-19) featuring Humboldt bus crash survivor Kaleb Dahlgren and women’s hockey pioneer Angela James.

Click here to view the Hockey Conference videos on the CSSH Youtube Channel

Visit the Hockey Conference Website
Twitter: @thehockeyconf
Instagram: @thehockeyconf
Facebook: The Hockey Conference

Goaltending Symposium 

This free 6-week online interdisciplinary speaker series focused on the role of the ice hockey goaltender from a sport, health, and society perspective. Viewers could watch guest speaker videos at their leisure leading up to a live Zoom Q & A session with the speakers (no recording available).

Speakers: Dr. Jim Cameron and Dr. Lori Dithurbide (Psychology), Sami Jo Small (professional goaltender), Justin Goldman (founder of Lift The Mask), Cassie Shokar (university goaltender), Dr. Brian Kennedy (English), and Dr. Ryan Frayne (goaltender ergonomics) 

Links to videos on the CSSH YouTube channel.