TORONTO — The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) (“IIGHRS”) is pleased to announce that the Genocide and Human Right University Program (“GHRUP”), now in its twelfth year, will take place in Toronto August 5-16, 2013. This year the Institute welcomes a new faculty member, Prof. David MacDonald, who will teach the unit on “The Genocide of Indigenous Peoples,” referring primarily to the native peoples of North and South America.

George Shirinian, Executive Director of the Institute, noted that “The field of Genocide and Human Rights Studies is vast, and it is not possible to cover every case of genocide in the time available. Therefore, we do rotate some of the subjects, and I am pleased that we will be examining the experience of the Native Peoples in this regard. Many people feel that it is a current and ongoing case of genocide.”

Prof. MacDonald has outlined the subject in the following way. “Indigenous peoples, also known as ‘Aboriginal Peoples,’ ‘First Nations,’ ‘Native Peoples,’ and collectively as the ‘Fourth World,’ have faced cultural destruction, forced removal from ancestral lands, deliberate killing, theft of children, and genocide, for centuries. This unit examines the genocidal experiences of selected indigenous peoples of both North and South America, with particular reference to the impact and ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. In addition to case studies, definitions of genocide and the usefulness of the UN Genocide Convention to indigenous peoples will also be discussed.”
David B. MacDonald is Associate Professor of Political Science and chair of his department’s graduate program at the University of Guelph. He has a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and has held faculty positions (as a tenured Senior Lecturer) at the University of Otago, New Zealand (2002-7), and at the ESCP Graduate School of Management Paris (1999-2002). He is the author of three books on genocide. He is also involved with Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and has contributed work on the question of genocide in the Indian Residential School system.

Now counting over 300 graduates from at least 20 different countries, the GHRUP strives to achieve multiple goals: to encourage the development of a new generation of young scholars to take up the study of genocide professionally at an advanced level; to illuminate the causes of genocide, the way it takes place, and its devastating impact; to bring a measure of healing and relief to various communities through the sharing of great trauma of many peoples; to study and teach in an interdisciplinary manner; to employ a comparative perspective in examining cases of genocide, such as the Jewish Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Darfur, with the Armenian Genocide as a point of reference as the prototype of modern genocide; and to use this comparative approach to identify the characteristics of genocide so that it becomes predictable and in turn hopefully preventable.
Classes run for 6.5 hrs per day, resulting in a total of 65 hrs of seminar-style instruction during the course. Applicants must be current university students with three years or more of undergraduate experience. Limited scholarships are available for qualified students. The deadline for application is May 31, 2013. International students are strongly urged to apply as soon as possible to avoid any complications with obtaining a visa. In addition to the academic portion of the program, social activities are planned for after class, evenings and weekends, which allow students to establish lasting connections and relationships with like-minded individuals.

The syllabus, registration information, faculty biographies, and more are available on the program’s web site, For further information, contact:
International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
(A Division of the Zoryan Institute)
phone: 416-250- 9807, email: [email protected]

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