Calgary set to create 1st permanent Sikh Studies program in Canada

Yet, the Sikh tradition is inherently diverse....

Sikhism is the 5th largest world religion. There are between 600,000 and 1 million Sikhs currently in Canada. This is the largest Sikh community outside India. Proportionally, both countries are roughly equal in terms of 1.7% Sikh in their total population. The Sikh community in Canada has made a significant contribution to developing multicultural values and being drivers in economics and politics locally and nationally.

Currently no university in Canada has a research focus on the Sikh community, Gurmat, or Gursikhi. Yet, the Sikh tradition is inherently diverse. Born within a multicultural context, the Sikh tradition can teach us much about pluralism, equity, embracing difference, care and compassion for others through Oneness. In recognizing this, the University of Calgary is collaborating with the Sikh community in Alberta toward a long-term plan to develop Sikh Studies at the University of Calgary.

The Faculty of Arts at UCalgary has committed funds to develop this program, but financial support from the community is needed to create the impact we have envisioned together. UCalgary is seeking $250,000 of additional funding (click here for the University's crowd funding campaign) from the community and friends to establish:

1. Teaching – Create a three-year full-time appointment in Sikh Studies

2. Learning – Expand courses on Sikhism to cover Sikh history, culture, thought, and practice in depth

3. Research – Strengthen research and scholarly creation that involve the UCalgary and Sikh communities with direct impact on Sikhs and all Canadians

4. Multidiscipline Approach – Build for tomorrow by developing cross-campus connections with fields like Social Work, Education, Law and Philosophy where important interdisciplinary opportunities exist for fostering professional opportunities and changing approaches to global realities today.

5. Community – Bring Sikh community into the university by facilitating community engagement and dialogue.

6. Vision – Create a long-term vision for a Chair in Sikh Studies at UCalgary through partnership. This will be a one-of-a-kind program where UCalgary is not prescribing what Sikh Studies is or will look like, but rather, will work collaboratively with communities of scholars, Sikhs, students, and neighbours— in Calgary and beyond — to develop programming that is relevant within a local and global framework.

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