Warren Cariou

Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures

Tier 2 - 2008-04-01
Renewed: 2013-03-01
University of Manitoba
Social Sciences and Humanities


Research involves

Examining the ways in which ideas of community are expressed in the writing and storytelling of different cultural groups in Canada.

Research relevance

Re-evaluating what “Canadian community” means in order to foster respect for cultural difference and maintain positive and peaceful diversity.

Our Stories Can Tell Us Who We Are

Canadian society is becoming increasingly multicultural. One result of the country’s changing face is that Canada’s many stories about community are becoming more and more complex.

Dr. Warren Cariou, Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures, believes that learning how these stories intertwine, interact and overlap is critical to understanding how written and oral narratives define community identity, and to understanding the role such stories play in ongoing struggles for community rights and cultural equality.

Cariou is exploring how narratives are used by different indigenous cultures, and is examining these stories both critically and creatively to develop a new and dynamic way of looking at multicultural identities. In particular, he is working closely with Aboriginal and Métis communities to trace the development and significance of traditional oral and written narratives, while at the same time re-examining general notions of community and belonging in Canada.

As Canadian society continues to evolve, it will become ever more important to find effective ways to accommodate different communities within our understanding of a multicultural Canada. By revitalizing previously marginalized stories, and by using creative and critical ways to investigate them and their meanings, Cariou’s work aims to redefine what “Canadian community” can mean in the 21st century.