Why Canada Matters Presents: The Persistence of Western Alienation in Canada

Logo with red maple leaf and blue star to represent Canadian-American studies

Event Details




Online: Zoom



Brought to you by:

Center for Canadian-American Studies, Department of History, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, WWU Alumni Association


Check out this video to watch the Why Canada Matters Presents: The Persistence of Western Alienation in Canada.

Why, in the evolution of the Canadian federal state, does there seem to be so much regional conflict and so little unity?

In this talk, Dr. Loleen Berdahl (Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina) considers the persistence of regional conflict in Canada by examining western alienation - that is, discontent emerging from one, some, or all of Canada’s four westernmost provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Dr. Berdahl’s argument is that Canada’s national unity challenges reflect reactions to the centering of one of Canada’s many possible narratives as the dominant national narrative, creating tension with other alternative perspectives.

She further argues that the study of western alienation allows us to delve into the structural features of Canadian federalism that exacerbate rather than moderate endemic regional conflict in our vast and diverse country. 


Loleen Berdahl smiles warmly. She has white skin, long blond hair, and wears a black jacket.

Loleen Berdahl, PhD

Loleen Berdahl, PhD is an award-winning university instructor, the Executive Director of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina), and Professor and former Head of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan. Her research focuses on Canadian federalism, with particular emphasis on western Canada. Loleen is also the author of the Academia Made Easier newsletter, which provides easy tips for teaching, productivity, and work-life balance in academia. 

Accommodations and Other Details

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event. Feel free to call at (360) 650-3353 or email at alumni@wwu.edu if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event.