Anti-Racism Position Statement from CAPA Subcommittee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Posted by sarahduignan on Sat, Jun 6, 2020

We, as Members of The Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology /L’Association Canadienne d’Anthropologie Physique (CAPA-ACAP), recognize that while race is a biological fallacy, it is a sociocultural reality with profound lived consequences. Racism is real. The structural racism present in Canada has direct biological and social consequences that disproportionately affect individuals of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities. Reporting by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) concerning fatal encounters with police revealed that from 2000 to 2017, Black people represented almost 37% of victims in Toronto despite making up approximately 8.3% of the population. Similarly shocking, Indigenous individuals comprise approximately 10.6% of Winnipeg’s population, but represented almost 2/3 of the victims. While we witness and mourn the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Chantel Moore, Ahmaud Arbery, and D’Andre Campbell, among countless others, we recognize the entrenched discrimination and racism that surround their deaths. As Members of CAPA-ACAP, we acknowledge our discipline’s racist history and our academic predecessors’ roles in helping to establish systemic discriminatory and colonial practices that persist today. As scholars with a deep understanding of human variation, adaptation, and evolution, physical (biological) anthropologists have a responsibility to not only strive for equity, but also to actively promote anti-racism and anti-colonialism. Our research and teaching are committed to celebrating human diversity and complexity and to identifying and fighting structural racism, colonialism, and hate.

As active Members of CAPA-ACAP, we recognize the need to continue fighting structural racism, colonialism, and hate. These commitments require ongoing and sustained effort. The CAPA-ACAP Code of Ethics and Statement of Diversity and Inclusion state the following commitments:

CAPA-ACAP Code of Ethics:
“Teachers/mentors should conduct their programs in inclusive environments that preclude discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, "race," ethnic background, national origin, social class, political convictions, disability, religion, age, or any other criteria irrelevant to academic performance."

CAPA-ACAP Statement on Diversity and Inclusion:
“We commit to providing a welcoming and safe space for scientists and scholars regardless of sex, ethnicity, age, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, financial situation, religion, national origin, cultural background, pregnancy, parental or marital status, immigration status, academic affiliation, or any other aspect of identity. We seek at all times to mitigate the harms caused by inequities within our academy. We acknowledge the lands on which we gather and our continuing commitment to decolonizing our professional interactions through community-engaged approaches. Bullying, harassment or discriminatory forms of behaviour have no place within our society."

#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforFloyd #IndigenousLivesMatter #BIPOCLivesMatter

1 – Marcoux, J., & Nicholson, K. (2018). “Deadly force: Fatal encounters with police in Canada: 2000- 2017,” CBC News. Retrieved from:

CAPA/ACAP Subcommittee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and CAPA/ACAP Executive Committee Members (June 4, 2020)

Ian Colquhoun (University of Western Ontario)
Sandra Garvie-Lok (University of Alberta)
James Gibb (University of Toronto)
Lauren Gilhooly (University of Western Ontario)
Ellie Gooderham (Simon Fraser University)
Lesley Harrington (University of Alberta)
Angela Lieverse (University of Saskatchewan)
Madeleine Mant (University of Toronto Mississauga)
Luseadra McKerracher (McMaster University)
Joseph Parish (Cape Breton University)
Kaela Parker (University of Manitoba)
Samantha Price (McMaster University)
Tracy Prowse (McMaster University)
Elizabeth Sawchuk (University of Alberta)
Sarah Shaver (University of Windsor)
Deanna Smith (Simon Fraser University)
Laure Spake (Simon Fraser University)