Cultural Understanding

Canadian society is rooted both in the diversity of indigenous peoples and immigration from changing source countries, resulting in the many and different cultural, religious, social and economic practices that characterize modern Canada. In a globalized and connected world where far-off events are reported to Canadians in real time and are as close as the nearest screen, issues of immigration, integration, and participation lead to new questions about the changing nature of Canadian identity and citizenship. This change in political attitudes and cultural values has been driven by broad trends, not just the growing ethnic diversity of the country, but also the coming of age of post-baby boomer generations, and the societal and economic changes that occur within a generation’s life cycle.

Building a vibrant civil society through respectful and fruitful human interactions in a multicultural society

When people of different cultural backgrounds come together to live, work and learn, their various institutions, languages and customs are an important consideration. We must consider the enhancement of communication across cultural boundaries, discover the social determinants of learning and well-being across the lifespan, improve indigenous relations, and learn to appreciate and understand diversity, immigration and pluralism. 


Cultural Understanding Key Initiatives, Research Groups and Centres

Researchers in cultural understanding explore human cultural institutions, including law, governance, religion, language, education and the historical perspectives on institutions. Others work on psychology and the limits of our ability to adapt, including depression and feelings of alienation.


Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre

Engages in research and public education on human rights, aboriginal law, international development law and family violence.

Read more

Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)

Advances the study of the North American and circumpolar Arctic through the natural and social sciences, the arts and humanities. Its researchers acquire, preserve and disseminate information on physical, environmental and social conditions in the North.

Read more

Identity-based Wrap-around Intervention Project (Faculty of Social Work)

Engages immigrant youth and prevents gang involvement.

Read More

Calgary Anti-Racism Education (CARED)

Consists of six women from the anti-racism community in Calgary. Each member brings her own knowledge of racism and anti-racism and a commitment to anti-racism activism.

Read more

Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH)

Supports multidisciplinary research in languages, literature and philosophy as well as in philosophical and historical aspects of the social sciences, sciences, arts and professional studies.

Read more

Centre for Research in the Fine Arts (CRFA)

Fosters innovative research in the visual and performing arts within the Faculty of Arts, awarding small grants in support of creative and scholarly research, whether individual or collaborative, disciplinary or interdisciplinary.

Read more

Circum-Arctic Health Project: Northern and Remote Community Health and Resilience Considering Economic and Environmental Changes

Seeks to understand and respond to health opportunities and challenges in the northern and remote regions of Canada and the circum-Arctic, and to explore community heath and resilience given economic and environmental change.

Read more

Creating Opportunities for Resilience and Engagement (CORE)

This research project in Southern Alberta schools explores the best ways for schools to help students feel safe, valued and connected. By making schools more welcoming, CORE hopes to decrease rates of childhood anxiety and depression and improve learning.

Read more

History of Intellectual Culture

An international peer-reviewed open-access academic electronic journal that provides a forum for publication and discussion of original research on the socio-historical contexts of ideas and ideologies and their relationships to community and state formation, physical environments, human and institutional agency, personal and collective identity, and lived experience.

Read more

Informatics Research Centre

Explores any use of information and communication technology between and within organizations, including business- to-business (B2B) electronic commerce (also known as e-business), business-to- consumer (B2C) electronic commerce, electronic markets, and inter-organizational information systems (IOS), information technology (IT)-enabled business process reengineering, IT-supported decision-making, information infrastructure, the diffusion of new information and communications technologies, design of contractual infrastructures for interoperability of IT, the impact of IT on organizations, markets, and public policy, and the implications for leadership and governance of IT infrastructure and services.

Read more

Institute for Gender Research (IGR)

Dedicated to the study of gender and sexual diversity, with a mission to foster and provoke transformative gender research within the University of Calgary and its community stakeholders.

Language Research Centre (LRC)

Provides leadership in research on language acquisition, learning and teaching, the effective use of technologies, and policy-making.

Read more

Latin American Research Centre (LARC)

Engages students, faculty and the general public on issues related to Latin America through a variety of activities, including film screenings and festivals, a speaker series, publications on current events, conferences and workshops, and its support of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies book series at the University of Calgary Press. 

Read more

Research Group in Ethical Theory

Located within the Department of Philosophy, this group provides a forum in which faculty working in ethics can help each other with ongoing research and inquiry.

Read More

Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence

Focused on significantly reducing and preventing domestic violence in Alberta using a primary prevention approach to stop first-time victimization and perpetration of domestic violence. The name Shift represents the spirit of this innovative project, designed to create transformational change using a primary prevention approach to stop first-time victimization and perpetration of domestic violence.

Read more

School of Creative and Performing Arts

Provides a multi- and interdisciplinary platform for the focused and innovative exploration of social, cultural, ideological and aesthetic aspects of contemporary social life through its diverse programs.

Read more

Werklund Youth Leadership Centre (YLC)

Designs, leads, advocates for and connects to initiatives that support youth leaders and foster youth leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities.