Call for Submissions for a Special Issue: Subverting Canada 150

Graphic design by Jeannie Straub

Queries for this SPECIAL ISSUE are due MARCH 6, 2017.

Our vision for the July/August issue is to subvert the Canada 150 celebrations that overlook the country’s colonial, capitalist, patriarchal underpinnings.

We are seeking articles, investigative reporting, historical analysis, photo essays, timelines, personal essays, reviews, profiles, recommendations, lists, humour, comics, art, and contributions that defy standard categorization. We want to break the rules in this issue.

We’re looking for submissions that dissect complex, multi-layered stories and angles. Below is an incomplete list of suggestions, and we invite submissions beyond these categories. If your query is accepted, first drafts are due April 3, 2017, with an intensive collaborative editing process lasting until about May 5.

Your query should outline what ground your contribution will cover, give an estimated word count, and indicate your relevant experience or background in writing about the issue. If you haven’t written for Briarpatch before, please provide a brief writing sample. Send queries to editor[at]

  • Ongoing colonial dispossession. In what ways has Canada been built on the exploitation of land and labour, and how is it continually benefitting from colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, and militarism? Pipelines; boil water advisories on reserves; underfunding schools and health care on reserves; intergenerational resistance; treaties.
  • MMIW2S. The MMIW inquiry; policing; colonial violence; organizing in communities of two-spirited peoples.
  • Trudeau. Confronting the Trudeau effect; when social media strategy and policy don’t line up; the Trudeau brand overseas; Trudeau in the age of Trump; normalizing Trumpism and fascism in Canada; Soldiers of Odin and KKK in Canada.
  • People’s history. Uprisings, occupations, insurrections, general strikes, alliances, watershed moments; repression of activists.
  • Labour. What is the state of the labour movement in Canada? How are workers organizing themselves? Work insecurity; temporary foreign workers’ job conditions; labour leadership.
  • Nationalism, militarism, borders. Imperialism and the myth of peacekeeper benevolence; border control; citizenship; multiculturalism policy; sanctuary cities; Indigenous–refugee solidarities; “Meanwhile in Canada” and love for Liberals; a “welcoming” Canada that simultaneously disregards Indigenous protest and struggle; settler privilege and “we are all immigrants” sentiments.
  • Feminism. Forced sterilization of Indigenous women; history of eugenics in Canada; women’s strikes; White feminism; feminist resurgences and alliances; domestic labour; childcare policy; queer and trans-led activism.
  • Black Lives Matter. Media representations; pride marches; police violence; alliances; “Black Lives Matter on Indigenous Land.”
  • Climate change. Environmental racism; green economies; labour and environment; new resource extraction practices and policies; corporate social responsibility; anti-environmentalist violence and surveillance; divesting and investing; colonial-capitalist domination of the land; food sovereignty.
  • Media. Media concentration; public funding; emerging media ethics debates; investigative journalism and rebel reporting; importance of independent media; right-wing media in Canada.
  • Language. Indigenous language revitalization.
  • Muslim organizing in Canada; Islamophobia; surveillance.
  • UNDRIP and TRC. How is the state folding reconciliation and UNDRIP into its own agenda?
  • Prison justice. Carceral labour; access to justice; colonial systems of justice.
  • Surveillance. Digital security; privacy rights; free Internet.
  • Business and political dynasties in Canada. Who’s who in Canadian capitalism; austerity; progressive finance; taxation; inheritance.
  • Building the Left in Canada. What are the challenges we need to reckon with? Dismantling colonialism, sexism, and racism on the Left; where are we going? What are we building and what are our strategies? What inspiring visions should we look to?

We want to dig deep and tell unexpected stories. Please review our submission guidelines before submitting.

We have recently raised our standard rates of pay by 50 per cent:

$75 – Profiles, short essays, parting shots (generally <1,000 words), feature art
$150 – Feature stories, photo essays
$225 – Research-based articles and investigative reportage (generally 1,500–2,500 words)

We reserve the right to edit your work (with your active involvement), and cannot guarantee publication.