Cedar Trees Institute


As a research centre dedicated to collaborative, multi-disciplinary and cross-regional inquiry into the link between the local and the global, the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) helps to incubate the Cedar Trees Institute (CTI). The work of the CTI resonates strongly with the mandate of the CFGS to explore the transformative power of scholarly knowledge in meaningful and effective ways. The CFGS shares with the CTI the commitment to promoting critical citizenship and public engagement as cornerstones of a democratic and just society.

CTI began as an interdisciplinary and intergenerational group of graduate students and senior academics. We imagine other worlds being possible by looking at alternatives that already are. In the spirit of ‘small is beautiful’ we began to meet at Imagine Studio Café in the traditional homelands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees) Nations in 2017. Each week, we engage in dialogues of reciprocal elucidation regarding the multiplicity of crises humanity faces and the exemplary responses communities are engaging in. Together, local struggles capture our imaginations, linking them to ground-breaking academic research from across disciplinary boundaries.

Over time, we have transformed into not only using this space locally to foster our own community of practice and engage in inter-generational dialogue, but we have worked with the Centre for Global Studies to establish an internationally-networked Institute that hosts multilogues, supports public engagement beyond academia and collaborates on a range of social change initiatives. If at any time you find us in Imagine and you see that kids are drawing, making puzzles, playing with Lego or making a protest sign, and we seem to be talking just about the quotidian do not be surprised. This is one way we contribute to a healthier more virtuous world, one little step at a time.

For more information about the Cedar Trees Institute, visit their webpage here