Source: Frances Widdowson

An Alberta professor known for her outspoken views on Indigenous politics is returning to the scene of her cancellation – sort of.

Frances Widdowson is scheduled to give an off-campus talk, titled “Indigenization Destroys Academic Freedom,” at the Lethbridge Public Library’s Main Branch on Saturday.

This weekend’s talk is being co-organized by the University of Lethbridge professor emeritus Anthony Hall and the Rational Space Network, a faculty network promoting academic freedom.

The term “indigenization” typically means “the act of making something more Indigenous.” 

Widdowson, who contributed to the recently published book Grave Error: How The Media Misled Us, believes indigenization has turned into “a political development that prevents professors from pursuing the truth and developing knowledge about subjects like the residential schools.”

“It seems that the false claim that the ‘remains of 215 children’ were found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School has become dogma that must now be accepted throughout Canadian society,” she said in a news release promoting the event. “University indigenization is one of the major reasons why this disinformation has taken root.”

Widdowson made headlines back in 2021 when she was fired by Mount Royal University after her criticizing Indigenization initiatives and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

She then made headlines again last year when a talk she was set to give at the University of Lethbridge about “how wokism threatens academic freedom” was shut down by left-wing activists.

The university initially approved the talk, but later backtracked following two petitions and several faculty members calling for its cancellation.

Widdowson opted to instead give that talk in the university atrium. However, on the day of the talk, she was met with a large group of left-wing protesters, who effectively blocked her from speaking. She tried to move to an adjacent area, but amid shouting, drumming, and chanting, she had to move the talk to Zoom.

She is currently suing the University of Lethbridge alongside the professor who had organized the talk and a student who was prevented from attending because of the censorship.

Widdowson was also recently in the news over a speech she gave at a city council  meeting of Quesnel, B.C. 

The city council meeting erupted in chaos as debates over the book Grave Error led to heated exchanges and calls for the mayor’s resignation. 

During the meeting, some attendees jeered at speakers defending the book, including Widdowson, who was told by a councillor “ma’am, you are not welcome here.”