New World Dawning: The Sixties at Regina Campus

8 October 2008

New World Dawning: The Sixties At Regina Campus
by James M. Pitsula
Published by Canadian Plains Research Centre
Review by Marie Powell Mendenhall
$29.95 ISBN: 978-0-88977-210-6

New World Dawning paints the decade of the 1960s with a broad brush, and examines the finer detail of how students adapted it to the particular circumstances at Regina Campus.

Author James M. Pitsula writes, “The goal is to reproduce the sixties experience of Regina students, to capture how they interpreted the times in which they were living.”

Through articles and photographs from the student newspaper, the Carillon, he shows how Regina students responded to major 1960s movements such as the peace movement, liberation, and the counterculture.

As the 1960s progressed, Regina students became concerned about women’s liberation, racial discrimination against First Nations peoples, birth control, and similar issues of the day.

The student movement heated up across Canada in the late 1960s. In Regina, 1968 became the peak year. One demonstration brought 1,200 students from across the province to the provincial legislature.

Student activism changed these students from preoccupations with dances, sports, and beer to “marching to the legislature on a regular basis to protest one alleged injustice or another.” Yet as Pitsula points out, “The sixties too often forgot that freedom is not the answer; it is the beginning of the question.”

Pitsula, a history professor, discusses the legacy of the 1960s in reforms and awareness, and the rising unemployment and faltering economy that led into the following decade.

New World Dawning has been nominated for a 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award. Pitsula is also the author of As One Who Serves: The Making of the University of Regina.


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