Picture of James W. St.G. Walker

James Walker is Professor of History at the University of Waterloo, where he specializes in the history of human rights and race relations. In 2003-2004, he was the Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights Research, in 2013 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2016 he became a Member of the Order of Canada. He has written five books and co-edited another, and he has published numerous articles and book chapters analysing campaigns for human rights reform.

In the 1960s he served as a CUSO volunteer with a Gandhian association in India, engaging in community development projects. As a student in Toronto, he participated in the local support group for the US civil rights movement (“Friends of SNCC”), and later as a graduate student in Halifax he was a founder and teacher in the Transition Year Program for African-Canadian and First Nations students at Dalhousie University.

Returning to Ontario, he was a founder and long-time board member of the Global Community Centre of Kitchener-Waterloo, and has served on the boards of several NGOs with an international focus including CUSO and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. He is currently working on a book to be entitled “Look Over Jordan: The Canadian Journey Toward Racial Equality.”

Academic / Professional Awards

  • Member of the Order of Canada, 2016
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, elected 2013.
  • Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights, 2003-2004.
  • Professor, History
  • University of Waterloo

  • Office: HH 112 (UW)

  • (519) 888-4567 | Ext. 33706

  • PhD, History, Dalhousie University, 1973
  • MA, History, University of Waterloo, 1967
  • BA, History, University of Toronto, 1962


  • Walker, James and Burnley Jones. 2016. “Burnley “Rocky” Jones, Revolutionary“. Fernwood Press.
  • Walker, James. 2013. “Decoding the Rights Revolution: Lessons from the Canadian Experience”. Taking Liberties. A History of Human Rights in Canada. Edited by Stephen Heathorn and David Goutor. Oxford University Press.
  • Walker, James. 2012. “Black Confrontation in 1960s Halifax”. Debating Dissent. Canada in the 1960s. Edited by Greg Kealey et al. University of Toronto Press.
  • Walker, James. 2012. “A Black Day in Court: ‘Race’ and Judging in R v RDS”. The African-Canadian Legal Odyssey. Edited by Barrington Walker. Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and University of Toronto Press.
  • Walker, James. 2012. “Claiming Equality for Canadian Jewry: The Struggle for Inclusion 1930-1945”. Nazi Germany – Canadian Responses. Edited by Ruth Klein. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • Walker, James and Andrew Thompson. 2008. “Critical Mass: The Emergence of Global Civil Society“. Centre for International Governance Innovation and Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
  • Walker, James. 1997. ““Race,” Rights and the Law in the Supreme Court of Canada“. Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
  • Walker, James. 1992. “The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone“. 2nd edition. University of Toronto Press.

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