Ian MacPherson (historian)
Dr. Ian MacPherson is a Canadian historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

, and a supporter of the co-operative movement.


MacPherson received his B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 from the University of Windsor
University of Windsor
The University of Windsor is a public comprehensive and research university in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada's southernmost university. It has a student population of approximately 15,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate students and over 1000 graduate students...

 in 1960. After working as a high school teacher for four years, he returned to school, earning his M.A.
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 and Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 degrees in History from the University of Western Ontario
University of Western Ontario
The University of Western Ontario is a public research university located in London, Ontario, Canada. The university's main campus covers of land, with the Thames River cutting through the eastern portion of the main campus. Western administers its programs through 12 different faculties and...


Academic life

MacPherson taught at the University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that offers undergraduate faculties of art, business and economics, education, science and theology as well as graduate programs. The U of W's founding colleges were Manitoba College and Wesley College, which merged...

 for 8 years, and helped establish the Canadian Studies
Canadian Studies
Canadian Studies is a Collegiate study of Canadian culture, Canadian languages, literature, Quebec, agriculture, history, and their government and politics. Most universities recommend that students take a double major and French, if not included in the course...

 program there. In 1976, he moved to the History Department at the University of Victoria
University of Victoria
The University of Victoria, often referred to as UVic, is the second oldest public research university in British Columbia, Canada. It is a research intensive university located in Saanich and Oak Bay, about northeast of downtown Victoria. The University's annual enrollment is about 20,000 students...

, serving as Chair from 1981 to 1989. He became Dean of Faculty of Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 in 1992, but stepped down in 1999 to establish the B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies (BCICS). He continues to teach history and serves as director of BCICS.

Focus of scholarship

Although an enormous amount of MacPherson's work has focused on the Canadian and international co-operative movement, he has also written on the nineteenth century Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 family, Canadian Prairie rural history, urban history
Urban History
Urban history is a field of history that examines the historical nature of cities and towns, and the process of urbanization. The approach tends to be multidisciplinary, crossing boundaries into fields like social history, architectural history, urban sociology, urban geography and archaeology.At...

, and the history of the Canadian north
Northern Canada
Northern Canada, colloquially the North, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to the three territories of Canada: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut...


Involvement with the Co-operative movement

MacPherson has participated in numerous co-operatives, and served on the boards for Consumers' cooperative
Consumers' cooperative
Consumer cooperatives are enterprises owned by consumers and managed democratically which aim at fulfilling the needs and aspirations of their members. They operate within the market system, independently of the state, as a form of mutual aid, oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit...

s in Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

 and Victoria, a health co-operative in Winnipeg, a child care co-operative in Victoria, and several credit union
Credit union
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members...

s in Victoria, including Pacific Coast Savings
Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings is a credit union based in Surrey, British Columbia, and is the third largest credit union in Canada outside of Quebec. As of 2010, the credit union had $12.3 billion in assets under administration and 454,000 members...

. He was a member of the BC Central Credit Union board, the Canadian Co-operative Credit Society, the Co-operative Union of Canada, the International Co-operative Alliance
International Co-operative Alliance
The International Co-operative Alliance is a non-governmental co-operative federation or, more precisely, a co-operative union representing co-operatives and the co-operative movement worldwide. It was founded in 1895. The ICA maintains the internationally recognised definition of a co-operative...

 (ICA), and was the founding President of the Canadian Co-operative Association
Canadian Co-operative Association
The Canadian Co-operative Association is a national cooperative federation for Canadian co-operatives headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. CCA represents over 2000 co-operatives and credit unions with 9 million members...

 in 1989. As part of his work with the ICA, he wrote the 1995 revision of the Rochdale Principles
Rochdale Principles
The Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for the operation of cooperatives. They were first set out by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England, in 1844, and have formed the basis for the principles on which co-operatives around the world operate to this day. The...

 adopted at the 1995 ICA Congress in Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...



  • Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC) – CASC Merit Award 2002
  • BC Credit Unions – Distinguished Service Award
  • Canadian Co-operative Association (BC Region) – Distinguished Co-operator Award, 2000
  • World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) - Credit Union Ambassador Award, 2000.
  • Canadian Credit Union Hall of Fame Member, 2000

Selected bibliography

  • Hands around the globe : a history of the international credit union movement and the role and development of World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (Victoria: Horsdal & Schubart Publishers Ltd., 1999.)
  • Co-operative principles for the 21st century (Geneva: International Co-Operative Alliance, 1996)
  • Co-operation, conflict and consensus : B.C. Central and the credit union movement to 1994 (Vancouver: B.C. Central Credit Union, 1995.)
  • Building and protecting the co-operative movement: a brief history of the Co-operative Union of Canada, 1909-84 (Ottawa: Co-operative Union of Canada, no date.)
  • Matters of loyalty : the Buells of Brockville, 1830-1850 (Belleville: Mika Pub. Co., 1981)
  • Co-operative movement on the prairies, 1900-1955 (Ottawa : Canadian Historical Association, 1979.)
  • Each for all : a history of the co-operative movement in English Canada, 1900-1945 (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1979.)

External links

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