Ian MacPherson

Click here for a list of his presentations and publications from 2005-onward.

Ian MacPherson was the founder of the British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies at the University of Victoria. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Western Ontario. He first taught in the History Department at the University of Winnipeg from 1968 to 1976, where he served as the founding co-ordinator of the Canadian Studies Programme, and has been at the University of Victoria since 1976, serving as Chair of the Department of History from 1981 to 1989 and as Dean of Humanities from 1992 to 2000. His research has been largely on the history of the co-operative movement, particularly in Canada. He has written books on the English-Canadian co-operative movement from 1900 to 1945; the Co-operative Union of Canada; Co-operative Insurance Services; Co-operative Trust Company; the British Columbian credit union movement and the international credit union movement.

Professor MacPherson served on boards of co-operatives for twenty-five years at the provincial, national and international levels. He was the founding President of the Canadian Co-operative Association between 1989 and 1993. He chaired the process and wrote the documents by which the international co-operative movement prepared an identity statement for co-operatives and revised their basic principles at the Manchester Congress of the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Ian is currently the chair of the ICA Committee on Co-operative Research.

He has twice received the Distinguished Service Award of the British Columbia credit union movement and a Distinguished Service Award from the British Columbia Region of the Canadian Co-operative Association. He is a member of the Canadian Credit Union Hall of Fame and he has received the “credit union ambassador” award from the World Council of Credit Unions for his work on documenting the history of the international credit union movement. He is the first recipient of the Canadian Co-operative Achievement Award, presented by the Canadian Co-operative Association to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the co-operative movement. In 2005, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) presented Professor MacPherson with the Rochdale Pioneer Award, the highest award in the international movement.

Ian passed away in November 2013.