Podcast: Play in new window
On September 18 at the Canadian Museum of History, there was a roundtable discussion on the issues surrounding national celebrations and commemorations in Canada. The roundtable was part of the Celebrating Canada Workshop, which was chaired by Matthew Hayday and Raymond Blake.
Moderated by Matthew Hayday (University of Guelph), the roundtable featured Yves Frenette (Université de Saint-Boniface), Marc-André Gagnon (University of Guelph), Robert Talbot (University of New Brunswick), and Mark Kristmanson (CEO, National Capital Commission).
This was a bilingual session.
Acitvehistory.ca is pleased to feature a recording of this roundtable.
By Josh MacFadyen
[First published by The Otter]
The 2013 ice storm left hundreds of thousands of Canadians out in the cold and made some people pause to consider the fragility of urban energy systems in a changing climate. The idea of so many people spending Christmas in the cold made me reflect on some of the better-known cases of Canadians freezing to death in the past. Frankly – and aside from Sir Franklin – most of us likely couldn’t name a single person who died in this way. But one name we should all know is Neil Stonechild. His story, and the stories of other victims of hypothermia, should shape how we think about systemic racism and other social injustice.
Neil Stonechild (1973-1990), Saskatoon, SK undated photo
This month marked the 10th anniversary of the inquiry that brought a police force, an entire city, and many parts of Canada to consider some of these problems. The body of 17-year-old Neil Stonechild was found in an industrial area at the northern edge of Saskatoon in November 1990. He had frozen to death in that position five days earlier, wearing light clothing and only one shoe. His face was bruised his blood alcohol content had been high, and some of his friends and family suspected foul play. They were told that a full investigation had been conducted and that the teen had wandered to this remote location under his own volition. A cold case if ever there was one. [click to continue…]