Author Archives: Contributor

Settler Records, Indigenous Histories: Challenges in Indigenous Genealogical Research

Stacey Devlin and Emily Cuggy Genealogy is having a moment; from genealogy websites and DNA test kits to television series like Who Do You Think You Are and Genealogy Roadshow, it’s undeniable that genealogical research and the underlying desire to discover one’s personal and familial identity are more popular than ever before. There are countless resources available to both the… Read more »

Is Google Home a History Calculator? Artificial Intelligence and the Fate of History

Sean Kheraj In their 2005 article in First Monday, Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig recount the story of a remarkably prescient colleague, Peter Stearns, who “proposed the idea of a history analog to the math calculator, a handheld device that would provide students with names and dates to use on exams—a Cliolator, he called it, a play on the… Read more »

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic: Testaments.ca

By Neil Orford and Blake Heathcote In January 1920, Stan McVittie was a fit and robust electrical engineer working at a hydro-electric generating plant on the Wahnapitae River in Northern Ontario. Just six years out of university, he loved his work and the outdoor life he’d known all his life. The future was brilliant. While his young wife and daughter… Read more »

Remembering Colville: Genius and the Politics of Art History

By Andrew Nurse By all accounts the 2014-5 Alex Colville retrospective — staged first by the AGO — was a monumental success. From its beginning, the exhibition appears to have been conceived as a “blockbuster”: a large-scale exhibition that attracts a viewing public far beyond that which normally visits art galleries. Such exhibitions are reserved for the “superstars” of the… Read more »

Found in Collection: Mining Community Museum Collections to Inform Historical Understanding

If you’ve visited a community museum anywhere in Ontario, chances are you will recognize many of the artifacts featured in this online exhibition, all of which are from Halton Region Heritage Services’ collection. In their early years, historical societies and community museums collected a relatively standardized and not particularly diverse set of pioneer and Victorian wares with abandon, which have… Read more »

Ontario History Curriculum: Many Questions to be Answered

By Samantha Cutrara This academic year I’ll be writing a series of blog posts for Active History focused on history education in Canada. In these posts, I’ll be outlining the Canadian History and Social Studies curricula for each province and identifying some possible opportunities for collaboration between historians/archivists and teachers in elementary and secondary schools. As I mentioned in my… Read more »

No Truck or Trade with Trump? The Puzzling Absence of anti-NAFTA Sentiment in Canada

Asa McKercher There are many questions surrounding the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To wit: will the treaty be renegotiated to meet the goals set out by the Mexican, Canadian, and U.S. governments? What provisions will be included in NAFTA 2.0? If the agreement is renegotiated, will it satiate public opinion in these countries? Will Prime… Read more »

Predicting the Future of Temporary Foreign Worker Programs… In the 1960s and 70s

Photo of bunkhouse accomodations for temporary workers for a canning plant near Chatham, Ontario. Shows overcrowding and dim space.

Edward Dunsworth The Thanksgiving season is often seized upon by farmworkers and activists to highlight agricultural workers’ contributions to society and the precarious conditions that so often characterize their work and life. In both Canada and the United States, farm labour activists have riffed on a popular motif which recognizes farmers, modifying it to some variation of: “Got Food? Thank… Read more »

MISHI 2017 Reflections: Bridging Land, Ideas, Generations, Worlds

By Victoria Jackson, Daniel Murchison, and Carolyn Podruchny Editors Note: This is the first in a monthly series of reports from MISHI 2017, a partner in Active History. We thought there were only two ways on and off Manitoulin Island: driving over the Little Current Swing Bridge along Highway 6 on the north shore, or arriving at South Baymouth on the… Read more »