Category Archives: Canadian history

Monumental Questions: Practical Experiences of the Politics of Commemoration

As cities and communities across Canada confront the legacies of colonialism and racism, monuments and memorials have become a hot topic of public debate. On November 14th, London, Ontario’s Words Festival, brought together Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, Monica MacDonald, co-chair of Halifax’s Cornwallis Taskforce, and University of Toronto History Professor Melanie Newton, for a discussion on the deliberative processes… Read more »

Remember/Resist/Redraw #26: 1995 Calgary Workers Laundry Strike

Earlier this month, the Graphic History Collective released RRR #26 to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1995 Calgary Laundry Workers Strike. The poster by Mary Joyce and Alvin Finkel outlines the importance of rank-and-file militancy, much of it by immigrant women of colour, in the fight against austerity and privatization in places like Alberta. This poster is particularly pertinent… Read more »

Rev. William Scott and the Oka Question

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Donald B. Smith Introduction Without any doubt, Duncan Campbell Scott, Deputy Superintendent General of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932, was Canada’s best-known Indian Affairs civil servant. His views of Indigenous peoples were often intolerant and harsh, and he believed “the happiest future for the Indian is absorption into the general population.”[1] Though much has been written… Read more »

Conspiracy Theories and the Canadians who Love Them

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Kevin Anderson In April and May of 1956, Lethbridge, Alberta, Social Credit MP John Blackmore gave two speeches over the radio to his constituents where he claimed that on recent versions of Canadian dollar bills, there was clearly the likeness of a demon hiding in the Queen’s hair. Blackmore related how a correspondent, William Guy Carr, had drawn his attention… Read more »

Human Rights, Justice and the 1920 Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World

Laura Madokoro In this tumultuous year, a number of important historical concepts have been at the forefront of debates and discussions about public health, social justice and racial equality. The language of rights has been critical to discussions of individual and collective responsibility in the context of the pandemic (as evidenced in the positions adopted by anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers). The… Read more »

Teaching Canada–U.S. Relations in 2020

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Patrick Lacroix Didn’t you guys burn down the White House? – Donald J. Trump From television news programming to social media, a politically unaware visitor to Canada would easily believe that we are in the midst of a heated national election. We aren’t, of course, but we have had front-row seats—the mediatic splash zone—to unending American electioneering. Early reports suggest… Read more »

Spooky Sources to Teach, and Challenge, Canadian history

By Samantha Cutrara I like a good theme, and what better theme is there than Halloween? With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, I wanted to use it to have  “spooky” conversations for my Source Saturday video series on YouTube (also available as a podcast). Source Saturday is a new video & podcast series where I talk with historians,… Read more »

Remember/Resist/Redraw #25: “We won’t be quiet until we get the Special Diet!”

Earlier this month, the Graphic History Collective released Remember/Resist/Redraw #25. The poster looks at the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s successful 2009 struggle to increase access to the Special Diet benefit, an additional $250 for those living on social assistance to purchase food. With art by Rocky Dobey and an essay by John Clarke, the poster highlights the power of poor… Read more »

Did you hear the One about the Cardinal, the Rabbi, and the Minister? Spiritual Leaders and Big Social Problems in 1970s Toronto

David M. K. Sheinin People sometimes do a double take when they learn that longtime Toronto city councilor Joe Mihevc holds a doctorate in theology. “How did you go from theology to politics?” they ask in mock opprobrium for the latter. Mihevc smiles: “It was easy to make the jump.” Though most active in post-1990 Toronto, Mihevc is a holdover… Read more »

On Grieving the Finnish Labour Temple and the Promise of the Community Hall

Samira Saramo The news crashed down on me like a tonne of red bricks: the Finnish Labour Temple had been sold. Since 1910, the Labour Temple in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has stood as the grandest symbol of Finnish immigrant presence in Canada. With its iconic cupola, it is also a beacon of Thunder Bay and the heart of the bustling… Read more »