Category Archives: Canadian history

Memory and Objects: Family History, Local Economy, and Hook Rugs

Stephanie Pettigrew I would like to thank all of my family members who participated in helping me put this together, particularly my sister Debbie, my great-aunts Cecile, Stella, and Sophie, and my cousins Yvonne, Lisa, and Laura, who helped immensely with photos, by sharing memories, and spending hours chatting with me about what were sometimes difficult topics. Thank you. I… Read more »

Talking History Podcasts, Vol. 2; or, The Podcast Lover’s Quarantine Survival Kit

Edward Dunsworth For my post this month, I’ve decided to revisit a piece I wrote last year in which I shared some of my favourite history podcasts. As many of us hunker down for extended periods of “social distancing” with the spread of COVID-19, we will be looking for ways to pass the time while at home. And what better… Read more »

Bringing the Flu into the Classroom

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By Thomas Peace Who would have thought that almost exactly one hundred years after the Spanish Flu closed schools, churches, and other public gatherings around the world, that we would once again find ourselves in similar circumstances? The Spanish Flu hit Canada in the fall of 1918 and, after an initial scare, persisted for nearly two years. Unlike the current… Read more »

The Distance Between Us: The Implications of Pandemic Influenza in 1918-1919

By Esyllt W. Jones For a historian of pandemic influenza these are uncanny days. The past is colliding with the present. As if a thread has emerged, now, connecting us with those who faced, in their own ways, a globally shared experience in 1918-1919. A group of nurses in High River, Alberta, wear face masks in an attempt to ward… Read more »

What’s in a name? Thomas Scott and the curious case of the forgotten memorial

An image of a large grey stone building, built in a classical style.

Matthew McRae The City of Winnipeg recently tore down the Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall, located in the city’s historic Exchange District. News coverage about the demolition has focused a lot on the loss of architectural heritage. This is important, but it’s only one part of the story. There’s also the story of who the building is named after: Thomas… Read more »

We’tsuwet’en Sovereignty Stands Against Canadian Supremacy

By Catherine Murton Stoehr There is a hard disconnect between the actual treaties that the Mi’kmaq, Great Lakes Nations, and Metis forced through strength of arms and today’s “reconciliation moment.”  And it is this: no Indigenous person in the history of this place ever wanted large numbers of non-Indigenous Canadians to live here.  Not out of dislike or insularity but… Read more »

End of the Line? The History of Canada’s Precarious Passenger Rail Network

By Thomas Blampied The saying goes that we don’t really see infrastructure until it fails. Over the past week, thousands of Canadians have seen their travel plans disrupted by Indigenous demonstrations blocking both Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railway tracks in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. The actions are in support of the Wet’suwet’en fight against the… Read more »

Debating Hate Speech Regulations in Canada: A History

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Jennifer Tunnicliffe On December 13, 2019, Justin Trudeau sent out a series of mandate letters to his newly appointed Cabinet ministers, outlining their policy objectives for the upcoming session of Parliament. In several of these letters, Trudeau urged initiatives to combat online hate and counter hate speech.[1] Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault was instructed to develop new social media guidelines requiring… Read more »

The Settler Playbook: Understanding Responses to #ShutDownCanada in Historical Context

Sarah Rotz, Daniel Rück, and Sean Carleton On February 7, militarized RCMP arrested and removed Wet’suwet’en land defenders from their unceded territories, triggering demonstrations and blockades across the country. With large parts of the country’s rail traffic at a standstill, and shipping vessels unable to move goods, people are seeing that peaceful civil disobedience can #ShutDownCanada. As solidarity actions spread,… Read more »

If we had only known… whistle blowers, Florence Nightingale, and residential schools

We like to think that the abuses of the past might have been avoided if only decision makers and the public had known about them. In these cases, the information was available, and change did not come.