Category Archives: Commemoration

Eliza Taylor: Belle of Loch Lomond

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by Roger P Nason Canada Post just released a commemorative stamp for the community of Willow Grove, New Brunswick. Located east of the City of Saint John, it forms the core of what was the “African Settlement” set aside by the New Brunswick colonial government for Black refugees fleeing the United States during the War of 1812. For more than… Read more »

This Inauguration Day, Americans will start over again 

J.M. Opal Anniversaries make you feel old and young at the same time. An important date marks the time, reminding you of how many years you’ve already trod during your sojourn on Earth. Then again, these dates also promise renewal, a chance to clean slates and start fresh. Today’s inauguration of Joseph Biden will be the 58th anniversary of this… Read more »

Did Anyone Not See This Coming? Erin O’Toole and the Historical Politics of Public Memory

Erin O’Toole, the newly minted leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, has some positive things to say about residential schools. At least he did, when he thought he was speaking to a closed shop of otherwise conservative leaning students. O’Toole – or, someone in his office – very quickly tried to walk his comments back … sort of.[1]  What… Read more »

Deconstructing Dominant Historical Narratives through Progressive Metal

Jessi Gilchrist Progressive metal is not the genre that we think of when we consider decolonization, anti-racism, or intersectionality. In fact, in 2017, The Atlantic published an article entitled “the Whitest Music Ever,” a critique of one of progressive metal’s predecessors, progressive rock.[i] Spawned in the 1970s with bands like Rush and King Crimson, progressive rock has been known as… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part III)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum While – as shown in our previous post – Guiding and Scouting were inextricably linked to British imperialism and settler colonialism, some Indigenous students in Canadian Indian residential schools also found that these organizations provided a refuge in an alien environment and a short break from labour and strict routine. It was an… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part II)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum As we documented in our previous post, looking more closely at the history of Scouting and Guiding reveals that the divide between colonialist violence, fascist discipline, and peaceful pedagogy was not quite as stark as Baden-Powell and his supporters would have us believe. Instead of insisting on the ideological opposition between Scouting and… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part I)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum 2020 has been intense. Living in lockdown, uncertain about the future, watching the body count from Covid-19 and police violence continue to rise. Time, shaped by anger, grief, and fear, moves differently, as the pandemic – like other disease outbreaks before it – exposes and deepens socio-economic divisions and inequalities. Despite the best… Read more »

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 »

Listening to the Voices from the Past: An invitation for a private, nuanced, remote Remembrance Day

By Samantha Cutrara What do we mark for remembrance and how do we understand service to this country? These questions may seem straightforward on a day like Remembrance Day, but this day can also invite us to critically examine the concepts of commemoration and service, and provide nuance to the stories of military glory and heroics often featured on this… Read more »