Category Archives: Educational Resources

East, West, North: Lessons for collaborative Canadian History curriculum

By Samantha Cutrara Should Canadian students be taught with the same history curriculum across the country? I often hear this question posed – sometimes in jest, sometimes in seriousness – at the end of a conference or symposium or in the comments section of an article. It is not currently a very active debate, but this question always seems to teeter 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 »

Do you know what the children are learning?

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By Samantha Cutrara What is the purpose of learning history? Are we doomed to repeat it? Do we lose grounding? Are we stranded without space or place? Does history provide us with the skills for understanding evidence or content for narrating experience? As adults, as educators, as historians, we answer these questions with a blend of cliché and seriousness, never… Read more »

150 Acts of Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada’s 150

By Crystal Fraser and Sara Komarnisky On August 4th, there are 150 days left in 2017 – the year of Canada’s 150th birthday. There have been robust discussions this year around reconciliation and we would like to contribute to the conversation. Together, we have written 150 Acts of Reconciliation for the last 150 days of 2017. Many of these are small,… Read more »

Mudeater: An American Buffalo Hunter and the Surrender of Louis Riel

By John D. Pihach Robert Armstrong, celebrated as a Canadian hero in 1885, is largely forgotten today. That transition from national hero to obscure historical figure is challenged in Mudeater: An American Buffalo Hunter and the Surrender of Louis Riel, (University of Regina Press, 2017) which puts him in the spotlight for the second time. Born in Kansas in 1849, Armstrong spent… Read more »

The Historical is Personal: Learning and Teaching Traumatic Histories

Andrea Eidinger Learning and teaching history is hard work. The physical, mental, and emotional toll can be high, for both educators and learners. This is especially the case when it comes to traumatic histories. For educators, it is difficult to balance the desire to make an emotional impact on your students without inflicting (further) trauma. For learners, it is difficult to… Read more »

Dusting off the history of drought on the Canadian Prairies in the 1930s

By George Colpitts, Shannon Stunden Bower and Bill Waiser [Editors note: this post was prepared for both our website and NiCHE-Canada.org where it was published on Monday, November 28, 2016]. The dustbowl years on the Canadian prairies live on in the imaginations and landscapes of Western Canadians. Elderly survivors might still leave teacups upside down on saucers, as they did… Read more »

Video in the Classroom: Exploring the CBC Digital Archives

Andrea Eidinger Anyone who has searched the internet for videos to use while teaching Canadian history has run into one big problem: the overwhelming dominance of American media online. Adding “Canadian” or “Canada” to your Google search doesn’t necessarily solve this problem. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great Canadian videos, soundbites, and films available. You just have to know where… Read more »

Ten Books to Contextualize Reconciliation in Archives, Museums, and Public History

Krista McCracken In June 2015 following the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada I wrote an Active History post about “The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation.” Over a year has passed since the TRC concluded its work and much of what I wrote in that post is still true. I still wholeheartedly agree… Read more »

Tariffs and Taxes and Boredom, Oh My! Using a role playing game to teach about the debates over the tariff in Canadian history

By Mark Leier If there is anything more boring than the history of Canadian tariffs, I would chew my own leg off in an attempt to escape from it. Yet from Confederation to the National Policy to Prairie populism to the Maritimes Rights movement to the Auto Pact to NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, fights over tariffs have been at… Read more »