Category Archives: Indigenous History

Remembering what we forget: Memory, commemoration and the 1885 Resistance

Two rectangular stone blocks frame the entrance to a cemetery. Both blocks have text inscribed on them. The shorter one on the viewer’s left has French text, while the one on the right has Michif text.

Matthew McRae Every 11 November, Canadians gather to remember those who served their country in times of war and conflict. But are these same Canadians also gathering to forget? Memory, especially collective memory, tends to be selective. One particularly interesting case study of collective memory (and collective forgetting) is the Northwest Resistance of 1885. The conflict saw some 5,000 Canadian… Read more »

Not Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning to See Genocide: Part 2

On October 24, 2019, Active History commenced a series on education “after” residential schools with an article written by Clinton Debogorski, Magdalena Milosz, Martha Walls and Karen Bridget Murray. The series is open ended. Active History welcomes additional contributions on related themes. By Karen Bridget Murray …they still kill us [and] take our children… Audra Simpson (2016) Denial I moved… Read more »

A Year of Inaction: Ontario Education and the TRC

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Evan Habkirk When the Conservative government under Doug Ford came into power in June 2018, they immediately began rolling back curriculum revisions by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Two subject areas affected by these actions were the new sexual education curriculum and the addition of increased Indigenous content to the social studies, history, geography and civics curricula. Although parents, educators,… Read more »

Not Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning to See Genocide: Part 1

On October 24, 2019, Active History commenced a series on education “after” residential schools with an article written by Clinton Debogorski, Magdalena Milosz, Martha Walls and Karen Bridget Murray. The series is open ended. Active History welcomes additional contributions on related themes. By Karen Bridget Murray Vergangenheitsbewältigung. A friend of mine introduced me to this German word, which refers to… Read more »

A’Se’k – Boat Harbour: A Site of Centuries’ Long Mi’kmaw Resistance

By Colin Osmond On October 4th, hundreds of people gathered at Pictou Landing First Nation and marched to A’Se’k (Boat Harbour, N.S.) to demand that the governments of Nova Scotia and Canada live up to their promise to stop the flow of toxic waste into the tidal lagoon. A’Se’k is the site of an effluent treatment facility handling wastewater from… Read more »

Biidwewidamoog Anishinaabe-Ogimaakwewag: Mnidoo Mnising Neebing gah Bizh’ezhiwaybuck 2019

Women’s Leadership Echoing Through Generations: The Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) 2019 by Carolyn Podruchny and Katrina Srigley Ancestors, elders, leaders, youth, and those yet to come met together for the seven-day summer institute (MISHI) from August 19 to August 25, 2019 on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island) to explore the theme of women’s leadership. Co-sponsored by the Ojibwe Cultural… Read more »

Once Were Brothers: Reflections on Rock ‘n’ Roll revisionism

By James Cullingham I first saw The Band at Massey Hall in January 1970 when I was a Toronto high school student. It was a highly anticipated comeback show just around the corner from the bars and strip clubs they had played when they were known as The Hawks. The Band’s sound drew on Appalachian music, Country & Western, Delta… Read more »

Bruce W. Hodgins (1931- 2019) Historian and Master Canoeist

An appreciation by James Cullingham I first met Bruce W. Hodgins in a tipi at Camp Wanapitei on Lake Temagami some 400 kilometres north of Toronto. It was 1973. I was an undergraduate student at Trent University attending the first autumnal Canadian Studies gathering of students and professors at that camp located at Sandy Inlet. The Trent Temagami Weekend continues… Read more »

Hochelaga, Terre des âmes

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Hochelaga: Not a Real Thesis Defence Scott Berthelette A Ph.D. thesis defence is at the centre of the narrative in Hochelaga, terre des âmes (Hochelaga, Land of Souls), a Canadian historical drama film released in 2017. The film’s portrayal of the process hardly meets my expectations for how a defence normally unfolds. The story of Hochelaga is told through a… Read more »

Film Friday: Reconnecting Métis Webs of Wahkootowin

By the Graphic History Collective and Jesse Thistle In July 2017, at the height of Canada 150, Métis brothers Jesse and Jerry Thistle released a poster as part of the Graphic History Collective’s Remember/Resist/Redraw series about their great grandmother Marianne Morrissette, née Ledoux. Marianne was a 16-year-old cook for Louis Riel during the Battle of Batoche in 1885. The poster,… Read more »