Category Archives: Canadian history

A Century of Neglect: Epidemic Tuberculosis in Native Communities

by Jane Whalen The 2010 Quality of Life Index boasted that Canada’s “health care and living standards are among the highest in the world.”  Ask your average Canadian and they would probably agree.  Ask an Aboriginal person and you would be in for quite a shock. Third world conditions exist in Canada – what an outrageous claim to make about… Read more »

CAW Retirees Seek Social Justice for Seniors

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I had the pleasure of attending a public forum on pensions in Oshawa a few weeks ago.  Organized by the retirees’ chapter of the Canadian Auto Workers’ (CAW) Local 222, over 200 bodies were in attendance. While the theme of the evening was universal public pensions, speakers had experienced a number of social ills: a single mother who lost her home… Read more »

Colborne Street Breakdown: Public Protest, a University, and Academic Activism

This is a story about heritage buildings, those trying to save them, a city council, a university, and academics caught in the middle. It’s a story that raises questions about academics’ responsibilities in the community, academic freedom and activism, and the universities they work for.

New Active History Paper: Citizenship Literacy and National Self-identity by Larry A. Glassford

Abstract The content of history textbooks and curriculum is an important factor in the political socialization of succeeding generations of students. This study of representative classroom textbooks authorized for use in Ontario at three distinct eras of the 20th century shows how the main lines of interpretation have shifted over time. During the pre-World War II era, the persistent underlying… Read more »

Activating Foucault for Canadian History

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by Steven Maynard “What does a queer, sadomasochistic philosopher have to do with the study of Canada’s past?” This is the question I ask students at the beginning of my first-year survey course on Canadian history. Over the years, colleagues have suggested that first-year undergrads aren’t ready for Foucault. But experience tells me that not only are many of Foucault’s… Read more »

Canadian Historians in the Newspaper

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What if my supervisor disagrees with what I write? What if someone in the community sends me a nasty email? What if the editor ignores my article? There are plenty of excuses young historians turn to when they convince themselves not to write opinion pieces for the newspaper. But, there are even more good reasons why they should: what if… Read more »

Active History and learning from the early-Canadian past

As the university of Sussex restricts its history curriculum to post-1700 English history and post-1900 European history. How important is early-Canadian history to current issues facing Canadian society? And how does research on early-Canadian history compare with the study of later periods?

Announcement: Words on the Wall

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The Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto (PSAT) is giving out bricks to serve as the basis for a work of art. Artists and groups are welcome to use the medium of their choice. Works will be displayed and sold as part of a silent auction to help raise funds for historic plaques to commemorate the history of the patient-built wall at the Queen Street Site of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The Historical Memory of Louis Riel: A Long-Standing Canadian Debate

A controversy has erupted over the past week surrounding how Canadians should remember Louis Riel, a 19th century Métis who not only led the 1869 Red River and 1885 Northwest Rebellions, but also negotiated the terms for Manitoba’s entry into Confederation in 1870 before his execution in 1885 for high treason. In a pamphlet posted online last December, Edmonton East… Read more »

Acts of Contrition: Rethinking the Purpose and Effect of Government Apologies

By Teresa Iacobelli In March 2010 the Qikiqtani Truth Commission (QTC) will draw to a close with the release of a final report and recommendations for the future.  While the QTC has been ongoing since 2007 most Canadians remain unaware of its existence, and of the historical and social issues that it addresses.  The QTC was created with a mandate… Read more »