Category Archives: Canadian history

Half Oil and Half Green: The Southern Roots of the Prairie West’s Anti-Environmental Rhetoric

Louis Reed-Wood This past autumn, Aatash Amir, a Vancouver man concerned about emissions caused by gas-powered leaf blowers, circulated an online petition to have them banned in his hometown of Saskatoon. Upon posting the petition to a local Facebook group, he quickly received a flood of hateful comments, ranging from racist remarks, threats of violence, and calls for Amir to… Read more »

The Last Ten Years: Active History & the Teaching of Canadian History since 2008

Editor’s Note: In 2019, Active History celebrated its 10th anniversary by posting some of our most popular pieces from each of the previous ten years. To reflect on ten years of Active History at the start of this new year, we asked Dr. Adele Perry, former president of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), to share some of her thoughts. The… Read more »

Canadian Spiritualism, Mary Melville and the Female Biographical Narrative

By Thomas Hodd Mary Melville, The Psychic (1900) is an extraordinary Canadian cultural artifact. Written by first-wave feminist, psychical researcher, and suffrage leader Flora MacDonald (Merrill) Denison (1867-1921), this significant yet hitherto-undervalued text bears witness to a transformative and vibrant period in Canada’s social, literary and religious history. Based on the life of Denison’s older sister, Mary Merrill, Mary Melville is… Read more »

The Missing History of Disappearance in Vancouver: The Rise and Fall of the Neighbourhood Safety Office

  James FitzGerald The Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver has been described as Canada’s Poorest Postal Code and one of the country’s densest populations of substance-using and low-income communities. Largely due to the disappearances and murders of so many of its women and girls, the DTES has also become known as ground zero for disproportionate violence against Indigenous women, as… Read more »

Cranes

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This is part of an ongoing series of reflections from the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) By Philip Girard During MISHI 2019 I stayed in Gore Bay and drove to M’Chigeeng each day. While making the drive on the first day, and every day thereafter, I noticed a half-dozen large stork-like birds in a meadow along the way. I… Read more »

Staging History

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By Craig Heron Historians have become increasingly attuned to the role of performance in history. Many of us have written about the pomp and pageantry of the powerful, the theatre of the high courts, the processions of urban respectability, the rituals of resistance among the poor and powerless. We have been much more reticent, however, about using theatre to present… Read more »

Historical Pedagogies & the Colonial Past at Huron University College – Part II

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. This is the second part of a two-part reflection from Huron University College at Western University. By Amy Bell,… Read more »

The Murder of Constable David Dunmore & the Long Debate over whether to Ban ‘Military-Style’ Rifles

Less than two months before the murder of fourteen women at the Montreal Massacre, Minister of Justice Doug Lewis told the House of Commons that the government had “absolutely no intention of banning the importation of semi-automatic weapons, none whatsoever.”

Wexit and the Alternative Right

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By Andrew Jones “What is Wexit?”: this is the question that many Canadians were asking in the immediate aftermath of the 2019 federal election. Justin Trudeau had just won a minority government, while the Conservative party had won a larger share of the popular vote, leading some in Alberta to question their place within Canada. While the significance of Wexit… Read more »