Category Archives: Canadian history

19th Century Legacies in 21st Century Historical Research Practice

By Colleen Burgess and Thomas Peace In 1898, T. Watson Smith delivered a detailed lecture on the history of slavery in Canada to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. In it he lamented: Our historians have almost wholly ignored the existence of slavery in Canada. A few references to it are all that can be found in Kingsford’s ten volumes;… Read more »

The Great Christmas Bake-Off: Kitschy Americana vs. Canadian Victoriana

During the holidays, the food we eat is often as loaded with meaning as it is butter and sugar, which is good news for those of us looking to eat as many cookies and candies as possible in the coming weeks: it’s not over consumption, you see. It’s research. Holiday cooking is part of a web of meaning, tradition, and… Read more »

Community Engagement and Public History at the North Pacific Cannery

Benjamin Bryce In late August 2017, I taught an experiential and service learning course at the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, BC, a former salmon cannery and now a national historic site. Sixteen history majors from the University of Northern British Columbia travelled 700 km from Prince George in central BC to the north Pacific coast at mouth of… Read more »

Beyond Whiteness: Rethinking Aryan Nationalisms in Multicultural Canada

By Sanober Umar Since his recent election, Federal New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh has been asked in mainstream platforms to voice his opinion about the Air India Bombings of 1985. Even though he had nothing to do with the event that occurred more than thirty years ago, these questions are being asked simply because of his Sikh identity…. Read more »

Bill C-66: Historians Speak Out

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Patrizia Gentile, Tom Hooper, Gary Kinsman, Steven Maynard When, on November 28th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered the federal government’s apology to Canada’s LGBTQ2S+ communities, a key component included legislation that would provide a process to clear historical convictions for certain same-sex offences. Bill C-66, known as the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, was introduced in the House of… Read more »

Settler Records, Indigenous Histories: Challenges in Indigenous Genealogical Research

Stacey Devlin and Emily Cuggy Genealogy is having a moment; from genealogy websites and DNA test kits to television series like Who Do You Think You Are and Genealogy Roadshow, it’s undeniable that genealogical research and the underlying desire to discover one’s personal and familial identity are more popular than ever before. There are countless resources available to both the… Read more »

Remember / Resist / Redraw #12: Sacred Rivers Within and Idle No More

In January, the Graphic History Collective (GHC) launched Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project as a year-long artistic intervention in the Canada 150 conversation. Last week we released Poster #12 by Fanny Aishaa, which – to mark the 5th anniversary of Idle No More – looks at INM co-organizer and water defender Melissa Mollen Dupuis. We… Read more »

Thinking Historically about Canadian Commemoration Controversies

By Lindsay Gibson Over the past year, Canada’s history has been centre stage. Controversy about commemoration of the past has fuelled public discussion and debate. In addition to #Canada150, the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, there were impassioned arguments over the legacy of historical figures such as Hector Langevin, Egerton Ryerson, Joseph Trutch, Nicholas Flood Davin, Mathew Baillie Begbie, Edward… Read more »

#150Acts: A Poster Series to Bring Us into the Next 150

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Crystal Fraser and Sara Komarnisky On August 4, 2017, there were 150 days left in Canada’s 150th year and Active History published “150 Acts for Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada’s 150.” Since then, the post has gone viral with more than 30,000 views. As we wrote #150Acts in the late days of July, we pinged ideas back… Read more »

To Forgive and Forget? Homonationalism, Hegemony, and History in the Gay Apology

By Steven Maynard This is a featured paper co-published with C4E Journal: Perspectives on Ethics In June 2017, in a ceremony on Parliament Hill, where “the Pride, Transgender Pride, and Canada 150 flags were raised,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially announced what he’d been promising for over a year: “The government will introduce legislation to make it possible to erase the convictions… Read more »