Category Archives: Does History Matter?

Queen’s Park Looks to the North: Mining, Treaties & Transportation

Thomas Blampied In the run up to the 2018 Ontario provincial election, Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford spoke about his party’s plans for the Ring of Fire mining development in Northern Ontario. The project, which experts claimed could be worth billions of dollars, was stalled as the federal and provincial governments negotiated with mining companies over who would pay for… Read more »

Open Letter Re: The Closing of the Saskatoon Office of the Provincial Archives at the University of Saskatchewan

November 29, 2018 It has recently been brought to our attention that the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan (PAS) has made the decision to consolidate its holdings and close its office in Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan. The Saskatoon office has existed as an important part of the University’s research network since the archive board was created in 1945. The… Read more »

Difficult History, Monuments, and Pedagogy: A Response to Levesque

By Gabriel A. Reich In his two part series, posted on Active History earlier this month, Stéphane Lévesque puts forward a “new approach” to considering the role of historical monuments as an object of study in history education. That approach frames the pedagogy of historical monuments as a historiographical problem that can be best approached using the tools of historical… Read more »

Disjunctures of Public Memory: Remembrance Day in Sackville NB

By Andrew Nurse Last week I was taking an evening walk – the kind recommended by your doctor, as in “get some exercise” – and I strolled by the Sackville NB skate park my son used to frequent. That was a while ago. The park is different now. There is a graffiti wall and the ramps and jumps had been… Read more »

A new approach to debates over Macdonald and other monuments in Canada: Part 1

By Stéphane Lévesque “One of the things we heard very clearly from the Indigenous family members” says recently re-elected Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps (2018), “is that coming to city hall… and walking past John A. Macdonald every time, feels contradictory. And if the city is serious about reconciliation, which I would say we are, then one important thing we do… Read more »

Tlatelolco – Massacre in Mexico 50 years on

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By James Cullingham News from Mexico is often baffling and extremely sad. Bulletins regarding the country’s devastatingly high murder rate, the activities of organized crime and lethal attacks on journalists are common. Such tensions are endemic in the country that in July gave a landslide victory to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, running on an anti-corruption and… Read more »

Plains Injustice: Tipi Camps and Settler Responses to Indigenous Presence on the Prairies (Part 1)

This is the first article in a series that places the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp in Regina into historical contexts of tipi camps and settler responses to Indigenous presence on the prairies. You can check out the second article on October 5th and the third on October 12th. Part 1: Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp: Legislating Indigenous… Read more »

Trans Mountain and the Trudeau Legacy

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By James Cullingham In 1973 the Supreme Court of Canada sent a fundamental challenge to Canadian governments in its Calder decision. The case focused on the Aboriginal rights of Frank Calder as a representative of the Nisga’a people. The case was argued by Thomas Berger. While the court was split and the decision did not represent an outright victory, the… Read more »

Memory, History, Monuments, and Mennonites: Or, what Winkler, Manitoba might teach us about dealing with historical and moral complexity in public commemoration

By Matthew Neufeld I am against removing statues of controversial figures from our history.  I think removals are misguided because they amplify rather than diminish the moral charge of public commemoration. Instead of removing monuments that might provoke emotional pain among some members of historically marginalized groups or foster moral unease in the consciences of Canadians with European ancestry, I… Read more »

Brexit Ambiguities

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By Stephen Brooke On Friday, 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union, with 51.89% in favour of leaving and 48.11% in favour of remaining.  And thus Britain embarked on what was certainly the most important political decision of the past forty years (going back to the 1975 referendum which approved membership in what was then called the… Read more »