Category Archives: History in the News

“More of the Same”: Senator Beyak & Canada’s Refusal to Learn History

By Mercedes Peters For the second time in a matter of months, Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak has drawn ire for her comments on Indigenous people in Canada. Earlier this year, in March, Beyak was criticized for her defence of the Residential School System when she stated that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report let the “remarkable works, [and] good… Read more »

The Value of History in the ‘Age of Fake News’

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Christo Aivalis During the 2016 American presidential election, but especially after the victory of Donald J. Trump, the term fake news became part of the public lexicon. The confluence of social media, digital campaigns, and the monetization of internet ‘clicks’ led to numerous instances of groups outright fabricating news stories, either to serve ideological objectives, or even just to generate… Read more »

White Supremacy, Political Violence, and Community: The Questions We Ask, from 1907 to 2017

Laura Ishiguro and Laura Madokoro In recent weeks, we have seen white supremacist rallies in cities across North America, from Charlottesville to Quebec City. On each occasion, anti-fascist and anti-racist activists, along with other community members, have confronted these rallies with large and diverse counter-demonstrations, largely shutting them down, overwhelming them, or rendering them caricatures of their original plans.  On… Read more »

Looking Forward, Looking Back: CBC News and The Revamped National

By Sean Graham Since Peter Mansbridge announced last year that he was retiring from his post as anchor of The National, there has been plenty of speculation about how the show would use his departure as an opportunity to revamp. Criticisms of the show have ranged from political bias to being too centered around its anchor and many looked forward… Read more »

A Theory, in Practice: Back to the Bering Land Bridge

By Alan MacEachern You have likely seen the video from Canada Day of a Mi’kmaw ceremony in Halifax disrupted by what appears to be a curling foursome and spare. At one point, one of the young white men (the skip?) asks a young, apparently Indigenous woman, what is clearly a leading question: “Has this always been Mi’kmaw land?” She replies,… Read more »

Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, “Architect” of Residential Schools?

Matthew Hayday On June 21, 2017, National Aboriginal Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government would be changing the name of the day to National Indigenous Peoples Day. He also announced that his government would change the name of the Langevin Block, which houses the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office. The name change had been… Read more »

Remember I Resist I Redraw #06: Pride Has Always Been Political

In January, the Graphic History Collective (GHC) launched Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project to intervene in the Canada 150 conversation. Earlier this month we released Poster #06 by Kara Sievewright and Gary Kinsman, which examines LGBTQ2 resistance and the political history of Pride in Canada. We hope that Remember | Resist | Redraw encourages people… Read more »

Immigration and White Supremacy: Past and Present

David Atkinson Nativism continues to hide in plain sight in Canada. Martin Collacott’s recent editorial on immigration in the Vancouver Sun resuscitates the same xenophobic ideas that animated white supremacists in British Columbia a century ago. While he conceals the source of his anxiety with terms like “visible minorities” and “newcomers,” his arguments represent a thinly veiled invocation of “Yellow… Read more »

Thanking God for … ? Historical Perspectives on Cultural Appropriation

By Andrew Nurse Recently, a friend sent me yet another of those commentaries-cum-news-stories discussing the merits and demerits (although, the piece had precious few of these) of cultural appropriation. In short, the piece decried critics of cultural appropriation, which it treated as something of a leftist fantasy. I, more-or-less, ignored it, not because the issue is unimportant but because I’d… Read more »