Category Archives: History in the News

There’s a Historian Born Every Minute

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Alan MacEachern A while back I noticed that Active History had published a post citing a satirical political website as fact. It was an easy mistake to make: the site looked real enough, and its article only mildly ridiculous in the current news climate. I contacted the Active History contributor and editor, and the quote was quickly removed. Case closed…. Read more »

Confronting the Secret Path and the Legacy of Residential Schools

Sean Carleton Despite growing up near St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in North Vancouver, I did not learn about residential schools as a child. I did not learn about Chanie Wenjack (misnamed “Charlie” by his teachers), a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who ran away from the Cecilia Jeffery Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario in October 1966. It was not until… Read more »

The Year of the Flood: Hurricane Matthew, Oral Narratives, and Climate History

By Lachlan MacKinnon The tail-end of Hurricane Matthew battered Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Monday afternoon and through the evening. Although the damage does not approach the devastation wrought by the system in the Caribbean and other points south, for many in Cape Breton it will be remembered as the storm of a generation. As I drove around the streets… Read more »

The Polish Government, the Holocaust and Jan Grabowski

By Jim Clifford “‘Who controls the present, controls the past,’ wrote George Orwell, and the Polish authorities seem to have taken Orwell’s words to heart.”[1] On September 20th, University of Ottawa historian Jan Grabowski published an op-ed in Macleans highlighting the dangers of a new law working its way through Poland’s parliament that threatens historians and others with up to three years… Read more »

“Finally”: Peace in Colombia?

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Stefano Tijerina  It is with great skepticism that I reflect on the recent announcement of the peace agreement between the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government.  I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia and lived through directly and indirectly the multi-layers of the most recent Colombian Civil War.  Within this fifty-two year old Civil War I experienced… Read more »

The Bering Land Bridge Theory: Not Dead Yet

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Alan MacEachern Maybe you read some of the recent news articles: “The First Americans Didn’t Arrive by the Bering Land Bridge, Study Says.” “A Final Blow to Myth of How People Arrived in the Americas.” “New Study Suggests Route of First Humans to North America was not Western Canada.” Maybe you read some of the social media responses to those… Read more »

Coups in Brazil: What’s In a Name?

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Sean Purdy 2016: In April and May, a large majority of federal deputies and senators in Brazil voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) for state accounting misdeeds. The ex-Vice-President, Michel Temer, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), is now interim President while the Senate conducts further investigations. In August, if two-thirds of senators once… Read more »

Shuttering Archives: A UNESCO Recognized Collection to Close its Doors to the Public

Thomas Peace Last month I spent two weeks working in one of my favourite archives: Le Centre de référence de l’Amérique francophone. This archive – run by Quebec’s Museum of Civilization – is one of the oldest in the country, not only holding the records of the Quebec Seminary (which begin in 1623), but also many important documents related to New… Read more »

Masculinities and the Culture of Parliament

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By Matt Barrett Without a hint of hyperbole, the House of Commons descended into a scene resembling a Blue Jays–Rangers dugout-clearing brawl on the afternoon of May 18th. According to Peter Mansbridge, “We’ve never seen anything like this in the House of Commons.” Prior to a vote on the assisted-dying bill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau crossed the floor, entered a… Read more »

1984: The Parable of Ethiopian Famine and Foreign Aid

Nassisse Solomon Ethiopia is back in international headlines with another apocalyptic-scale famine.  It is being widely reported that the country is facing its worst drought in 50 years, a result of three failed rainy seasons, coupled with an El Nino effect warming the Pacific Ocean affecting global weather patterns. With just weeks remaining before the start of the main cropping… Read more »