Category Archives: History in the News

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 »

Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Colonial Baggage: Past and Present

by Christo Aivalis Justin Trudeau—since his October 2015 electoral victory that catapulted him to the office of Prime Minister, and his Liberal Party to a majority government—has not lost much of his sheen with the Canadian public. He still embodies for many youthfulness, respectable progressivism, and what the modern Canadian state and civil society should resemble. Additionally, Trudeau on the… Read more »

(Re)Occupied: #OccupyINAC and British Columbia’s 1975 Militant May

By Sarah Nickel When approximately thirty members of the Idle No More and Black Lives Matter movements entered the Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC) office in Toronto on April 13, 2016 to protest government inaction on the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat, the group, calling itself #OccupyINAC was drawing on long established political strategies. Indigenous peoples have occupied Indian Affairs offices… Read more »