Category Archives: Teaching History

“In Defense of … “: Historical Thinking and Cultural Appropriation

By Andrew Nurse This is the second essay in a three part series on historical thinking and cultural appropriation. For the first part in the series, click here. One of the key characteristics of the commentaries that defend cultural appropriation is that they come in the guise of history. A friend sent me one today that referred back to Elvis… Read more »

Dreams of This as Home: Chinese labourers in children’s history books

Samantha Cutrara, PhD My last two blog posts for ActiveHistoy.ca deconstructed pre- and post-Confederation Canadian history in children’s books. My findings suggested that stories that explored difficult histories or social justice topics often did not connect these stories to larger national forces and thus felt isolated from the rest of Canadian history. These findings suggest a dangerous separation. Historians, teachers,… Read more »

Teaching the Legacy of the Sixties Scoop and Addressing Ongoing Child Welfare Inequality in the Classroom

Krista McCracken Over the past six years, while working at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, I’ve seen a significant growth of awareness among students and community groups about the history residential schools.  Granted, this awareness can still be hit and miss and there are definitely still many misconceptions about residential schools, however an increasing number of visitors come to the… Read more »

Doing The Work: The Historian’s Place in Indigenization and Decolonization

Skylee-Storm Hogan and Krista McCracken Indigenization and decolonize are words that seem to be permeating institutional conversations in the heritage world and in the post-secondary field right now.  Despite the increasingly frequency of these words there are still many questions about what the terms mean how they can be moved into practice. Earlier this month Dr. Shuaneen Pete spoke at… Read more »

Deconstructing Children’s History Books: Residential Schools

By Samantha Cutrara Children’s historical books can serve many purposes. They can teach children about history, as well as develop emotion and empathy about figures from the past. In “Recreating the Past,” Evelyn Freeman and Linda Levstik argue that children’s historical fiction fosters ongoing process of historical interpretation in which the child is an active participant (pg. 331). From my own experience… Read more »

Dusting off the history of drought on the Canadian Prairies in the 1930s

By George Colpitts, Shannon Stunden Bower and Bill Waiser [Editors note: this post was prepared for both our website and NiCHE-Canada.org where it was published on Monday, November 28, 2016]. The dustbowl years on the Canadian prairies live on in the imaginations and landscapes of Western Canadians. Elderly survivors might still leave teacups upside down on saucers, as they did… Read more »

After the Asylum/Après l’asile: Launching a History of Survival

By Megan Davies & Erika Dyck The shift from institutional to community mental health was among the most significant social changes of the late 20th century. Between 1965 and 1980 nearly 50,000 beds were closed in residential psychiatric facilities across Canada. De-institutionalization profoundly changed the lives of former patients and those who worked with them, impacting the larger economy, public… Read more »

(Re)naming and (De)colonizing the (I?)ndigenous People(s) of North America – Part II

By Kathryn Labelle, Brittany Luby, and Alison Norman Editors note: This is the second in an two part series on the politics and practices of naming Indigenous peoples. [Click here to read part 1] The term “Indigenous” is not new to Canadians. “Indigenous peoples” was used by anthropologists and ethnographers in the 19th century to describe a people united by culture,… Read more »

(Re)naming and (De)colonizing the (I?)ndigenous People(s) of North America – Part I

By Brittany Luby, Kathryn Labelle, and Alison Norman Editors note: This is the first in a two part series on the politics and practice of naming Indigenous peoples. Over the years, Canadians have attempted to find a better word for “Indian.” We’ve experimented with “Native American.” We settled with “Aboriginal.” And now we’re flirting with “Indigenous.” Will we find a match?… Read more »

Video in the Classroom: Exploring the CBC Digital Archives

Andrea Eidinger Anyone who has searched the internet for videos to use while teaching Canadian history has run into one big problem: the overwhelming dominance of American media online. Adding “Canadian” or “Canada” to your Google search doesn’t necessarily solve this problem. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great Canadian videos, soundbites, and films available. You just have to know where… Read more »