Tag Archives: Commemoration

What’s in a Place Name: Adelaide Hoodless and Mona Parsons

By Thomas Peace Over the past week, ActiveHistory.ca has run a couple of posts about the politics of naming and local commemoration. These essays reminded me of a debate that Paul Bennett and I had a couple of years ago over the merits of renaming schools as the Halifax school board decided that the name Cornwallis was no longer an… Read more »

Old Tomorrow’s Bicentennial: Don’t Think Motivation, Think Law

By James Daschuk Ok, first things first: I do not hate John A. Macdonald. At the risk of maddening some colleagues out there, I am wary of trying to contort huge historical events and consequences into how they apply to a single individual’s psychological makeup, political vision or personal ambition. As a self-professed environmental historian, I have even joked with… Read more »

Birthing a Dominion

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By Christa Zeller Thomas “[Confederation …] will make us historical.” John A. Macdonald “History is not the province of the ladies.” John Adams Did Canada’s Confederation women give birth to the new dominion in 1867? Sir John A. didn’t have women in mind when he made his statement (above) about entering history. He was mainly referring to himself. And yet,… Read more »

John A. Macdonald’s Aryan Canada: Aboriginal Genocide and Chinese Exclusion

By Timothy J. Stanley Racisms are central to the creation of Canada through European dominance over the vast territories of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. A case in point is provided by John Alexander Macdonald and his enactment of Asian exclusion and the genocide of the people of the southern plains.[1] Macdonald not only excluded the Chinese, he… Read more »

Old Chieftain or Old Charlatan? Assessing Sir John’s Complex Legacy through Political Cartoons

By Thomas Peace This week ActiveHistory.ca has focused our attention to the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald. In less than a week’s time, Canada will be in the throws of one big Sir John love-in. On 11 January, this country’s first prime minister will be celebrating the 200th year since his birth in Glasgow, Scotland. Over the course of… Read more »

Did You Know the American World War I Museum is in Kansas City?

By Jeff Bowersox I found out about the National World War I Museum during a recent conference trip – yes, to Kansas City. I was curious to see how it would memorialise a conflict that, for most Americans, is greatly overshadowed by its successor, and decided to visit. The museum is intertwined with the Liberty Memorial, dedicated in 1926 to… Read more »

The Moral Distance of the Past: History, Tragedy, and Ethics at Grand-Pré

By Andrew Nurse I admit it. The first time I saw the Evangeline “memorial” (if imaginary people can have memories) at Grand-Pré, I was impressed. It was beautiful. Located in the Nova Scotia Annapolis Valley near New Minas where my son’s soccer team was playing in a tournament, it made for what seemed like a natural stop for what had… Read more »

MacChe? Kingston prepares for the Macdonald Bicentennial

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Karen Dubinsky I live in downtown Kingston, Ontario. Two doors away from me are two sweet old white ladies. They live in John A. Macdonald’s boyhood home where, according to one of the two plaques outside, he spent his “character forming” years. When I first moved to this street I noticed that during relevant occasions (Macdonald’s birthday and Canada Day),… Read more »

Hashtag Heritage: Social Media, Advertising and Remembrance Day

By Angela Duffett A rather curious promoted tweet from the Bank of Montreal appeared recently on my Twitter feed: “Join Canadians for a #DayofSocialSilence to honour those in service.” Not really grasping the connection between BMO, Remembrance Day, and staying off of social media for the day, I clicked the tweet to see what kind of response it was attracting…. Read more »

Ignorance of History as a Site of Memory

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By Raphaël Gani The discourse about Canadians ignoring their collective past, or not knowing their national history, is neither new (Osborne, 2003) nor limited to Canada (Wineburg, 2001). Such a view tends to be legitimized according to surveys in which people fail to identify famous events and politicians. This failure is also linked with angst about the perils of the… Read more »