Tag Archives: Veterans

Indigenous Veterans, the Indian Act, and the Origins of National Aboriginal Veterans Day

Eric Story The inaugural National Aboriginal Veterans Day took place on 8 November 1993, and the monument of the same name was unveiled in Ottawa the following year. Since its inauguration, National Aboriginal Veterans Day has grown, as ceremonies are now being held in various cities across Canada with larger crowds each year. With that growth, however, disagreement has arisen…. Read more »

“He Will Again Be Able to Make Himself Self-Sustaining”[1]: Canadian Ex-Officers’ Return to Civilian Life

Brittany Dunn  With the end of the First World War in November 1918 and demobilization following soon after, hundreds of thousands of servicemen returned to Canada and civilian life. Veterans approached their relationships with the government as they applied for state assistance in various ways, but ex-officers typically wanted to avoid dependence on the state, feeling it compromised their status… Read more »

The Difficulty in Diagnosis: Shell Shock and the Case of Private Dennis R.

Kandace Bogaert During the First World War more than 15,000 Canadian soldiers were diagnosed with combat related psychological illnesses.[i] While the term shell shock retained social currency long after the war, it was banned as a diagnosis in the military in 1917. Too many soldiers were being evacuated from the trenches, and shell shock had become an ambiguous catch all… Read more »

Coming Home: Veterans, Pensions and the Canadian State After the Great War

By Eric Story What happened to Canadian veterans after the Great War? In the minds of many, shell shock and physical disfigurement loom large. These two images of veterans have attracted so much attention in both academic writings and cultural representations that they have become representative of the entire population of returning ex-servicemen.[1] However, a group of researchers at the… Read more »

The Endurance of Settler Colonialism: Senator Lynn Beyak and her “Letters of Support”

By Samuel Derksen and Eric Story Senator Lynn Beyak is embroiled in yet another scandal. Her controversial stance on the legacy of Indian Residential Schools has returned to the public’s attention after Indigenous journalist Robert Jago published a short piece in The Walrus about the over one hundred “Letters of Support” the senator received following her March 2017 speech in… Read more »

Real American Hero? Military experience in U.S. presidential politics

Oscar Winberg In mid-December, Senator Lindsey Graham threw in the towel and dropped his struggling campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. The South Carolina senator had struggled to gain any traction in the crowded Republican field where Donald Trump continues to hog a disproportionate amount of the news coverage and a large lead in the polls. Graham’s exit… Read more »

Soldier-Candidates and the 1917 Wartime Election

      No Comments on Soldier-Candidates and the 1917 Wartime Election

By Matthew Barrett, Queen’s University At a 1923 meeting of the Great War Veterans Association (GWVA) in Ottawa, General William Antrobus Griesbach, former Member of Parliament for Edmonton West and Senator for Alberta, remarked on the expected role of the ex-soldier in Canadian political life. “I had an idea at one time,” he explained, “that after the war over half… Read more »

Passing the Torch: The CBC and Commemoration in 1964 and 2014

By Teresa Iacobelli In 1964, fifty years following the start of the First World War, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) aired the seventeen-part radio series In Flanders’ Fields. Now, at the centenary of the Great War, the CBC has again leaned upon this series as one of its programming highlights to commemorate the anniversary. In Flanders’ Fields recently re-aired as… Read more »

Promises Broken, or Politics as Usual?

      3 Comments on Promises Broken, or Politics as Usual?

By Jonathan Scotland Despite the Conservative Party of Canada’s fondness for promoting its support for Canada’s military, since assuming government in 2006 the federal government’s relationship with veterans has been rocky at best. By the close of last year’s parliament it seemed that new criticisms were being leveled at Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, on a daily basis. His… Read more »

History in the Shadow of War: The Spadina Museum’s Conversation on War and Myth-Making

By Jonathan Scotland Canadians, it seems, are increasingly interested in war. Our polymer currency has replaced peacekeeping imagery with the Vimy memorial. 2005 was the ‘Year of the Veteran’ and 2013 is the ‘Year of the Korean War Veteran.’ Highways, buildings, and other civic infrastructure have been proudly re-named in honour of the country’s fallen. Battles are widely celebrated as… Read more »