Category Archives: Canadian history

Residential Schools: How Quebec Colonized the West

By Catherine Larochelle Trigger Warning: This article discusses the residential school system and the Roman Catholic Church. The National Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419. With the Quiet Revolution, identity in Quebec shifted from an association with French Canada to one more tightly bound by the province’s political borders. Quebec’s so-called national history similarly refocused to emphasize histories of Quebec… Read more »

The Perils of Digital Humanities for Academics

Dominique Clément Why does historical training at universities place so little emphasis on research methods? The rise of digital humanities presents a fundamental challenge to how we train historians. But for anyone pondering a career in academia, it’s a perilous journey where the risks might not be worth the rewards. We are in the digital age yet historical research remains… Read more »

Accountability for the Roman Catholic Church’s Role in the Residential School System: Urgent Actions Needed Immediately

Here, I outline 3 urgent actions that need to be addressed by the Roman Catholic Church immediately as part of taking responsibility for its significant role in the residential school system. The 3 urgent actions are: 1) an apology from the Pope, 2) a statement by the CCCB outlining how they have engaged and will continued to engage with TRC’s Calls to Action 59, 60, and 61, and 3) payment of $21.3 million by the Roman Catholic entities to Indigenous healing programs that was not paid to the IRSSA.

How a Belfast Immigrant to Canada Came to Testify Before the Undercover Policing Inquiry in the UK

Bryan D. Palmer In the summer of 1955, Ernest (Ernie) Tate, a young immigrant from Belfast, wandered into the “Toronto Labour Bookstore” on Yonge Street north of Wellesley. The proprietor of the bookshop was Ross Dowson, a founder of the small Canadian Trotskyist movement. It espoused the ideas of Marx and Lenin, but was critical of the Soviet Union and… Read more »

“I am totally shocked that something of this sort could happen in Canada”: Vancouver’s Gastown Riot Fifty Years Later

Michael Boudreau Fifty years ago, on Saturday, 7 August 1971, Vancouver’s Gastown district erupted into chaos as police, some on horse-back and many wielding batons, waded into a throng of “hippies” who had gathered for the Gastown Smoke-In & Street Jamboree. Approximately 2000 people attended the Smoke-In to call for the legalization of marijuana. According to the Georgia Straight, Vancouver’s… Read more »

“This half century of struggle”: A Look Back at Child Care Advocacy

Lisa Pasolli If you know one thing about the history of child care in Canada, it’s probably that it is a story littered with disappointment. Over and over, studies and task forces have called for the building of a universal child care system. Over and over, governments have promised action only to walk back their commitments or have their plans… Read more »

Community, Family, & the Hidden History of Southwestern Ontario

It is this gap, between official imaginings of community, and how the past informs the communities in which we actually live, that the Hidden Histories of Southwestern Ontario project seeks to bridge.

Historia Nostra: Commemorating French Canadian History in Stained Glass

By Erin Isaac I visited the Notre Dame basilica in Old Montréal for the first time in 2018. Having recently had the opportunity to visit the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, I was excited to see how the basilica’s architects were inspired by, or deviated from, the 13th century chapel built in the Gothic Rayonnant style. Sainte Chapelle’s stained glass windows… Read more »

Nostalgia and the Politics of Selective Remembering

By Omeasoo Wahpasiw, Adele Perry and Sean Carleton Timing is everything, and context and connections matter. A week after the US Capitol riot on January 6 sparked a reckoning with the growing threat of white supremacy and far-right extremism in North America, an open letter appeared as a full-page ad in the National Post celebrating the “remarkable” legacy of John… Read more »

Between Postwar & Present Day: The Possibilities and Perils of Contemporary History

Kevin Brushett, Sarah Nickel and Nancy Janovicek We live in polarized times. After preaching for years that “the world needed more Canada” because of our “exceptional” ability to politely navigate the politics of diversity, Canadians no longer seem immune to the forces of division and dissatisfaction that have led to Brexit, to Trumpism, or to a myriad of other worrying… Read more »