Category Archives: Canadian history

Take a Look Inside: What did we learn from a prison riot fifty years ago?

On April 15, 1971, rioting prisoners in Canada’s oldest prison invited reporters to take a look inside. They wanted the entire world to come to the infamous Kingston Penitentiary to see how the forgotten were treated and how they lived. Fifty years later and after five decades of government policy shifts and bureaucratic fumbling on penal reform, we are still waiting to take a look inside.

Finding History on Wilberforce Street

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In March 2020, education in Ontario was delivered “virtually.” In an effort to learn more about local story and places of significance the author and his daughter decided to learn more about a story related (to the author) in the late 1970s. This paper jointly authored, explores the legacy of “oral” story whether it be passed on through generation or the “physical” story, that of what is left of built heritage and what it can tell us. Interwoven and brought to the forefront, within the two different types of story is the Wilberforce street settlement (Oro Township), a very important part of African Canadian history with contributions to local, provincial and national heritage.

Historia Nostra: Parks and Profit at Kejimkujik National Park

By Erin Isaac, Elisabeth Edwards Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site is situated in Mi’km’aki, the traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq. Visitors to the park can learn about the region’s Mi’kmaw past by viewing the site’s many petroglyphs and burial grounds that attest to thousands of years of Mi’kmaw presence or by participating in programs led by Mi’kmaw crafts… Read more »

Bringing Black studies to Canadian universities is still an uphill battle

Afua Cooper Since my time as a graduate student to my present appointment as professor at Dalhousie University, I have been involved with championing and developing Black studies in universities and beyond. Previously, within Canadian universities, not many scholars who work in creating knowledge about Black people called it Black studies. For many, “Black studies” was something that happened in… Read more »

“Racial Incidents” are Clothespins Hanging on a Clothesline of Institutional Whiteness

Meredith Terretta (for the uOttawa Antiracist History Group) Too often, a consideration of students has gone missing in conversations about race unfolding on university campuses across Canada this year. It is as if one skill professors have yet to learn is how to actively listen to their students. All of them. Including racialized students for whom our institution, perhaps like… Read more »

Canada’s First Gay Bathhouse Raid: Windsor, 1964

Walter T. Cassidy February 2021 marks the fortieth anniversary of one of the largest gay rights protests in Canadian history. On February 5, 1981, over 150 Toronto police officers raided four local bathhouses, known as gathering places for members of the gay community. Almost three hundred men were arrested that night, sparking a series of highly publicized rallies and mass… Read more »

Insulin and the Unessay

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This post originally appeared on Defining Moments Canada Madeleine Mant My greatest insecurity as I prepared to teach during Fall 2020 was how to create a sense of community in the virtual classroom for a course that had never before been delivered online. In March 2020, when the spread of COVID-19 caused a sudden pivot to online classes, camaraderie had… Read more »

Historia Nostra: How fake history is harmful at the Tunnels of Moose Jaw

By Erin Isaac The Tunnels of Moose Jaw are one of Saskatchewan’s most popular tourist destinations and occupy a special place in local history and lore. Growing up as kid in Saskatchewan, I visited the Tunnels on multiple school trips and even had to do a 7th-grade book report on Mary Harelkin Bishop’s novel The Tunnels of Time (a fiction… Read more »

Public Health, Rights, and Protest in the Age of COVID-19

Jennifer Tunnicliffe COVID-19 and the steps taken to inhibit its spread have inspired significant opposition across Canada over the past ten months. Protestors have rallied against measures implemented by provincial governments, and movements such as The Line Canada and March to Unmask have used public demonstrations and social media platforms to denounce mandatory mask-wearing, quarantine procedures, travel restrictions, and lockdown… Read more »