Tag Archives: labour history

From Reel to Real: Using Film to teach Labour History

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John-Henry Harter During my undergraduate degree I had an epiphany in the only labour history class offered at my university. Here being taught in this class was my history, my own lived experience. More broadly, it was an acknowledgement and validation that the working class mattered. As a mature student, I had worked for years before entering post-secondary and had… Read more »

Intergenerational Solidary? The Postal Labour Dispute and the Historical Context of Young Workers

by Christo Aivalis Over the past few weeks, people, organizations, and small businesses have been left unsettled over a looming Canada Post lockout of its unionized workers, which would leave the country without mail access. However much we live in a digital world, the public postal service continues to have a logistical and cultural prominence. The dispute is based on… Read more »

Alternative Histories of Work and Labour: The Workers History Museum

Active History is proud to present a video each week from New Directions in Active History. The conference took place at Huron University College on October 2-4, 2015 and brought together scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to active history. In this week’s video we hear from David Dean, a Professor of… Read more »

What about the People? Place, Memory, and Industrial Pollution in Sudbury

By Stacey Zembrzycki Much of the industrial ruins resulting from nearly 130 years of nickel mining in Sudbury, Ontario, are now hidden from plain sight, camouflaged under a successful re-greening program that has led to the planting of over nine million trees, and the clean-up of many area lakes and thousands of hectares of soil. And yet, despite this invisibility,… Read more »

Everything Moves Real Slow: Where is the Left?

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By David Frank For some years I taught an undergraduate seminar on the history of the Canadian left, and one of the things students did at the first meeting was to try to name people who represented the contemporary “left” in Canada. Last year, the answers included Jack Layton, Olivia Chow and Thomas Mulcair, an indication that at least in… Read more »

Back to Work: Revitalizing Labour and Working-Class History in Canada

A revitalized study of the history of workers, class relations, and capitalism can provide valuable insights for contemporary efforts to address Canada’s increasing economic inequality.

Our Bodies and Inescapable Ecologies: A Look at the Mining Community of Sudbury, Ontario

By Kaleigh Bradley “Where does the body end and ‘non-human nature’ begin? When we recognize that human bodies are directly affected by their environments, we are forced to acknowledge that humans are not simply agents of environmental change, but objects of that change” – Linda Nash, Inescpable Ecologies Last week I was surprised to hear about the toxic leak of… Read more »

“Working on the Water, Fighting for the Land”: A New Comic Book about Colonialism, Capitalism, and Indigenous Labour History

By Sean Carleton In the fall of 2013, Active History.ca featured a blog post by the Graphic History Collective announcing the start of the Graphic History Project, an online series of short, accessible, and free historical comic books. In addition to outlining the aims and aspirations of the Graphic History Project, the post publicized the release of the first comic… Read more »

Film Friday: Tilco Striker

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Active History is pleased to present our first Film Friday. If you have created a film about history and are interested in screening it on our site, drop us a line. By Matthew Hayes In the middle of winter in 1965, women workers at a plastics factory in Peterborough, Ontario went on strike. The Tilco strikers were fighting against unacceptable… Read more »

Here We Come A-Picketing! Christmas Carols, Class Conflict, and the Eaton’s Strike, 1984-85

By Sean Carleton and Julia Smith By mid-December, the holiday shopping season is usually in full swing for Canadian retailers. Thirty years ago, however, several Eaton’s department stores in southern Ontario were experiencing a different type of holiday hustle and bustle: Eaton’s workers were on strike. Hoping that unionization would improve their wages and working conditions, many of the department… Read more »