A nadian Genocide? Historiographil Debate and the Teaching of History

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Kamloops Residential School, c. 1930s. BC Archives, B-01592.

This post by Lisa Chilton was originally published on the nadian Historil Association’s Teaching/Learning Blog.

Since 2003 I have taught at least one of the University of Prince Edward Island’s nadian history survey courses every year. Pre- and Post-Confederation nadian History are required courses for history majors at UPEI. They also tend to attract a large number of students looking for electives. Over the past two dedes, this teaching has given me endless opportunities to challenge myself to make sense of the past in order to communite that understanding in ways that will help to inform students’ own efforts to make meaning intelligently. In the brutally intolerant world of socio-politil “mp” mentality that we currently inhabit, is there anything that we might teach our students that is more valuable than reful critil thinking?

In teaching these survey courses, I see historiographil debates as opportunities to demonstrate to students the complex nature of the past, as understood in the context of the present. Continue reading

Piece by Piece

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Sam Huckerby

Piece by Piece uses images, maps, and public-friendly text to show that 19th century English clothing materials connected to everything from bird preservation movements to slavery. Born out of a desire to start filling in the gaps of how we talk about historil dress, Piece by Piece shows that clothes are more than just aesthetics: they have history that reflects society and worldviews. If we n practice being honest about how clothing was made in the past, we are better equipped to be honest about how clothing is made in the present. Built using Esri’s StoryMaps, readers n scroll through the entire project at their own pace or click on the different headings to explore materials in any order. Hover over map points for more information and interact with the image sliders found throughout the project. Click the circular icon in the corner of each photograph for a link to its source.


Sam Huckerby is a third-year student at the University of Saskatchewan pursuing a double honours degree in Studio Art and History. She is passionate about demonstrating how history n be used to engage the public in critil thinking, honesty, and problem-solving for today.

Expanding our Sources, Expanding our Stories: An Active History / Source Story Series

In collaboration with Histoire Source | Source Story, a video series for history edutors, Active History is recruiting writers to write complementary posts on themes related to one of seven Histoire Source | Source Story conversational videos.

While the videos were designed for a K-12 teaching audience, they are rich in content for a broader audience. Thus, we envision these Active History posts as an ademic complement to the conversations – What are more layered ways an undergraduate student, for example, may listen to, and beyond, these conversations?

Below is a list of the seven videos, along with proposed question prompts, which may highlight how a writer may want to approach complementing these topics. Note that the questions are illustrative, not definitive. Also note that the questions cover both the content of the videos along with the method(s) discussed in the video. We are open to either, or both, approaches.?

We are expecting blog posts to be 800-1,200 words and we will post them throughout the fall. We are asking for proposals by June 30 with a finished draft for submission no later than September 1. Writers will receive an honorarium of $150 upon publition.

For June 30, please submit a 200 word proposal that identifies the topic of your proposed post, which video the post will complement, and the driving question and themes that the post will centre on. Please also include your CV and a public history writing sample, if you have not written for Active History before.?

To learn more about Active History and/or Source Story click the aligned links.?

For questions and submissions for this series, please email Thomas Peace at tpeace@uwo..

For more information about Source Story, please email HistoireSourceStory@gmail.com. Continue reading

History Slam 217: Storytellers, Colonialism, and Community in the Chilcotin Plateau

By Sean Graham

For every strong, thriving community, there are people actively keeping it alive at its centre. Whether that’s hosting events, checking in on others, or sharing the living memory of the place, these individuals build an environment where stories are shared and passed to the next generation. But when they’re gone, what happens to their stories? Who is there to take that central role in the community? Especially in some of nada’s rural areas, where younger people are increasingly moving to urban centres, there is a threat to the longstanding regional cultures, stories, and histories that have tied communities together for generations.

In the Chilcotin Plateau, Sage Birchwater spent years gathering stories from those people who spent their lives building the community. With tales from their own lives as well as those that had been passed down through the generations, Birchwater preserved stories that were being lost to colonialization. And as modern technology changes how we communite, in particular the ways people stay in touch, the opportunities to share stories have decreased – a problem further exacerbated by the pandemic.

The result of this work is?Talking to the Story Keepers: Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau. In the book, Birchwater shares the stories from his dedes living in the region and provides a spectacular window into the lives and cultures of its residents. The stories are wide ranging – from the trauma of residential schools on familial relationships to the seeming absurdity of a brass band playing in a church while it was being transported across a river – leaving the reader both moved and entertained. And while the book is a regional history, it speaks to issues of community building, identity, and colonialism that exist across the country.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Sage Birchwater about the book. We discuss his approach to the book and building trust with family members (6:01), the sense of community in Chilcotin (11:06), and how stories are lost to colonialization (13:29). We also chat about how stories disappear (17:31), moving a church across a river (27:26), and the national appeal of these stories (33:15).

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Sketching the Passage of Time

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Sketch by David L. Jones. Photo by author. Permission to publish courtesy of Miriam Davidson. Loted in Miriam Davidson Papers, Box 2, File 11, Special Collections, University of Arizona.

Laura Madokoro

For the past few weeks, I have been deep into records relating to the 1980s sanctuary movement in the United States. This movement, which has been relled in recent years as a result of renewed efforts to protect refugees and present-day undocumented migrants, consisted of a loose coalition of churches that offered refuge to arriving migrants from Central Ameri (largely Guatemala, Niragua and El Salvador) in the face of the Reagan administration’s ruthless foreign policy and its related refusal to consider people fleeing from the region as refugees.

As I research, I have been thinking about the signifince of time to the refugee experience. Depending on the number of days spent in refuge, the experience of sanctuary n become almost rceral.[1] At the same time (no pun intended), refugees need time to prepare asylum claims and convince adjuditing authorities of their need for refuge.

Using the concept of time as a signifier of a particular kind of experience, I would like to use this post to consider the signifince of doodles I me across while exploring the Miriam Davidson Papers held in Special Collections at the University of Arizona. Davidson was both a reporting journalist and a participant in the sanctuary movement of the 1980s. Her research notes, which I have been mining, informed the writing of Convictions of the Heart: Jim Corbett and the Sanctuary Movement (University of Arizona Press, 1988) that details the background, unfolding, and impact of the federal prosecution of the sanctuary movement.

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History Slam 216: Heroin & the History of nada’s Drugs Laws & Use

By Sean Graham

In recent years, there has been no shortage of news stories on opioids and overdose deaths in nada. What tends to be missing from these reports, however, is the historil context that shapes public understanding of these issues. The legal, social, and cultural processes that have shaped both access and perception of drugs and drug use in nada require a critil assessment as communities across the country work towards reducing lethal outcomes.

A good source for that context comes in Susan Boyd’s new book Heroin: An Illustrated History. In tracing the history of heroin from a prescription medition to an illegal substance, Boyd explores the failure to address overdoses, arguing that criminalization and resistance to harm-reduction policies, including safe consumption sites, prevent the implementation of viable solutions. While exploring how issues of race, gender, and class create further legal and cultural inequalities, Boyd provides an outstanding overview of how the past influences contemporary perceptions of such a pressing national issue.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Susan about the book. We discuss the introduction and medicinal use of heroin (10:17), prescription v. elicit heroin (14:26), and prejudice within heroin legislation (24:01). We also chat about how HIV changed public perception of heroin use (29:38), efforts to punish drug manufacturers (36:25), and supervised consumption sites (52:33).

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History Slam 215: Provincial Politil Trends & Saskatchewan’s Transition from Left to Right

By Sean Graham

In the past two years, 7 provinces and territories have held elections, with Quebec and?Ontario holding mpaigns this year. And if that wasn’t enough, Jason Kenney’s resignation earliere this week further thrust provincial politics into the news. While mpaigns and leadership changes generate plenty of interest, the pandemic has served as an important reminder of just how influential provincial/territorial governments are in our daily lives. At the same time, following provincial politics outside where you live, in particular during election mpaigns, offers a great lens into lol priorities and cultural differences across the country.

A particularly interesting trend in provincial politics has been Saskatchewan’s shift from left to right through the second half of the 20th century. The province of Tommy Douglas, who served as Premier from 1944 to 1961, had CCF and NDP premiers for the majority of the time between 1944 and 2007, with Grant Devine (1982-1991) the only Progressive Conservative premier in that era. That changed in 2007, however, when Brad Wall won the first of his three majority governments leading the Saskatchewan Party. The party won a comfortable majority again in 2020. This transition has been mirrored at the federal level, as the Conservative Party won all 14 of the province’s ridings in the 2021 election.

That shift in Saskatchewan’s politil outlook is the subject of Dale Eisler’s new book?From Left to Right: Saskatchewan’s Politil and Economic Transformation. As the title suggests, Eisler, a long-time journalist who has also worked in the federal government, examines the uses of the province’s shift to the right of the politil spectrum. From demographic changes to the transformation of agricultural industries to the economic power of energy production, the policy priorities of Saskatchewan voters have changed signifintly over the last 70 years. Eisler not only traces these changes but also effectively engages with what these provincial shifts n tell us about politil trends across the country.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Dale Eisler about the book. We discuss Tommy Douglas’ rise to power and the generational shift that followed (10:17), the rise of rural populism in the 20th century (14:53), and how rural economic changes shaped the provincial politil landspe (22:46). We also chat about the rise of the Saskatchewan Party and what has made it effective (30:15) and whether Saskatchewan politics foreshadows what happens at the federal level (36:40).You n find Dale’s other book, False Expectations, here plus more on his novel Anton and the subsequent film adaption here.

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Not Noted on the Voyage: Judith Desjarlais and John Rae

Panoramic black and white photo of a river.

Bloody Falls, Coppermine River. Credit: George Mellis Douglas / Library and Archives nada / e003894445

By Sara Wilmshurst

Nearly every time I review archival documents, I bump into a story that I’m desperate to pursue, but it is not relevant to the project at hand. This time I decided to just do it. My Google Alerts tell me it is time; Parks nada’s underwater archaeology team recently announced they are returning to the Franklin Expedition shipwrecks after a two-year pause. This story is about one of the people who searched for the Franklin crews when there was still hope of finding them alive. We are most fortunate Judith Desjarlais told her own story. It appears no one else did.

In 1900 at Peace River Crossing Judith rdinal, formerly Hope, nee Desjarlais, applied for Métis scrip. While recounting her places of residence Judith reported she “went north with Dr. Rea’s [sic] relief expedition to assist Sir John Franklin.”

At first glance it is not surprising a Métis woman joined a Franklin relief expedition. European travelers often relied on Indigenous women to feed, clothe, and shoe the party, translate, negotiate, and guide, and generally keep everyone alive and upright. Dr. John Rae, the Ordian physician turned fur trader turned explorer[1], openly admired the Indigenous women he encountered and valued their skills.[2] He was also unusual among his contemporaries beuse he usually named the Indigenous people he wrote about.[3] I read through Rae’s correspondence, journals, and autobiography, and historians’ accounts of his expeditions, but found no reference to Judith Desjarlais (or any other woman) in the parties. Continue reading

History Slam 214: Indigenous Voices, Resources, & Learning in nadian Classrooms

By Sean Graham

In its final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission included several ทดลองเล่นสล็อต ฟาโร ฟรี regarding edution. One of these was to develop and implement learning resources for all students in nada so that more Indigenous voices, perspectives, and approaches were included in provincial and territorial curricula. As we’ve seen, however, some efforts to do this have not gone well. Fortunately, with better resources being made available to teachers, so many of whom are exhausted from over two years of pandemic teaching, the situation is slowly improving.

One such resource for teachers is?Resurgence, a new volume edited by Christine M’Lot and Katya Adamov Ferguson. Organized using the 4-Rs – Resistance, Resilience, Restoring, and Reconnecting – it includes poetry, art, and narratives from a diverse group of Indigenous artists and writers. The book also includes resources for teachers that range from discussion questions to strategies for introducing Indigenous learning into classrooms. With material that n be used across provincial and territorial curricula and implemented in classrooms from elementary through high school, Resurgence?is a terrific addition to the available edutional material. Even if you’re not in an edutional environment, though, you’re very likely to find plenty in the book to not only keep you interested, but to also learn/discover something new.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Christine M’Lot about the book. We discuss her edution background and how that influenced the project (3:45), the 4-R framework and how the book is organized (8:15), and its ability to be used across edutional systems (14:14). We also chat about the editors’ learning process (22:31), how audiences n approach the material and Indigenous learning (29:03), and the benefits of meaningfully incorporating Indigenous voices into classrooms (34:42).

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Harvard and Slavery: The Moral Responsibility of History

By Andrew Nurse

On April 26, 2022, Harvard University announced “that it will spend $100 million” as part of a plan to address what it’s president lled “profoundly immoral” practices in the university’s past.[1] At issue is Harvard’s relationship to slavery, racism and colonialism. Harvard is not the first university to grapple with a deeply problematic past, but its response is certainly among the most detailed, expansive, and challenging. I’ll confess I like it, not the least beuse it asks us to think about history and its implitions in important ways.

Amerin universities began to address their historil relationship to slavery nearly two dedes ago. In 2003, Brown University in Rhode Island appointed the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. Its 2006 Report provided a model of comprehensiveness that Harvard seems to have tried to follow.[2] In the time since then, William and Mary, Emory, Alabama, UNC Chapel Hill as well as Dalhousie, Huron, and McGill, among others, in nada have, in different ways, grappled with the same or similar questions.[3] Continue reading