Unwritten Histories

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Tag: confederation (page 1 of 2)

Canadian History Roundup – Week of August 20, August 27, and September 3, 2017

Hostesses from different countries posing for a group photo at Expo 67

Hostesses from different countries posing for a group photo at Expo 67. Library and Archives Canada, e000990931. CC BY 2.0

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of July 2, 2017

Canadian History Roundup July 2, 2017

Family making a shore dinner on Stony Lake. Mother, Father, and two little girls around fire in the foreground. August 1951. Photo by Chris Lund. National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada. 4312118 Copyright expired.

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of June 25, 2017

Canadian History Roundup June 25th, 2017

Chris Lund. “Betty Dixon (left) and Barbara Coutts select Indian souvenirs at St. David’s, Ontario. At left is Chief Sky of the Six National Indian Reserve, Brantford, Ontario. At right is Warrior Running Deer.” 1949. Office National du Film du Canada. 4312260. Copyright expired.

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Canadian History Roundup – Weeks of May 28, 2017 and June 4, 2017

 

Canadian History Roundup May 28th, 2017

Massif de fleurs, virevent géants et le Paratrooper, at La Ronde Amusement Park. 1970. Archives de la Ville de Montreal. VM94-EX276-1182 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of April 9, 2017

 

Canadian History Roundup April 9, 2017

Bob Tripple, “Women on Sky Glider chair lift,” (1971), Pacific National Exhibition fonds, AM281-S8-: CVA 180-6891. CC by 2.0

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of March 26, 2017

Canadian History Roundup March 26, 2017

“Centennial Youth Travellers.” 1967. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1984-4-1463 Centennial Commission.

 

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of January 22, 2017

A poster advertising the film “Northern Patrol,” features Kirby Grant as a Mountie rescuing a damsel in distress, aided by his faithful dog Chinook, 1953. Library and Archives Canada, e010779201. CC by 2.0

A poster advertising the film “Northern Patrol,” features Kirby Grant as a Mountie rescuing a damsel in distress, aided by his faithful dog Chinook, 1953. Library and Archives Canada, e010779201. CC by 2.0

 

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Inconvenient Pasts: The Charlottetown Conference of 1864

Rex Woods. The Fathers of Confederation. 1968. Replaced the original Robert Harris image, painted in 1884, and lost in the 1916 Parliament Building fire.

Rex Woods. The Fathers of Confederation. 1968. Replaced the original Robert Harris image, painted in 1884, and lost in the 1916 Parliament Building fire. (Source: The Parliament of Canada)[1]

“Some nations are conceived in revolution, and some in negotiation, but Canada was conceived here in Charlottetown, right after a party.”

– From the collection of Island author and historian, David Weale

If you’ve spent any time watching any kind of Canadian media lately, you’ve probably encountered a reference or two to Canada’s “150th birthday,” or the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Likewise, if you’ve spent any time on social media, you have also likely heard a number of people who are frustrated with the Canada 150 celebrations.

In reading through these discussions myself, I was often struck by the disparity between the official histories, like, for instance, the #Canada150 campaign, and academic interpretations of the past. The former was so relentlessly positive, and the latter so critical, that it almost seemed as if they were talking about two entirely different events. It also struck me that if perhaps more people knew about what really happened, they might be more inclined to see Canada 150 a little differently. But in most cases, this kind of information is very difficult to find.

So in response, I decided to start (another???) new series on Unwritten Histories, that I will be calling “Inconvenient Pasts.” In this series, I’m going to unpack some of our common historical misconceptions, talk about what really happened, and discuss what we can learn from both the events in question and subsequent interpretations. To put it another way, I will be disrupting traditional historical narratives, reinserting some of the inconvenient parts that have been left out, and hopefully shedding some light on our unwritten histories (see what I did there? 😉 )

In keeping with the Canada 150 theme (and the requirement that I poke fun at Prince Edward Island (known informally as PEI) whenever I can, since my husband is from there), we’re going to start by looking at the Charlottetown Conference, where it all began. Most people, including the Prince Edward Island provincial government, believe this to be the birthplace (and time?) of Canadian Confederation. And as we shall see, what really happened is actually far more interesting and complex than our traditional story.

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of December 11, 2016

"Compliments of the Season," Kenneth Rowe fonds 2006-00269-4, Library and Archives Canada

“Compliments of the Season,” (1870s-1900?) Kenneth Rowe fonds 2006-00269-4, Library and Archives Canada

 

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of October 23, 2016

Hallowe'en greetings (1900). Toronto Public Library, Special Collections OSB-CARDS-N-148

Hallowe’en greetings (1900). Toronto Public Library, Special Collections OSB-CARDS-N-148 CC by 2.0

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