Thursday, November 17, 2022

This month at Canada's History

This month at Canada's History, Carolyn Harris and I have the lead articles. In "Queen of Canada," she surveys Elizabeth II's visits to and relationship with Canada. In "Royal Dissent," I explore the complications that will be required in establishing a Canadian head of state, even though we all want one.

There's also an essay by André Pelchat on the history of religion in Quebec as a backdrop to Québec's controversial Bill 21, which bans hijabs, turbans, and other items of religious faith from being worn by public employees in the province.  He reflects on:

the ambiguous attitude of many French-speaking Quebeckers toward their Catholic past: they no longer practise the Catholic religion and would not want to go back to the old times, but they still see their Catholic heritage as part of their national identity.  This makes it hard for people who practise different religions to be considered truly Québécois.

David Wesley of Fort Albany Cree First Nation

Don't miss "We Were the Lucky Ones" -- online here. Former players for the Sioux Lookout Black Hawks, a residential school hockey team, reflect on their much-publicized 1951 tour of Toronto and Ottawa, and how it was used by Canadian officials to justify and sanitize the residential school program. It's a story with much to say on that point, but it also brings home real personal experiences of some kids from across northern Ontario who asserted themselves despite the assimilative pressures (and other hardships!) they lived under. 

Today the co-authors, former players now in their eighties, include a leader of Indigenous health programs, a founder of the North American Indigenous Games, and a coordinator of Indigenous employment programs, in association with sports historian Professor Janice Forsyth of UBC (and the Fisher River First Nation) and a team of other researchers.    

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