Monday, May 15, 2023

This Month at Canada's History: Explorers, Confederation, Mi'kmaw Rights, Immigrant History


This month at Canada's History you can choose your cover image.  They have done a split run.

The newsstand cover -- if you can find a newsstand -- relateds to Ken McGooghan's article "Ships of Misfortune" on Jens Munk, one of a long unhappy history of navigators trying to find a Northwest Passage. Social media friends of Ken are already noticing that the image of Munk on the cover looks very much like Ken himself. Canada's History's new podcast supplement has Ken in conversation with senior editor Kate Jaimet.

My own feature story "Confederation or Bust" is inspired by Prince Edward Island's observance of its 150th anniversary of joining confederation in 1873. It's a story less of constitutional negotiations than of land wars, railroad crises, and the remarkable and ultimately tragic career of Island reformer George Coles.  

Maybe for the first time in non-indigenous media, I also took up the question of what the Mi'kmaq Nation of Atlantic Canada (and by extension other First Nations) thought and did about Confederation. That's in the article as well as in the podcast supplement (about to be posted) in which Kate Jaimet talks with Mi'kmaw scholar and law professor Cheryl Simon and me. From the article, Mi'kmaw concerns about Confederation's potential impact on indigenous rights:

The Mi'kmaq Grand Council -- a centuries-old governing body -- raised funds to send a delegate, Peter Cope, to meet with British Colonial Office officials in London. In 1926 Mi'kmaw elder Joe Cope recalled how Peter Cope was assured that as long as any Indigenous person "remained a True Ward of the English Government, so long his treaty rights would be respected and adhered to.  No bye-law can ever alter or change his Treaty Rights and Privileges."

The "subscription cover" this month features a memoir by the Canadian artist JJ Lee -- seen here with a photo of her grandfather, about four generations of her immigrant ancestors' experiences and the art she is creating about them.

And reviews, letters, notes, a visit to Baie St-Paul, and more.  If you subscribed like you oughta, it would be on its way to you.

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