Commemoration Educational Package

When we talk about people and things from Canada’s past, the conversation can get pretty intense, pretty fast.

In this issue, we give you some ideas about how to decide who and what deserve to be commemorated.

You can also weigh the good and bad about some famous people and events. Would you honour them? If so, how? All over Canada, students like you are taking action. Listen in on one family’s debate about how they remember Louis Riel and learn about three men from Canada’s past whom we see very differently now.

Discover some unusual commemorations in History Mystery, and look around your own community to see who and what is being honoured.

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A lot of Canadian symbols come to mind right away, like the Maple Leaf flag or our national anthem.

But there are Indigenous symbols that go back beyond memory and are still in use today. Quebec has its own unique symbols, and there’s a story behind the flag of every province and territory.

Try a game that tests what you know about Canada’s coat of arms and discover the story of bravery and tragedy during the 1916 fire on Parliament Hill.

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Our Thanks

We are grateful to the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support of this educational initiative.


Decolonizing a Flag for a New Generation

In this lesson, students will design a new provincial / territorial flag more representative of the post-colonial era.


We Stand on Guard

Fiction Feature: It’s 1880, and Calixa Lavallée is about to introduce “O Canada” in Quebec City. The original French words by Adolphe-Basile Routhier will stand, but who will get to decide what will be sung in English?

Symbols in Fashion History

In this activity, students will explore a selection of textile artifacts that highlight women’s fashion from several decades of Canadian history.

The First World War in Symbols

In this activity, students will analyze a selection of primary documents from the First World War.


The Bluenose

The Bluenose, launched on March 26, 1921, became a symbol of shipbuilding excellence.

The Flag Turns 50

February 15, 1965, Canada flew the maple leaf for the very first time. Historian Allan Levine explains the rocky road to our national symbol.

The Great Flag Debate

It stirs our hearts today, but in 1965 when the Maple Leaf became Canada’s flag, some saw it as a betrayal of Canadian values.