Making History

Governor General’s History Awards laureates celebrate achievements in Quebec City.

Posted January 12, 2023

It was a celebration worth waiting for. After two years of pandemic-related delays, the recipients of the 2021 and 2022 Governor General’s History Awards were honoured at a special ceremony at the Citadelle in Quebec City on November 22, 2022.

In her opening remarks, Mary Simon, the Governor General of Canada, commended the recipients for “highlighting important issues in our world today — addressing, head-on, inequality, diversity, and inclusion — and for recognizing that hate exists in this world … that it can be dispelled with respect, and understanding, and listening to every voice.”

Before the ceremony, the recipients participated in a private discussion with the Governor General and her husband, Whit Fraser, about the challenges and opportunities around creating Canadian history that is more inclusive. The recipients were also feted at a reception at the Château Frontenac. It was a memorable evening of lively and engaging conversation among some of the country’s leaders in the field of history.

For the award recipients, this honour is both a highlight of their careers and an opportunity to share their passion for history with a national network of like-minded individuals. The recipients formed new relationships that sparked innovative ideas that will advance their important work even further.

Canada’s History Society is grateful to all its award supporters, including the Department of Canadian Heritage, Power Corporation of Canada, Parks Canada, Musée de la civilisation, and Ecclesiastical Insurance, as well as the Canadian Historical Association and the Canadian Museums Association.

2021 and 2022 Governor General's History Award Recipients

Cynthia Bettio

Cynthia Bettio’s students undertook a year-long project to investigate Canadian history from 1914 to the present through the lens of traditionally underrepresented groups, including Indigenous people, racialized Canadians, and women.

Natasha Camacho

To mark Black History Month, Natasha Camacho and her students studied the lives and achievements of several notable Canadians of African descent.

Carla Cooke and Tracey Salamondra

Carla Cooke and Tracey Salamondra designed a cross-curricular, community-based project for their grade eleven students to investigate the histories of their rural community.

Luisa Fracassi

Luisa Fracassi developed her project “Immigrant Voices” as an experiential learning opportunity for her diverse class of grade ten students.

Barbara A. Giroux

Through age-appropriate resources and books, Barbara Ann Giroux introduced her young students to the history and legacy of the residential school system and encouraged them to consider their role in reconciliation.

Jen Maxwell

With the support of her school and colleagues, Jen Maxwell created a cross-curricular project that allowed grade twelve students in her large urban high school to earn multiple credits towards social studies, English language arts, and career education.

Benjamin Hoy

Benjamin Hoy’s A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border across Indigenous Lands documents a border made in conflict, inseparable from histories of colonialism and Indigenous resistance, and designed to mean different things for different people.

Thomas King

Thomas King is a bestselling and award-winning writer whose work has brought Indigenous concerns to the forefront of Canadian society and challenged readers to re-examine Western approaches to history.

Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience

The McCord Stewart Museum’s new permanent exhibition, Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience, invites the public to connect with eleven Indigenous nations in Quebec.

Live Our Heritage / Vivre notre héritage

Live Our Heritage/Vivre notre héritage was a two-year project to collect, preserve, and share the history of Métis-sur-Mer, a small town in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region.

Sur les traces de Dubuc

Sur les traces de Dubuc (In the Footsteps of Dubuc) is a five-episode narrative podcast set in the early twentieth century that tells the fascinating story of a man who built a life and career as a banker, industrialist, politician, financier, and business magnate.

This article originally appeared in the February-March 2023 issue of Canada’s History.

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