12th Canada's History Forum Programme

Check out the programme for the 12th Canada’s History Forum “Small Stories, Big Ideas” on January 19, 2020 at the Canadian Museum of History.

Posted January 14, 2020

10:00 AM Opening Remarks and Welcome

Master of Ceremonies: Anne Trépanier is a historian from Québec City and a professor at the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University. Her research includes Quebec’s narrative and political history, along with pedagogical strategies for the online world and for intercultural mediation. Anne sees her role as building intellectual and understanding bridges in a multifaceted Canada. She is a passionate teacher who enjoys spending professional and personal energies promoting both rigorous critical thinking and intuitive approaches to learning.

10:30 AM Small Stories, Big Ideas

For more than forty years, filmmaker, writer, artist and educator Sylvia D. Hamilton has researched and documented the history, lives and experiences of African Canadians in her films, writing, art installations and public presentations. Widely recognized with awards, she has also been an active member of and a leader in many provincial and national cultural and social organizations. Among her films is The Little Black School House, which focuses on the experiences of students and teachers in Canada’s racially segregated Black schools. This presentation will be in English.

Q&A to follow presentation.

11:00 AM Making Personal Stories Big

In this panel, speakers will reflect on their work and discuss how they use personal stories to link everyday lives to history and form meaningful connections to larger historical narratives.

Rob Bell is a grades 5/6 teacher at Dundas Central Public School in Dundas, Ontario. While studying the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-19, Robert’s students discovered that a student who attended their school had died of the disease during the outbreak. By studying the pandemic through the experiences of Hazel, this unit became a personal project for the students and allowed them to find relevance and meaning in a historic event. This presentation will be in English.

One hundred years after his shooting death, the Cumberland Museum and Archives commemorated the life of labour activist Albert “Ginger” Goodwin. Hundreds gathered to take part in music, workshops, graveside ceremonies, art-making projects, a symposium, and the re-enactment of Goodwin’s funeral procession, based on the iconic photograph taken on August 2, 1918. Robin Folvik is the Interim Executive Director and Anna Rambow is the past Engagement Coordinator at the museum. Both sit on the Miners Memorial Working Committee and were instrumental in coordinating the commemoration. This presentation will be in English.

Genevieve Soler and Kayla Dallyn are teachers at Exshaw School in Exshaw, Alberta. They worked with Stoney Nakoda Elders in their community to help their grade 4 students explore and deepen their understanding of their culture, traditions, and personal histories. Through the documentation of family lineage, oral storytelling, and the creation of original artworks, Kayla and Genevieve’s students were involved in powerful reconciliation work that allowed them to reconnect and reclaim their cultural identities. This presentation will be in English.

Q&A to follow presentations.

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Recognition of Award Finalists

Canada’s History Society and its partners are proud to recognize the Governor General’s History Award finalists who have travelled to Ottawa.

1:15 PM Making Community Stories Big

This panel examines how studying local and community stories can help groups of people place their experiences and collective history within the larger historical framework.

While at Académie Ste-Cécile International School in Windsor, Ontario, teachers David Brian and Stephen Punga brought together their geography and history students for a collaboration called the Lost Cemeteries Project. Their students created an interactive map and database of headstones belonging primarily to settlers of African descent in the region. This interactive map is now a community resource hosted on the Town of Essex's website and serves as a tool to help those who were interested in locating the headstones of these early African settlers. This presentation will be in English.

Josée Grandmont is the director of the Musée des Ursulines in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. In their recent project, 1699-2018 : l’histoire d’une vie, the museum provided visitors incomparable access to the Ursuline monastery using digital technologies. This work commemorates and catalogues over 300 years of religious heritage and provides a platform to share the story of the Ursulines with a new and broad audience. This presentation will be in French.

Heather Jefkins teaches Grade 3/4 at Assiginack Public School in Manitowaning, Ontario. Her students explored the traditional fibre arts of quilting and weaving through research, consultation with community artisans, and hands-on experience with both traditional and modern techniques. By examining textile arts, students gained an understanding of the role that material culture played for early settlers and present communities. This presentation will be in English.

Q&A to follow presentations.
This conversation will be in both French and English.

2:15 PM Making Big Stories Personal

This panel seeks to explore the ways in which historians and educators make history relevant to the public and distill major events in Canadian history into stories that relate to the lives of individuals.

Shirley Tillotson is an Inglis professor at the University of King’s College and professor emeritus at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and author of three books and numerous articles on electoral and social politics. Her recent book, Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy, explores the connections between taxation and society and reveals the personal and political sides of this under-examined subject. This presentation will be in English.

Jean-Philippe Payer is a secondary school social studies teacher at École Odyssée in Quebec City, Quebec. In his class-museum project, students used digital tools, including augmented and virtual reality, to reproduce and contextualize historical realities and artifacts and art objects on loan from museums. Payer provided students an opportunity to explain these historic elements and make them accessible to the public during exhibitions, while also interacting with other students in Canada and around the world. This presentation will be in French.

Jock Martin and Heather Ragot are high school history and English language arts teachers at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They brought together their students for an interdisciplinary investigation on the history and legacy of colonialism in Canada. Students studied primary and secondary resources to write and publish a book called Reconciling the Past, Finding a New Path. At the heart of the project was an emphasis on going beyond pan-Indigenous narratives to understand the unique experiences and cultures of different Indigenous groups in Canada. This presentation will be in English.

Perspectives on Biodiversity – Sturgeon Harpoon Knowledge Web, is a joint project between the Musqueam First Nation and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, which integrates Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing in a natural history museum. This work expands upon the multiple meanings and relationships that any one object or species can hold and is contextualized around a 35-foot sturgeon harpoon. Yukiko Stranger-Galey is the exhibits manager and Derek Tan is the digital media specialist at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. This presentation will be in English.

Q&A to follow presentations.
This conversation will be in both French and English.

3:30 PM Concluding Remarks

Continue the conversation online! 


Canada’s History Society: @CanadasHistory
Sylvia Hamilton: @maroonfilms
Cumberland Museum and Archives: @CumberlandRoots
Kayla Dallyn: @MissDallyn
Musée des Ursulines de Trois-Rivières: @museeursulines
Heather Jefkins: @MrsJsJrVoters
Shirley Tillotson: @stillots1
Jock Martin: @jockmart
Heather Ragot: @HeatherRagot
Beaty Biodiversity Museum: @beatymuseum

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