Canadians are not alone in the world with their challenges of engaging fellow citizens in a deeper knowledge and understanding of the past. Nor are they unique in observing a growing disconnect between the people and events that have shaped history and the national identity of modern-day citizens.
Countries the world over are re-evaluating history curricula, as well as updating museums and historical programming in order to create stronger connections between their peoples and their past.
The 3rd National History Forum brought together some of these international perspectives to a nationally representative group of up to 150 academics, classroom teachers, museum curators, archivists, and public historians, as well as popular writers, media producers, and students of history.
The Forum was held for the first time in conjunction with the presentation of the Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and Canada’s History Awards at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Canadians have much to gain from learning about experiences in other countries. Exploring the issues in a global context is aimed at helping participants think more broadly and openly about how to overcome the challenges of engaging with national history.
Moderated by award-winning broadcaster Don Newman, the event featured three sessions, each ninety minutes long. The sessions were structured to encourage questions and dialogue with the audience.