Hard Histories Program

Check out the program for the 15th Canada’s History Forum, “Hard Histories: Approaching Difficult Topics in Canadian History,” which is being held live via Zoom on March 2, 2023.

Hosted by Canada’s History Society

Posted February 13, 2023

Guest Speakers

Afua Cooper

Multidisciplinary scholar, author, and artist, Dr. Afua Cooper is a fellow at the Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University. She is the Principal Investigator for A Black People’s History of Canada project housed at Dalhousie University where she teaches and holds a Killam Research Chair. Dr. Cooper was honoured by Maclean’s magazine as one of the 50 most influential Canadians. She also holds the prestigious Royal Society of Canada, JB Tyrrell Historical Medal.

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson (he, him, his) was the 2021 recipient of the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award as well as the Globe and Mail Children’s Storyteller of the Year. He is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award. The Barren Grounds, Book 1 of the middle-grade The Misewa Saga series, was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award, and was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award. His memoir, Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory, was a Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire book of the year in 2020, and won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction as well as the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. On The Trapline won David's second Governor General's Literary Award, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, and was named one of the best picture books of 2021 by numerous outlets. Dave is the writer and host of the podcast Kíwew (Key-Way-Oh), winner of the 2021 RTDNA Praire Region Award for Best Podcast. His first adult fiction novel, The Theory of Crows, was published in 2022. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation.

Anne Marguet

Anne Marguet has a master's degree in history, with a specialization in the history of migrations in the 20th century. She was a high school history teacher, first in France and then in Quebec, for 20 years. She has held the position of education coordinator at the Montreal Holocaust Museum since 2019. The Montreal Holocaust Museum educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the Holocaust, as well as of the perils of antisemitism, racism, hate and indifference.

James Miles

James Miles is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research explores the teaching and learning of difficult histories in settler colonial contexts and the role of history education in historical redress. James’ research has been published in journals including Theory and Research in Social Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Curriculum Inquiry, and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. James also regularly works with the Critical Thinking Consortium and has co-written several textbooks and teacher resource books. James was previously a secondary school social studies teacher in West Vancouver for 10 years.


Carla Peck

Carla Peck is Professor of Social Studies Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta and is the Director of the Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future SSHRC Partnership Grant. She researches teachers’ and students’ understandings of democratic concepts, teachers’ and students’ historical understandings, and is particularly interested in the relationship between students’ ethnic identities and their understandings of history. Select publications include Teaching and Learning Difficult Histories in International Contexts: A Critical Sociocultural Approach, The Palgrave Handbook of Global Citizenship and Education, and Contemplating Historical Consciousness: Notes from the Field.

Magda Fahrni

Magda Fahrni teaches women’s history, family history, and the history of twentieth-century Québec and Canada at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her book Household Politics: Montreal Families and Postwar Reconstruction, was awarded the Clio-Québec Prize by the Canadian Historical Association in 2006. She is also the author of Of Kith and Kin: A History of Families in Canada and the co-editor, with Robert Rutherdale, of Creating Postwar Canada: Community, Diversity, and Dissent and, with Esyllt W. Jones, of Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918–20.

Recommended Reading and Resources


ACS-Metropolis Institute. Reconciliation and Reckoning: Contesting Canada’s Past, Framing Its Future.

Canadian Museum of History. Tips for Teaching Difficult History.

Epstein, T. & Peck, C. L. (Eds.) (2018). Teaching and Learning Difficult Histories in International Contexts: A Critical Sociocultural Approach (264 pp.) Routledge.

Gibson, Lindsay & James Miles. “Commemoration controversies in classrooms: Canadian history teachers disagree about making ethical judgments”. The Conversation.

Gibson, Lindsay. “Questioning the Past.” Canada's History magazine, Feb-March 2019.

Miles, J. (2018). Teaching history for truth and reconciliation: The challenges and opportunities of narrativity, temporality, and identity. McGill Journal of Education, 53(2).

Miles, James (edited by Lindsay Gibson). Thinking about Historical Commemorations

Classroom Resources

Who do we remember...and how? Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids. 

Lesson Plan: Preparing for Difficult Conversations. Canada’s History. 

Thinking about Historical Commemorations. The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2).


A Black People's History of Canada

ActiveHistory / HistoireEngagée

Contested Histories in Public Spaces

Facing History and Ourselves Canada

Landscapes of Injustice

Montreal Holocaust Museum (view a pdf reference guide for educators.)

Social Studies & History Education in the Anthropocene Network

Source Story

Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future


Join us at the forum!

Hard Histories: Approaching Difficult Topics in Canadian History

Thursday, March 2, 2023
2pm – 5pm Eastern time
Live via Zoom

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