Small Stories, Big Ideas

Watch the recordings of the 12th Canada’s History Forum.

Hosted by Canada’s History

Posted January 2, 2020

Canadian Museum of History
Gatineau, Quebec
January 19, 2020, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Illustration of people climbing books

The most powerful encounters with history begin with a single story.

A compelling tale can spark our imagination, foster empathy, and connect us with the past.

Beyond that, these seemingly small stories can lead us to understand big histories.

The tragic story of a young girl named Hazel who died from the Spanish Flu in Dundas, Ontario, helps students understand a global health crisis that took place a century ago.

A visit to a one-room schoolhouse in Nova Scotia sparks intergenerational conversations about segregation, discrimination, and the experiences of people of African descent in Canada.

What can a single story tell us about our community, our country, or our society? What questions can we ask to reveal larger patterns and themes? How can personal histories fill in the gaps created by traditional, historical narratives? How can small stories make complicated histories more accessible to learners of all ages?

The 12th Canada’s History Forum features the recipients of the Governor General’s History Awards to share their experience of making the personal stories big and the big stories personal.

This event took place on January 19, 2020 at the Canadian Museum of History and was livestreamed via Facebook. View the event programme.

Watch The Presentations

African Canadian History: An Untold Story

In this presentation, filmmaker, writer, artist and educator Sylvia D. Hamilton shares the motivation and process behind her work.

Finding Hazel

In this presentation, teacher Rob Bell shares how an unexpected discovery turned a conventional unit on the Spanish Influenza into a rich and personal learning experience.

100th Anniversary of the Death of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin

In this presentation, Robin Folvik and Anna Rambow discuss how their community came together to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin.

The Stoney Nakoda Heroes Project: Connecting Community, Culture and Curriculum

In this presentation, Kayla Dallyn and Genevieve Soler share how they encouraged their students to identify heroes in their family lines and uncover local stories that haven’t been told.

The Hidden Cemeteries of Essex County

In this presentation, teachers David Brian and Stephen Punga explain how they brought together their geography and history students for a collaboration called the Hidden Cemeteries Project.

1699-2018: Story of a Lifetime

In this presentation, Josée Grandmont shares the history and cultural importance of the Ursulines of Trois-Rivières and their monastery.

Weaving Stories and Stitching History

In this presentation, Heather Jefkins shares how her class embarked on a fibre arts adventure to learn about the importance of traditional crafts in both the past and the present.

The Surprising Taxpayer

In this presentation, Shirley Tillotson explores some of the personal stories within her research on the impact of tax on the evolution of Canadian democratic politics.

Class Museum in Augmented Reality and Virtual 3D

In this presentation, Jean-Philippe Payer explains his class-museum project.

Reconciling the Past, Finding a New Path

In this presentation, Jock Martin and Heather Ragot share how their students went beyond pan-Indigenous narratives to understand the unique experiences and cultures of different Indigenous groups in Canada.

Indigenous Stories, Immersive Experiences

In this presentation, Yukiko Stranger-Galey and Derek Tan discuss how to integrate Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing in a natural history museum.

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