(I posted this blog previously, but it’s worth noting again.)
I had reason to go looking for a Canadian web site similar to Legends Of America, an excellent history resource with some real ‘meat’ to it—meaning, it is history made interesting. It also features some Canadian characters who have played a role in American history, i.e. Pearl Hart, Bat Masterson, etc., for which there is hardly a mention in Canadian-based histories.
A veritable wasteland
What I found was a depressing collection of thumbnail sketches, afterthoughts to American history, a roll call of stodgy politicians, and a lesson plan so dry you could strike a match on it.
“The earliest settlers who made their homes in the wilderness were known as pioneers.
“Many pioneers of Upper Canada came from France, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and other countries in Europe. Some settlers went to other parts of North America and later moved into Upper Canada.
“They came to Upper Canada for many reasons. Some came so they could freely practice their religion. Some did not like the way their home countries were being run. Some just hoped they could have a better life in a new country.
“Interesting Facts about the Early Settlers
in 1800, only 10% of the population lived in towns or cities – most lived on farms in 1800, the population of Upper Canada was 35 000 before 1800, most immigrants came from America after 1815, large numbers of immigrants started to come from the British Isles (England, Ireland, Scotland) between 1825 and the 1830′s more people came from the British Isles than from America
(see the full lesson plan at: Pioneer Life in Upper Canada
There are more interesting history sources available
Admittedly, it wouldn’t be hard to find a more interesting perspective, but even here there is very little effort to promote it. With very few exceptions the major Canadian media are more interested in politics and scandal—oh, and Kate’s pregnancy—than promoting Canadian heritage. Mind you, if they got their history from the above lesson, it is perhaps understandable.There are interesting examples of Canadian historyOn my own blog, Gerry B’s Book Reviews, I have reviewed several excellent histories that are in-depth as well as interesting. Some of these include:
- Sam Steele: The Wild Adventures of Canada’s Most Famous Mountie, by Holly Quan
- Real Justice: Guilty of Being Weird: The story of Guy Paul Morin, by Cynthia J. Faryon
- The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Expedition (Twentieth-Century Battles), by Robin Neillands
- To Wawa With Love, by Tom Douglas
- Wild Canadian West, by E.C. (Ted) Meyers
- Tecumseh: Diplomat and Warrior in the War of 1812, by Irene Gordon
- Klondike Cattle Drive – Normal Lee
- Blazing the Old Cattle Trail, by Grant MacEwan
- Secrets of Lake Simcoe: Fascinating Stories From Ontario’s Past, by Andrew Hind & Maria Da Silva
- Amazing stories of WWI, WWII, and the Canadian Navy
- Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent, by Richmond P. Hobson, Jr.
If you have a history source you would like to see added to the list, email it to me at:firstname.lastname@example.org.