The Confederation Debates!

 

Join the Ongoing Debate!
Canada continues to evolve with each passing day, but many of the issues we face resemble or were impacted by past struggles. Before each province and territory became a part of Canada, their local legislatures (and the House of Commons after 1867) debated the extent, purposes, and principles of political union between 1865 and 1949. From 1871 to 1921, Indigenous Peoples and Crown officials also negotiated Numbered Treaties that committed both parties to lasting relationships. The Confederation Debates brings all of these debates together for the first time, and makes them accessible to present and future generations of all ages through a website permanently hosted by the University of Victoria where users can search the texts, ebooks, and “quotes of the day” in both official languages, as well as download grade 7/8 and high school lesson plans that cater to each provinces’ history and curriculum.

You can contribute to the ongoing debates by transcribing documents for present and future Canadians, and by sharing what you learn on social media.

Click Here to Learn More!

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2017 Annual General Meeting: Saturday October 28, 2017!

Save the date! The Champlain Society’s 2017 Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday October 28, 2017. We’re pleased to announce that this year’s AGM is back to it’s usual home at the City of Toronto Archives.  As in years past, the afternoon will offer stimulating speakers and the winner of the Floyd S. Chalmers Award for the best book on Ontario History for 2017 will be announced. More information will be provided in the upcoming months. Hope to see you there!

Dr. William J. Smyth to Receive the 2016 Floyd S. Chalmers Award!

The Champlain Society is pleased to announce that Dr. William J. Smyth, geographer and President emeritus of the National University of Ireland (Maynooth), is the winner of the 2016 Floyd S. Chalmers Award for his book Toronto, The Belfast of Canada: the Orange Order and the Shaping of Municipal Culture

In this book, published by University of Toronto Press, William J. Smyth detailed the Orange Order’s role in creating Toronto’s municipal culture of militant Protestantism, loyalism, and monarchism. One of foremost experts on the Orange Order in Canada, Smyth analysed its influence between 1850 and 1950 in the Ontario capital by examining public displays of sectarian tensions.

This is what the jury especially valued about Smyth’s Toronto, The Belfast of Canada:

“In this study of Toronto’s labour force, neighbourhoods, and civic culture, Smyth presents fresh insights into the history of Ontario’s leading city across a century-long span. In his focus on the role of the Irish in the city’s evolving culture, its streetscapes, meeting halls, and colourful characters and their indiscretions come to life. This rich book will appeal to a broad constituency of readers interested in urbanism, labour history, immigration and the complex realpolitik of an evolving cultural identity. Smyth’s engagement with the changing twentieth century moves on from his previous work and incorporates recent historiography with the breadth of vision of an experienced scholar.”

The award will be personally given to Dr. Smyth at the Annual General Meeting of the Champlain Society on Saturday, 24 September 2016 at 2pm. Dr. Smyth will also speak about his book. The meeting will take place at Heliconian Hall 35 Hazelton Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1M6. All are invited.

Established in 1983, the Floyd S. Chalmers Award is given annually to the best book written on any aspect of Ontario history in the preceding calendar year. The award selection committee was composed of Dr. Roger Hall (Western University), Dr. Jan Noel (University of Toronto), and Dr. Brian Osborne (Queen’s University). The prize includes a $1000.00 cash award as well as an Inuit carving, as dictated by Floyd S. Chalmers himself.

The Chalmers Foundation entrusted the Champlain Society in 1982 to make this award annually. The Champlain Society, founded in Toronto in 1905, is dedicated to making the voices of the past survive through the written text. It publishes an edited volume of textual document each year and maintains a rich depository of digitized books. It continues to be based in Toronto, but reaches around the world with its www.champlainsociety.ca website.

Champlain Society Member Bill Waiser’s new book on pre-1905 Saskatchewan

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Bill Waiser, Long-standing member of the Champlain Society, and a former member of the Governing Council, has just published A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905 (Fifth House Press).  Waiser examines the early history of Saskatchewan through an Aboriginal and environmental lens.  He has published over a dozen books–many of them recognized by various awards, including a shortlist nomination for the 1997 Governor General’s literary award for non-fiction. 

Click to read the full Press Release for A World We Have Lost.

2015 Annual General Meeting: November 7, 2015

Save the date! The Champlain Society’s 2015 Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday November 7, 2015. As in years past, the afternoon will offer stimulating speakers and the winner of the Floyd S. Chalmers Award for the best book on Ontario History for 2014 will be announced. More information will be provided in the upcoming months. Hope to see you there!

Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th Birthday Celebration!

John_A._Macdonald_-_Brady-HandyThe Friends of Sir John A Macdonald Toronto invite you to attend Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday celebration being held on Saturday January 10, 2015 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Tickets include a three course dinner and attendees are encouraged to dress up in period costumes! To R.S.V.P to the event, click www.sirjam200.eventbrite.ca. It is sure to be an exciting and fun evening, with RH Thompson reciting Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s moving eulogy of Sir John and soprano Mary Lou Fallis interpreting period songs. Take the chill out of January and the birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister!

Dr. Donald Smith Receives the 2014 Floyd S. Chalmers Award 

Mississauga_PortraitsThe Champlain Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Donald Smith, professor emeritus of history at the University of Calgary, is the winner of the 2014 Floyd S. Chalmers Award for his book Mississauga Portraits: Ojibwe Voices From Nineteenth-Century Canada.

Published by the University of Toronto Press, Mississauga Portraits recreates the lives of eight Ojibwe who lived during this period – all of whom are historically important and interesting figures, and seven of whom have never before received full biographical treatment. Each portrait is based on research drawn from an extensive collection of writings and recorded speeches by southern Ontario Ojibwe themselves, along with secondary sources.

Established in 1983, the Floyd S. Chalmers Award is given annually to the best book written on any aspect of Ontario history in the preceding calendar year. The award selection committee was composed of Dr. Brian Osborne (Queen’s University), Dr. Sarah Carter (University of Alberta) and Dr. Jan Noel (University of Toronto). The prize includes a $1000.00 cash award as well as an Inuit carving, as dictated by Floyd S. Chalmers himself.

This is what the jury concluded about Smith’s Mississauga Portraits:

“The research is profound, for it includes written, oral and visual sources that span three centuries, also giving clear evidence of respectful relationship with First Nations representatives living and dead. The book skillfully integrates the story of diseases, addictions, treaties, settlement, missions, assimilation and schooling in its chapters. Generally Smith looks problems and betrayals (even those emanating from his subjects) in the eye, while never failing to share any positive light he can find. Even in the long chapter on the somewhat erratic George Copway, one learns a great deal about various options open to an entrepreneur (missionizing, dramatic arts, temperance lecturing, naturopathy, publication) in certain 19th century North American and European circles that romanticized aboriginal culture (and one enjoys too the more skeptical responses of Copway’s wife, his Rice Lake band, and veteran missionary Peter Jones).”

The Champlain Society was entrusted by the Chalmers Foundation in 1982 to make this award annually. The Champlain Society, founded in Toronto in 1905, is dedicated to making the voices of the past survive through the written text. It publishes an edited volume of textual document each year and maintains a rich depository of digitized books. It continues to be based in Toronto, but reaches around the world with its www.champlainsociety.ca website.

The Champlain Society: 2014 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Champlain Society will take place at 2pm-5pm on Saturday, 18 October, in the theatre of the City of Toronto Archives building at 255 Spadina Road. As in years past, the afternoon will offer stimulating speakers and end with a wine-and reception sponsored by Chateau des Charmes.

Dr. Germaine Warkentin will speak about this year’s Champlain Society publication, her second volume on the London years of Pierre-Esprit Radisson.

Mr. Stewart Boden, curator at the Archives of Ontario, will speak on “Love, Lives, and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War”

Finally,Basic CMYK the winner of the Floyd S. Chalmers Award for the best book on Ontario History for 2013 will also be announced.

If you are interested in attending the meeting, please RSVP to Lauren Naus – lnaus@utpress.utoronto.ca

Remembering Our Neighbours, the Algonquins: Antoine Pakinawatik

Over the course of the last year, The Manor Park Chronicle has published a series of articles, authored by local historian Robert Serré, which offer readers a glimpse into who inhabited the land that is now Manor Park. “Getting to Know Our Historical Neighbours” focuses on main players, major issues, and the social, political, and economic forces at play when people from different traditions meet.

In the last segment of this series, Serré explores the history of the last hereditary Ogima (Chief) of the River Desert band, Antoine Pakinawatik. An increase in farming and lumbering caused game to decrease in the Ottawa Valley, forcing many native people to consider alternative reserve options. They petitioned the government for a reserve and for priests, which resulted in success. In 1849, title to a large piece of land on the River Desert, at its junction with the Gatineau River, was granted to the Catholic Church on behalf of the Algonquins. Pakinawatik requested the permanent presence of a priest on the new reserve in order to establish a mission that would accommodate both natives and settlers and in that same year, Father Clément was sent by the Oblates of Bytown. Pakinawatik is credited for bringing several Oka Algonquins to the River Desert reserve. On August 9, 1854, the present reserve near Maniwaki was granted to the Algonquins.

Robert Serré is the past President of the Gloucester Historical Society and author of several books, including Pioneer Families of Rockcliffe Annex and Manor Park.

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Remembering Our Neighbours: Remembering the Algonquins – who were they?

495px-AlgonquinsThe Manor Park Chronicle has recently begun publishing a series of articles, authored by local historian Robert Serré, which offers readers a glimpse into who inhabited the land that is now Manor Park. “Getting to Know Our Historical Neighbours” focuses on main players, major issues, and the social, political, and economic forces at play when people from different traditions meet.

In the second segment of this series, Serré delves into the increased tension amongst native hunters for control of the fur trade with the French. The Algonquins were in control of the Ottawa Valley and the French had become their ally, making them the enemy of the Iroquois. A series of epidemics created havoc and terror among the Algonquins, and the Iroquois took advantage of the situation to dislodge them from the Ottawa Valley. By the late 1640s the Iroquois had taken over and reduced the overall Algonquin population. However, after the Great Peace of 1701 was signed, the Algonquins were able to return to their traditional hunting grounds.

Robert Serré is the past President of the Gloucester Historical Society and author of several books, including Pioneer Families of Rockcliffe Annex and Manor Park.

Remembering Our Neighbours: Remembering the Algonquins – a visitor in Gloucester Township

Philemon_WrightThe Manor Park Chronicle has recently begun publishing a series of articles, authored by local historian Robert Serré, which offers readers a glimpse into who inhabited the land that is now Manor Park. “Getting to Know Our Historical Neighbours” focuses on main players, major issues, and the social, political, and economic forces at play when people from different traditions meet.

In the first segment of this series, Serré reveals the history of how Algonquin tribes established relationships amongst the settlers in Gloucester Township. Philemon Wright, the founder of Hull, Quebec, arrived in the Ottawa Valley with a small group of settlers. However, soon after his arrival he was approached by chiefs inquiring there were so many white settlers on their hunting grounds. Wright explained the situation to Machecawa, one of the chiefs, and the two parties were able to reach an agreement which allowed them to live harmoniously.  One day in 1812, Philemon Wright, alongside Chief Machecawa, set out across the Ottawa Valley to the Rideau River to check on traps Machecawa had set. During their travel, they encountered two settlers from Gloucester Township, Braddish Billings and Mr. Honeywell. While this is how the Algonquin tribe first made contact with the settlement in Gloucester, tensions began to quickly arise as the fur trade dwindled and the advancing timber industry lead to diminished hunting grounds.

Robert Serré is the past President of the Gloucester Historical Society and author of several books, including Pioneer Families of Rockcliffe Annex and Manor Park.

2009 Chalmers Award Winner to Speak About Reciprocal Work Bees

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On May 9 2014, Dr. Catherine Wilson will deliver a talk about reciprocal work bees such as barn raisings and quilting bees at the annual meeting of the Mapleton Historical Society. The meeting will take place at the PMD Arena Complex at 7:30pm. The evening will also include an opportunity to participate in a discussion about working together in the community.

Dr. Catherine Wilson is a teacher, author, wife and mother of two, she has taught Canadian history and rural history at the University of Guelph since 1989. Her first book, A New Lease on Life (1994) about Irish migration to Amherst Island, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction. Her second book, (2009) about tenant farming in a society of freeholding pioneers where ownership was revered, has received the Canadian Historical Association’s CLIO Award for Regional History, the Ontario Historical Society’s J.J. Talman Award and the Champlain Society’s Floyd S. Chalmers Award in Ontario History.

2001 Chalmers Award Winner Remembers the History of Women at Hart House

Hart_HouseNot Behaving like Ladies: An Anecdotal History of Women’s Participation at Hart House is a group of interviews with twenty-four women who influenced, challenged or participated in Hart House over the past several decades. In 1972, Hart House admitted women as full members, and while the border may have been officially breached on that date, the process of infiltration began much earlier and the impact of women at Hart House continues. To this day, Hart House remains a place where transformations can and do happen in response to the changing nature of our culture, society, and country. This project was conceived as a way to commemorate the stories of women’s participation at Hart House in their own words.

Laurel Sefton MacDowell, the 2001 Chalmers Award winner for her book Renegade Lawyer: The Life of J.L. Cohen, recently published her own experience challenging the ban which prevented women from entering Hart House. Her segment includes her recollection of Infiltrating the Arbor and Debate Rooms for the first time, and her realization of society’s gender inequality once she had completed her undergraduate degree.

Read Laurel Sefton MacDowell’s entire interview here.

 

Remembering Our Neighbours

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The Manor Park Chronicle has recently begun publishing a series of articles, authored by local historian Robert Serré, which offers readers a glimpse into who inhabited the land that is now Manor Park. “Getting to Know Our Historical Neighbours” focuses on main players, major issues, and the social, political, and economic forces at play when people from different traditions meet.

In the third segment of this series, Serré reveals that some 213 years ago, Manor Park was the hunting land of the Algonquin. From historical records, Serré has determined that Constant Pinesi, of the Partridge band, was a large influential figure. The hunting territory of Pinesi’s band was centered at the confluence of the Rideau and Ottawa rivers. According to the census taken in the early 1820s, the land that would become Manor Park was made up of 64 Algonquin families (253 individuals) out of a total of 206 families that were divided among Algonquin, Nipissing, Ottawa, and Iroquois tribes.

Champlain Society president, Patrice Dutil, recently stated in his Toronto Star article that “We are in the midst of a great variety of anniversaries and the time should be seized to reconnect with the extraordinary people and events that have shaped the society we live in.“ The Manor Park Chronicle’s series “Getting to Know Our Historical Neighbours”, has emerged as a leading example of this initiative. Giving the public an extraordinary opportunity to discover the figures and events that shaped their community should be a common experience for all Canadians and the initiative shown in Manor Park is just the beginning of a stronger focus on our history.

Editing Institute Is Welcoming Applications for 2014!

Documentary editing is the craft of preparing historical writings or literary works for publication in print or online. The goal with every publication by The Champlain Society is to produce an authoritative edition of the material, with an accurate transcription of the original manuscript and an editorial framework that facilitates understanding of the text and context.

This specific field of editing is challenging due to the required balance between accuracy and accessibility. However, The Association for Documentary Editing (ADE) is accepting applications for the 43rd Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, which is going to be held July 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents is an annual five-day workshop for individuals new to the field of historical documentary editing. Experienced documentary editors provide instruction in the principles and practices of documentary editing and night into the realities of work on a documentary edition.

Since its inception in 1972, the Editing Institute has trained more than 500 individuals.  These include full-time documentary editors but also college and university faculty and graduate students, archivists and librarians, government historians, public historians, and independent scholars.

The Editing Institute charges no tuition, and travel stipends will be provided to participants living outside the Louisville area.  However, admission for the 43rd Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents is competitive. The deadline for applications is March 15th.

For an application or more information, please e-mail! Bob Karachuk, ADE Education Director, ade-educationdir@documentaryediting.org. The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents is administered by the Association for Documentary Editing under a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), an affiliate of the National Archives.