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The Immigration Project — February 27, 2015

The Immigration Project

Canada’s population, with the exception of the First Nations Peoples whose land we live and work on, is a mosaic of immigrants from around the globe. Our society is diverse and multicultural, and though I’m sure we’re all highly appreciative of it already, research into the long history of immigration really emphasizes how lucky we are to live in such a society.

At my school, there is a work-intensive, time-consuming, life-absorbing project assigned in grade 10 Social Studies, and every second and bit of effort put in is well worth the earnings. It’s called the Immigration Project, and it’s one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had in high school.

The project is primarily research, and then interpreting that research to find a logical path for an immigrant coming to Canada some time between 1800 and 1900. One of the requirements was that at least 50% of our research sources had to be primary, which seemed like a scary thought until we actually started looking in the right places. (The library of the local university became my class’s second home — there was at least one of us there at any given point in time after school.)

The amount my class learned during the 14 weeks of the project was incredible. We learned how to MLA cite off the top of our heads, how research without Wikipedia, how to feed microfilm into the machines quietly as possible so the sleep-deprived university student sitting in the silence of the microfiche section of the library would stop glaring, and how to meet deadlines. We learned about bias, validity, reliability, and perhaps most importantly, we learned an appreciation for history as told by the people that lived it.

I think the Immigration Project would be an asset to any history education — it was incredibly valuable to me, and I hope it sticks around!

Author: Emily T.

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A Historic Photographic Journey Through Vancouver — February 25, 2015

A Historic Photographic Journey Through Vancouver

Having lived in Vancouver my entire life, I am constantly stunned by the masses of glass architecture that line the streets of downtown. Almost every skyscraper glimmers in the sun, reflecting images of the harbor. However, among the glass giants are a few low-lying buildings that remind Vancouver about its small but tremendous history.

Unlike many cities younger than Vancouver, with great historic sites such as heritage homes and vintage structures, it has little to show after the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886. Beginning as a bush fire, it grew and spread to many parts of the city. Although devastating at the time, this allowed many modern necessities such as electricity, streetcars and water systems to be implemented around the city.

Fascinated by the momentous stone buildings and structures that scream history, I attempted to artistically capture them present day as they would have stood in the past.

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Author: Teagan

Happy Heritage Week! — February 16, 2015

Happy Heritage Week!

Heritage Week is celebrated in communities throughout the province every year.This year the theme of BC’s Heritage Week is Main Street: At The Heart of the Community. BC Heritage Week traditionally starts on National Heritage Day, the third Monday in February, which is promoted by Heritage Canada– The National Trust.

Both Heritage Canada and Heritage BC have created lists of ideas for activities to help YOU celebrate Heritage Week. On the website, Heritage BC has described 90 ideas ranging from activities for your school, classroom, local heritage site, to even your attic or kitchen! Heritage Canada’s top suggestion for celebrating is to merely take a moment in your day to stop, look around yourself and appreciate the heritage of your community!

Check out some of the other activity suggestions here: Heritage BC & Heritage Canada

How will YOU be celebrating this year’s Heritage Week?!

The Story of our Flag — February 13, 2015

The Story of our Flag

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February 15th, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Flag.  This year, National Flag of Canada Day, also known to many simply as Flag Day, falls on a Sunday.  This holiday commemorates the inauguration of what has become one of the most symbolic representations of the entire Canadian nation.  As we all know, the Canadian flag features a red maple leaf on a white square, bordered by a red strip along either end.

Today, the Canadian flag can be found flying high in the air throughout the year on several different occasions, such as at sporting events like the Olympics, public performances, parades, and plenty of other ceremonies that play a significant role in the lives of Canadians.  In fact, our National flag has become so popular amongst the twenty-first century and modern civilizations, that it has become a familiar sight to both those of us living within the country and to others living in different parts of the world.  But, it has not always been this way.  Looking more into the history of how the Canadian National Flag came to be, it is true that before 1965, Canada did not have a specific flag that was used to represent the country as a whole.  Instead, between 1868 and 1965, the Royal Union Flag, the United Kingdom Flag, was used, along with several other variations that did not quite capture the essence of Canada.  Then, in 1965, George Stanley designed the current flag.

The flag was proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II, and then inaugurated on February 15th, 1965, 50 years ago. Reflecting on our National Flag, as a Canadian, I began discussing with others the symbolism behind the chosen flag, and how it is interpreted by those of us living under it’s banner.  For many of us, the Maple Leaf Flag represents all citizens of Canada without distinction between race, language, belief or opinion, and means that there will always be freedom, diversity and comfort for everyone.  The maple leaf itself, and the colours of the flag, portray the beauty and independence of the maple trees that can be found from coast to coast, as well as the bravery, strength, honesty, tolerance and unity that differentiate Canada from other global places.  Another common response I received, that I agreed with, was the fact that for all of us living here, the flag symbolizes our home, where the pure beauty of nature can co-exist with urban evolution in one country peacefully.  It is the land of the free. In the end, it was really this flag that promoted and encouraged us Canadians to express our national pride, which lead to the shaping of Canada into what it is today.

Author: Gita

Nominate a History Teacher — February 10, 2015

Nominate a History Teacher

The enthusiasm for history that Heritage Fair Students possess and their passion for inquiry is often supported by their classroom leaders. And Canada’s History is looking to celebrate the contributions of these leaders to heritage education. Do you know a classroom teacher who deserves special recognition for making Canadian history engaging for students? If so, nominate them for the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching!

More information and the nomination form can be found at Canada’s History’s website here: http://canadashistory.ca/Awards/Teaching/Nomination-Form

Who inspired you to study history?

Changing History — February 6, 2015

Changing History

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” –Robert Kennedy

We are born with the longing to change the world. Although some have a better chance of it than others, because of the family they were born into, everyone still has a chance.

What is classified as history? Yesterday was history. Eating dinner last night was history. Everything we do will affect history. Even reading this post will be history. Think about it. Just because our actions are not recorded by human hands, they’re still in the book of history. All those born into the world are a part of history. Look at history like it’s a book. If you flip through the first few chapters, you’ll see the Big Bang or Adam and Eve, then the ancient Egyptians, all the way until the added pages of the book: You.

This quote applies to everyone, young and old. Now here’s something to think about for the rest of the day: Rethink your “change the world” yearn. Are you still going to want to change the world, or will changing a handful of people’s lives be enough? There are very, very, very few people who really do change the world.

Will you choose to inspire and change the lives of a few people instead?

Author: Tristen

Announcement: 2015 BC Provincial Heritage Fair — February 2, 2015

Announcement: 2015 BC Provincial Heritage Fair

The official dates for the 2015 BC Provincial Heritage Fair have been announced!

This year the Provincial Fair will run from Thursday July 2nd to Monday July 6th. And it will all be taking place in the Provincial Capital Region: Victoria! The Fair itself will be held at the Royal BC Museum and students will be staying at the University of Victoria Residences. It promises to be a great Fair!