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Finding Kluskap Cover

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Finding Kluskap

A Journey into Mi'kmaw Myth

By Jennifer Reid

The Mi’kmaq of eastern Canada were among the first indigenous North Americans to encounter colonial Europeans. As early as the mid-sixteenth century, they were trading with French fishers, and by the mid-seventeenth century, large numbers of Mi’kmaq had converted to Catholicism. Mi’kmaw Catholicism is perhaps best exemplified by the community’s regard for the figure of Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. Every year for a week, coinciding with the saint’s feast day of July 26, Mi’kmaw peoples from communities throughout Quebec and eastern Canada gather on the small island, Potlotek, off the coast of Nova Scotia. It is, however, far from a conventional Catholic celebration. In fact, it expresses a complex relationship between the Mi’kmaq, a cultural hero named Kluskap, a series of eighteenth-century treaties, and Saint Anne. Finding Kluskap brings together years of historical research and learning among Mi’kmaw peoples on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The author’s long-term relationship with Mi’kmaw friends and colleagues provides a unique vantage point for scholarship, one shaped by not only personal relationships, but by the cultural, intellectual, and historical situations that inform postcolonial peoples. The picture that emerges when Kluskap, Saint Anne, and the mission are considered in concert with one another is one of the sacred life as a site of adjudication for both the meaning and efficacy of religion, and the impact of modern history on contemporary indigenous religion.

First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life Cover

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First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life

The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia

Simone Poliandri

Issues of identity figure prominently in Native North American communities, mediating their histories, traditions, culture, and status. This is certainly true of the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia, whose lives on reserves create highly complex economic, social, political, and spiritual realities. This ethnography investigates identity construction and negotiations among the Mi’kmaq, as well as the role of identity dynamics in Mi’kmaw social relationships on and off the reserve. Featuring direct testimonies from over sixty individuals, this work offers a vivid firsthand perspective on contemporary Mi’kmaw reserve life.

Simone Poliandri begins First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life with a search for the criteria used by the Mi’kmaq to construct their identities, which are traced within the context of their different perceptions of community, tradition, spirituality, relationship with the Catholic Church, and the recent reevaluation of the iconic figure of late activist Annie Mae Aquash. Building on the notions of self-identification and ascribed identity as the primary components of identity, Poliandri argues that placing others at specific locations within the social landscape of their communities allows the Mi’kmaq to define and reinforce their own spaces by way of association, contrast, or both. This identification of others highlights Mi’kmaw people’s agency in shaping and monitoring the representations of their identities. With its theoretical insights, this richly textured ethnography will enhance understanding of identity dynamics among Indigenous communities even as it illuminates the unique nature of the Mi’kmaw people.

Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life Cover

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Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life

A Novel by Susanna Moodie

Susanna Moodie

Flora Lyndsay is Susanna Moodie’s prequel to Roughing it in the Bush and Life in the Clearings. It completes her trilogy on her emigration from Suffolk to Upper Canada that began in 1832. Though Moodie chose to fictionalize herself in the context of this novel, this work remains a close personalized record of her family’s experiences in planning their emigration and crossing the Atlantic.
Although surprisingly little critical attention has been paid to it, this novel offers its readers the opportunity to appreciate Moodie’s style, her sense of form and her distinctive approach to writing female autobiography. This edition, complete with a wide corpus of endnotes, an extensive list of emendations and a critical introduction, should help address this absence and give readers a closer look at the iconic phenomenon that is Susanna Moodie.

The Forgotten Peace Cover

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The Forgotten Peace

Mediation at Niagara Falls

Michael Small

In the early hours of April 22, 1914, American President Woodrow Wilson sent Marines to seize the port of Veracruz in an attempt to alter the course of the Mexican Revolution. As a result, the United States seemed on the brink of war with Mexico. An international uproar ensued. The governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile offered to mediate a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Surprisingly, both the United States and Mexico accepted their offer and all parties agreed to meet at an international peace conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. For Canadians, the conference provided an unexpected spectacle on their doorstep, combining high diplomacy and low intrigue around the gardens and cataracts of Canada's most famous natural attraction. For the diplomats involved, it proved to be an ephemeral high point in the nascent pan-American movement. After it ended, the conference dropped out of historical memory. This is the first full account of the Niagara Falls Peace Conference to be published in North America since 1914. The author carefully reconstructs what happened at Niagara Falls, examining its historical significance for Canada's relationship with the Americas. From this almost forgotten event he draws important lessons on the conduct of international mediation and the perils of middle-power diplomacy.

Freedom to Play Cover

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Freedom to Play

We Made Our Own Fun

“When we were children we made our own fun” is a frequent comment from those who were children in pre-television times. But what games, activities and amusements did children enjoy prior to the mid-1950s?

Recollections of older Canadians, selections from writings by Canadian authors and letters written to the children’s pages of agricultural publications indicate that for most children play was then, as now, an essential part of childhood. Through play, youngsters developed the physical, mental and emotional skills that helped them cope with life and taught them to get along with other children.

In both rural and urban settings, children were generally free to explore their environment. They were sent outdoors to play by both parents and teachers. Their games were generally self-organized and physically active, with domestic animals acting as important companions and playmates. Children frequently made their own toys and equipment, and, since playing rather than winning was important, most children were included in games. Special days, holidays and organizations for children and youth provided welcome breaks from daily routines. Their lives were busy, but there was always time for play, always time for fun.

Norah Lewis has provided an entertaining view of the toys, games and activities in Canada and pre-confederate Newfoundland from approximately 1900 through 1955. Her book will be of interest to historians, educators and sociologists, as well as anyone who lived through, or wants to know more about,those early years in Canada, and the games children used to play.

The French Canadians of Michigan Cover

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The French Canadians of Michigan

Their Contribution to the Development of the Saginaw Valley and the Keweenaw Peninsula, 1840-1914

Jean Lamarre

Most information regarding the French Canadians in Michigan concerns those who settled during the French period. However, another significant migration occurred during the industrial period of the nineteenth century, when many French Canadians settled in the Saginaw Valley and on the Keweenaw Peninsula—two regions characteristic of Michigan’s economic development in the nineteenth century. The lumber industry of the Saginaw Valley and the copper mines of the Keweenaw Peninsula provided very different challenges to French Canadian settlers as they tried to find ways to adapt to changing environments and industrial realities. The French Canadians of Michigan looks at the factors behind the French Canadian immigration by providing a statistical profile of the migratory movement as well as analysis of the strategies used by French Canadians to cope with and adapt to new environments. Using federal manuscript censuses, parochial archives, and government reports, Jean Lamarre closely examines who the immigrants were, the causes of their migration, their social and geographical itinerary, and the reasons they chose Michigan as their destination. Besides comparing the different settlements in the Saginaw Valley and the Keweenaw Peninsula, Lamarre also compares the Michigan French Canadians to the French Canadians who settled in New England during the same period. This book is a major contribution to the study of the French Canadian migration to the Midwest and will be valuable to researchers of both Michigan and French Canadian history.

From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City Cover

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From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City

A Historical Geography of Greater Sudbury

From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City is a historical geography of the City of Greater Sudbury. The story that began billions of years ago encompasses dramatic physical and human events. Among them are volcanic eruptions, two meteorite impacts, the ebb and flow of continental glaciers, Aboriginal occupancy, exploration and mapping by Europeans, exploitation by fur traders and Canadian lumbermen and American entrepreneurs, the rise of global mining giants, unionism, pollution and re-greening, and the creation of a unique constellation city of 160,000.

The title posits the book’s two main themes, one physical in nature and the other human: the great meteorite impact of some 1.85 billion years ago and the development of Sudbury from its inception in 1883. Unlike other large centres in Canada that exhibit a metropolitan form of development with a core and surrounding suburbs, Sudbury developed in a pattern resembling a cluster of stars of differing sizes.

Many of Sudbury’s most characteristic attributes are undergoing transformation. Its rocky terrain and the negative impact from mining companies are giving way to attractive neighbourhoods and the planting of millions of trees. Greater Sudbury’s blue-collar image as a union powerhouse in a one-industry town is also changing; recent advances in the fields of health, education, retailing, and the local and international mining supply and services sector have greatly diversified its employment base. This book shows how Sudbury evolved from a village to become the regional centre for northeastern Ontario and a global model for economic diversification and environmental rehabilitation.

Gifts from the Thunder Beings Cover

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Gifts from the Thunder Beings

Indigenous Archery and European Firearms in the Northern Plains and Central Subarctic, 1670-1870

Roland Bohr

Gifts from the Thunder Beings examines North American Aboriginal peoples’ use of Indigenous and European distance weapons in big-game hunting and combat. Beyond the capabilities of European weapons, Aboriginal peoples’ ways of adapting and using this technology in combination with Indigenous weaponry contributed greatly to the impact these weapons had on Aboriginal cultures. This gradual transition took place from the beginning of the fur trade in the Hudson’s Bay Company trading territory to the treaty and reserve period that began in Canada in the 1870s.

Technological change and the effects of European contact were not uniform throughout North America, as Roland Bohr illustrates by comparing the northern Great Plains and the Central Subarctic—two adjacent but environmentally different regions of North America—and their respective Indigenous cultures. Beginning with a brief survey of the subarctic and Northern Plains environments and the most common subsistence strategies in these regions around the time of contact, Bohr provides the context for a detailed examination of social, spiritual, and cultural aspects of bows, arrows, quivers, and firearms. His detailed analysis of the shifting usage of bows and arrows and firearms in the northern Great Plains and the Central Subarctic makes Gifts from the Thunder Beings an important addition to the canon of North American ethnology.

 

Hélier, fils des bois Cover

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Hélier, fils des bois

Jamais réédité depuis sa parution dans les années 1930, ce grand roman de Marie Le Franc – par ailleurs récipiendaire du prix Femina en 1927 – apparaît au lecteur d’aujourd’hui comme la première incursion littéraire féminine dans la forêt nordique. Cette oeuvre déploie un fascinant imaginaire de la forêt, ici celui du lac Tremblant dans les Laurentides, qui se nourrit des paysages découverts lors des nombreux séjours de la romancière et des sensations vécues au contact d’une nature qui, sans être totalement hostile à l’être humain, n’en demeure pas moins extrêmement difficile à habiter. La radicale altérité de la forêt, qui se joue de rapports intimes et intérieurs, renforce l’intérêt contemporain pour cette oeuvre.

“I Want to Join Your Club” Cover

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“I Want to Join Your Club”

Letters from Rural Children, 1900-1920

“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”

In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.

We read of shared common experiences of isolation, hard work, few amenities, limited educational opportunities, restricted social life and heavy responsibilities, but also of satisfaction over skills mastered and work performed. Though often hard, children’s lives reflected a hopeful and expanding future, and their letters recount their skills and determination as well as family lore and community histories.

Children both make and participate in history, but until recently their role has been largely ignored. In “I Want to Join Your Club,” Lewis provides direct evidence that children’s lives, like adults’, have both continuity and change and form part of the warp and woof of the social fabric.

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