Spring Break Musings

Hello Canadian History Peops!

I hope you have all enjoyed your Spring Break and are ready for the third and final term. This term we will be looking at the development of Canada from 1870 on – a tough task in 3 months!

Here are a few articles that struck me about Canadian History over the pats few weeks. Have a look, and please comment on what these mean in terms of why we study history.

Here’s the catch: You must comment based on what the last commentator posted.

Please compete by Wednesday, April 4th at 11:59 PM CST.

Winnipeg Free Press  – Upper Fort Garry

Globe & Mail – Quebec Sovereignty

Globe & Mail – Irish Francophones

Winnipeg Free Press – Residential Schools

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15 thoughts on “Spring Break Musings

  1. The "Friends of Upper Fort Garry" want to build a surface parking lot which would eventually contribute to the project they have been working on, which is to build a 19 million dollar heritage park that would include a interpretive center. The Mayor has agreed with the heritage park but disagrees with building the surface parking lot. And i would agree with the Mayor because the city has already spent millions of dollars on taking down and changing surface parking lots into something more valuable. It wouldn't make sense to build a parking lot only to have it changed a few years later. As important as a heritage park is, i believe there are other methods that would not include having to build a surface parking lot. Heritage parks are an important factor in remembering and learning about the history of our province. However, needing to waste money on a parking lot that will be dismantled a few years later is unnecessary and shouldn't be done.

  2. I agree with Victor that having this Heritage Centre is important for the city. It will allow many people to recognize this historical sight that is currently very unnoticeable and develop an appreciation for our province's roots. So many projects are being done in this city, for example the Human Rights Museum, that need funds, but are important to have. It would be better if some money to build the Heritage Centre could be provided by the federal, provincial and municipal governments with a cooperation of public and private funds instead of a parking lot. Although, the Heritage Centre is needed for this city and if there are absolutely no other means in which funds can be provided, then I believe a parking lot could be used as a matter of revenue; however, there must be an agreement for the length of time the parking lot is to be located there. The final utilization of this centre should be for educational purposes because it is a national historic sight of the origins of the provisional government and needs to be recognized. On another note, the Irish Francophones in Quebec is completely normal, just like many of the mixed cultures we see today. It is the fact that many Irish immigrants left their homes because of starvation and poverty and ended up in Quebec that we now see people of French and Irish backgrounds. Interestingly enough, the Montreal flag has a shamrock on it to represent the Irish (along with a thistle to represent the Scottish, a rose to represent the English and a fleur-de-lis to represent the French). Because the Irish immigrants and French Canadians share similar religions, being Catholic Irish and Catholic French Canadian, they formed a relationship which brought them closer together than with the Protestants in Canada. With this, Quebec's nationalism has some Irish roots because of the religious bond formed between Irish and French Canadian marriages. Alia

  3. First of all, I agree with Victor about the parking lot being a waste of money. I think that since building a temporary parking lot was never the purpose for using the land meant for the Upper Fort Garry Heritage park, it should not be done. The heritage park is a great idea which can hopefully bring Manitobans back in time and connect them with the story of their home. This park would help to educate Canadians and/or refresh our memories In our history, the history of Canada, we continuously see different cultures coming together or being pulled apart. The reasons behind these events always seem to vary. The creation of this park in the future has the potential of bringing many people together to remember a variety of historical events. Another example of different cultures being brought together is in Irish Francophones. It surprised me a little to find out that a large number of francophones in Quebec have Irish roots. On the other hand it makes tonnes of sense. As a result of famine and poverty, a large number of Irish people immigrated to Quebec, arriving in Quebec City. Many remained in Quebec, however, many moved into Montreal as well. Being Catholic, the Irish got along better with the French in Quebec than the English (Protestants), therefore they wished to stay in the two major cities (Quebec City and Montreal). The Irish had a relatively easier time being accepted into the cultural setting in Quebec due to the common religion they have with the French-Canadians. Marriage between people of both backgrounds became more common, and Irish people picked up the French language. Now, it is evident that the population of francophones is Quebec with Irish roots has grown greatly. Montreal hosts an extravagant St. Patrick’s Day parade annually due to the abundance of the Irish culture which thrives in the city. Quebec City once again has begun hosting a parade in order to acknowledge the culture and history. On another note, we tend to see the Francophones in Quebec wishing for greater independence as a result of hope for respect, understanding, and acceptance of their culture. A wish to preserve the culture is understandable and has been a battle fought throughout Canada’s history. Although a majority in Quebec, they are a minority in the country as a whole. However much they may be a minority in Canada overall, Quebec has a huge part in Canadian history. Maintaining a relationship with the province as a part of the country would be much better than if they were to separate and become strangers in a sense. As Alia said, the bond formed between the Irish and French in Quebec due to a common religion is permanent, just like the purpose of marriage. Our country’s history and Quebec’s involvement in the creation of Canada has created a bond between the province and Canada. Quebec and the nation must reach an agreement for the province to remain a part of Canada. A range of people with a variety of cultural backgrounds (many European) live in Quebec. This province is a major part of what has made Canada the country it is today. Remembering our history and relating back to the past is essential to obtain a well-rounded understanding of every person and their culture in Canada.

  4. Victor has said that he thinks the surface lot on the Upper Fort Gary heritage site would be a waste of money. I am of to minds on this issue. If the lot were built it would take up much of the land set aside to be a heritage site, but on the flip side of that the simple convenience of a parking lot could cause a great increase in potential traffic through the site. While both sides of the argument have their pros and cons, I believe that as the land was set aside to be a place of our history, we should use that land to its fullest potential.I agree with Alia on the topic of Irish Franco-phones. Canadian society is very diverse with mixed cultures and beliefs. The fact that the Irish and French shared a religion only served to create a bond between them. As a result Quebec has deep roots with the Irish community in Canada, and the Irish share in some of Quebec's nationalism.I also agree with Ann that for the Franco-phones to want to preserve their culture is perfect understandable and reasonable. For Quebec to leave Canada would take away a huge part of Canada' history. Quebec and the rest of Canada should work around their issues as opposed to just splitting apart and losing each others cultures and histories.

  5. While what Ben said about the possible increase in Upper Fort Garry traffic with the addition of a surface parking lot is true, I don't think it's right to use a space that has been previously designated as a historical landmark for that purpose. In the article, it says that Sam Katz has been working to decrease the number of surface parking lots around the city. Therefore, this would be a step in the wrong direction. As well, the decision to allow the Friends of Upper Fort Garry to build their heritage centre was a reluctant one. The government gave up the prospect of a high rise apartment building in favour of their plan, and now they're not even doing that. Where's the logic?On the subject of the Irish francophones,I was not at all surprised by the information provided in the article. Canada is a country notorious for the mosaic of different cultures that inhabit it. In my opinion, it's one of the things that really makes Canada a place of significance. However, we as people also tend to seek out those who share our culture or religion. The shared Catholicism between the French and Irish bonds them together. I know from experience that being part of the same religious community as someone can make you feel truly and fully connected as few things can.

  6. I agree with what Emily said as saying that building a parking lot is a step in the wrong direction as downtown Winnipeg is dotted with unattractive parking lots. If the city wishes to do something with Upper Fort Garry, they should build high rise apartments, condos and skyscrapers. Urban decay is a common occurence in many North American cities and with these new developments, downtown Winnipeg might be able to revitalize and become more vibrant rather than turning into a slum hole like the North End or The Bronx. I agree with Alia, Ben and Ann that the Irish and French do share some connections due to similar culture and religion. They should be proud of their heritage and history. Quebec is an important part of Canada and it is better for them to stay with Canada rather than become an independent country. It is wonderful that Canada hosts people from all over the world and its even better to see different people get along.

  7. I agree with Emily and Ryan in the fact that the city already has an enormous amount of parking lots. In order to generate revenue, i think instead of building a temporary parking lot that is not needed and will not add to the space, they should ask for donations find other ways to generate revenue. I disagree with the government how they want to get rid of parking downtown, I'm all for getting rid of surface parking lots but if they are going to be doing that they have to build a major parking structure that will hold cars for downtown workers, shoppers and jets fans. In terms of them wanting to "add" to the already present fort gary wall, i think that is taking away from history – they shouldn't modify what the wall is like today because you lose some of its history and don't see it like it was seen like in that era. The park is a brilliant idea and if they execute it well, it could be one of the better things to happen to this city.As for residential schools, we have all learned about them and all know how terrible they were. The fact that they are now being brought up as an act of genocide doesn't change anything about them for me. People have their own opinion of that and yes i do believe that in a way it was genocide, but we all know that it was horrible and i don't think that there is any way that the government can solve the problem. The only way for this problem to be "solved" per say is for the first nations generations to get older and not be so closely connected to the issue. Just like the article said its going to take time, and lots of it.

  8. I agree with Emily and Ryan in the fact that the city already has an enormous amount of parking lots. In order to generate revenue, i think instead of building a temporary parking lot that is not needed and will not add to the space, they should ask for donations find other ways to generate revenue. I disagree with the government how they want to get rid of parking downtown, I'm all for getting rid of surface parking lots but if they are going to be doing that they have to build a major parking structure that will hold cars for downtown workers, shoppers and jets fans. In terms of them wanting to "add" to the already present fort gary wall, i think that is taking away from history – they shouldn't modify what the wall is like today because you lose some of its history and don't see it like it was seen like in that era. The park is a brilliant idea and if they execute it well, it could be one of the better things to happen to this city.As for residential schools, we have all learned about them and all know how terrible they were. The fact that they are now being brought up as an act of genocide doesn't change anything about them for me. People have their own opinion of that and yes i do believe that in a way it was genocide, but we all know that it was horrible and i don't think that there is any way that the government can solve the problem. The only way for this problem to be "solved" per say is for the first nations generations to get older and not be so closely connected to the issue. Just like the article said its going to take time, and lots of it.

  9. I agree with Morgan; the new label, genocide”, does not change my perspective on the issue. In fact, it“s not surprising to hear Sinclair call the residential schools by this name. This article just reinforces the opinion that the residential schools were shameful and inhumane. Canadian government cannot erase the psychological and emotional pains of the residential survivors. Those experiences will always stay with the victims. For those reasons, the ongoing reconciliation process will never be completed, especially since many of the victims have passed away without any compensation. Of course, the commission and the government should still work on finding ways to reconcile with the families and communities of these victims. However, the most effective way to move forward is to understand this dark part of Canadian history and consciously make an effort to prevent this from reoccurring. Like Emily, I was not surprised to hear that the French had deep Irish roots in Quebec. After all, people of different ethnicities have immigrated to Canada and intermarried. As history has proven, individuals either ally with a group or oppose a group, based on their interests. In this case, the Irish and French had shared a religion: Catholicism. This allowed them to bond and unite against the Protestants. This article helps us analyze the relationships between different groups of people and discover the reasons for conflicts or alliances in our history. On the subject of a temporary parking lot, the city should never backtrack or step in the wrong direction. If the goal is decrease the number of surface parking lots, the city should not be building anymore. Besides, if the Friends of Upper Fort Garry is attempting to generate a few million dollars for the interpretive centre, the city might have to keep this parking lot for decades, depending on the demand. Clearly, the city would be going out of its way to increase the number of parking lots and, therefore, prevent any progress from being made. That is the last thing our city needs.

  10. I agree with Antonia and Morgan about labelling residential school as a form or act of genocide. Just like the article said, ""It took 130 years to create this problem. It's probably going to take us 130 years to undo it." I agree with Antonia when she said it will continue forever because this is such a big chunk of our history. The process of "healing" for the survivors will be never end as the stories of residential schools are passed down through generations and will effect the aboriginal people for a long time. In my own case, my grandpa and my great grandparents were taken from their families as young children and put in residential schools. My grandpa doesn't like to talk about his time at residential schools but, has told me some of his stories. Its important for Canadians to understand what Aboriginal people were put through because it is a huge factor as to why Aboriginal cultures and traditions are not practiced. I agree with Morgan that the city has a lot of parking lots. The government should not get rid of parking lots as it would create even more traffic downtown then there already is. If the government is talking of destroying parking lots, much like morgan said, they will need to create a large parkade to make up for the loss of multiple parking lots. I don't agree with creating a temporary parking lot at the site of the fort garry wall. That remaining wall is a huge part of our canadian history. Adding to it could potentially result in the loss of the wall and history. I don't think we need a "historical" park as it will take a way from the real history. -Brooke

  11. I agree with both Ryan and Emily. I was not surprised to hear about the different ethnicities in Quebec. Irish included. Irish and French can be seen to share some connections due to their fairly similar culture and religion. A parking lot is so unnecessary. Winnipeg isn't the most attractive city as it is. A parking lot would not help our cause. By building one, it would be considered to be "back tracking" as Antonia said.

  12. I agree with Ben on the importance of Irish francophones, which helps create a diversity in Canada which is entirely void in some parts of the world. The blending of Irish and French culture should provide a lesson to the rest of Canada on how to properly integrate Quebec with the rest of the provinces.Coming from an American compound in Saudi Arabia, I can sympathize a little bit on how Quebecois feel; living with a minority culture around another culture which isn't the best on working on a way to make everyone happy. On the other side, I don't think Quebec should seperate, they share too much history with Canada, and secession would only weaken both parties. Cultural integration with preservation should be a top priority

  13. I agree with Brooke, the experience in residential schools is painful and I also agree with her that the residential schools were used to systematically destroy the Indian culture. The Canadian Government used these schools to change their thoughts – to make these students trust them.It was a mental massacre. Although it was not a physical genocide, it was a mental one because what was massacred was the Indian culture and the real history. A culture that has been practiced by Indians for thousands of years. The real history was “hidden” by the government. When the students went to the residential schools, they only teach them about good things the government did, they will also cover all the malefaction during educating the students of the residential schools.Besides the hurt that these students get, it is more lamentable that their culture and history are forced to be assimilated.- Dan

  14. Concerning about the parking lot, I agree with all of them in the above.I will think that it is a huge waste to build this king of surface parking lot, it will never happen in Shanghai where the land is very expensive. Why no build a underground parking lot ?

  15. I agree with Liam. I think Canada's diversity defines our country and shows the world how most Canadians are, tolerant and respectful of other cultures. Although there have injustices against First Nations by the government and there still are racist people in Canada I think that for the most part Canadians today are quite tolerant. The blending of Irish and French culture in Quebec shows how Canadians are. They focus on their similarities (shared religion, both foreigners, etc.) not their differences. -Sacha GubermanI can also sympathize with the Quebecois, being a minority. I don’t understand why Quebec would want to leave Canada though, despite being a minority I have found no prejudice against me. Canada is a land of many cultures, not just one. Splitting up because of difference in culture doesn’t make sense for Canada, it would leave 2 weakened countries instead of 1 strong multi-cultural country. Canada is a land of immigrants and cultures.

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