Looking at 150 years of Canada

It’s July, and Canada is officially 150 years old. This month’s seasonal display is all about Canada – showcasing both books that celebrate Canada as a country as well as books that look critically at Canada.

Canadian history is a required subject of study in Ontario schools. But Canadian history is not limited to grade school textbooks! Settling and Unsettling Memories: Essays in Canadian Public History explores ideas of collective memory and discusses the ways in which Canadians interact with our history. Placing Memory and Remembering Place in Canada also looks at collective memory, exploring the ways in which geography and identity intersect. Critical Inquiries: A Reader in Studies of Canada, meanwhile, addresses colonialism in Canada – focusing on Canada’s colonial present, rather than framing colonialism as a past state.

For those of you following the #Resistance150 hashtag, the OISE Library collection contains many books about Indigenous issues and Indigenous resistance. Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada and From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Road Map for All Canadians both address Canada’s colonial history and make recommendations about how Canadians must move forward in their relationship with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Both books further argue that moving forward will require a fundamental paradigm shift on the part of Canadian institutions. For a survey of Ontario treaties in particular, check out Nation to Nation: A Resource on Treaties in Ontario. In Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, Chelsea Vowel discusses a wide array of concepts associated with the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada, including a section that breaks down a number of pervasive myths.  Strength and Struggle: Perspectives from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples in Canada, meanwhile, contains a wide array of short stories, essays, artwork, and other creative pieces that provide insight into what it means to be Indigenous in Canada. Younger readers might be interested in Red Power, a graphic novel with a story of Indigenous resistance. For a look at resistance in a more general context, check out Youth Resistance Research and Theories of Change.

Studying civics and citizenship encourages students to make a difference in their communities. Civics is part of the grade 10 curriculum here in Ontario, which means we’ve got copies of approved textbooks available for use. One such textbook in the OISE Library collection is Civic in Action: In Your Communities, Across Canada, and Globally. For elementary school classes, Citizens and Government in Canada is an excellent resource about civics.

We’ve also got a selection of books for kids on display! ABC of Canada, Canada All Year and Goodnight, Canada are charming picture books that will capture the interest of our youngest readers. From our junior fiction collection, check out Red River Rising and Red Wolf – and for readers interested in stories about real people, Piece by Piece: Stories About Fitting Into Canada is an anthology of fourteen stories from writers who have immigrated to Canada. We’ve got a couple of books about Canada Day on display as well! You may also find Canada: The People to be a useful introductory resource.

These books can be found in the glass display case on the ground floor of the OISE Library. All of these books are available to be checked out – please speak to staff at the circulation and reference desks if you need any assistance.

About Cassidy Foxcroft

TALint (Toronto Academic Libraries Intern) at the OISE Library | Master of Information (LIS & ARM), 2018 | University of Toronto
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