You’ve heard this over and over again, and perhaps you’ve even said it- that Canadian history is boring. I disagree, but I can see why it’s said.
One of the things that Canadians have done throughout our history is to define ourselves by what we are not. We didn’t want to be revolutionary like the French or our neighbours to the south. So we chose as our slogan “law, order and good government.” Not as thrilling and catchy as “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Our neighbours have a tendency to glorify their history and their nation in a bold, celebratory and all-pervasive way. So we have shrugged our shoulders and quietly taken our minimal mandatory history courses which have been served up almost as the ketchup on the side of the main courses of the subjects our system deemed truly important.
Maybe we think Canadian history is boring because we don’t know enough of it. Maybe our imaginations have not been captured in the boring memorization of facts and dates. But our history is far from boring.
Canada’s history involves mysterious migrations, global exploration, ice ages, cultural diversity, civil wars, generosity, trickery, kindnesses, bravery, slavery, diplomacy, technological advances, trade and entrepreneurship, Have you heard the true story of the woman who was abandoned on an island with her maid and her love? Two years later she was the sole survivor and was rescued by Basque fishermen. Have you heard the story of the wise First Nations leader who brought feuding nations together to form a powerful confederacy? Have you heard of the woman who sneaked past enemy lines, sailed to France, and came back with reinforcements to save her husband and her home?
Take some time to look into the History of Canada, beyond the dates and timelines and into the details. I assure you, even if we’re quiet about it, our history is far from boring!