Category Archives: Document of Learning

The Good Ol’ Days – Socials Final Address

It’s been a long and intense year, both in social studies and in many other aspects. We’ve covered a lot. Thinking back, it’s hard  to realize that it was over six months ago that I was stressing out over my first eminent person study and interviewing my idol. Now, we’ve finished off with an anything but linear political exploration. Additionally, we looked back on Canada; What can we learn from our country’s past and what made it what it was?

For my socials final address, I chose to create and present a personality who not only existed in our period of study, but also experienced many of the challenges and saw many of the issues of that time. The following is the historical life presentation I created that my personality, and guest speaker, presented to our class on our final day of socials.  It is the historical life of John O’Callaghan, who lives in Winnepeg, and is visiting our class in the late 1800s after his move from the East Coast. He focuses on his experiences and self-realization as a main theme of topic.

“Oh hello everyone! It’s an honour to be here today. You know, I’ve always wanted to speak to a group like you. It’s amazing to see such a diverse classroom, with so many different identities and backgrounds in one group of young individuals. I hope you realize how special that is. Now you’re probably wondering where I’m from, or why I have an Irish accent if I live in Canada. So let me tell you a bit about myself.

I grew up in Ireland just north of Dublin in the late 1830s. I was born in 1834, a year after Britain officially abolished the trade of slaves. Our family had a potato farm, and we were proud to be Irish. I walked home from school every day with the neighbour’s son, he was about 5 years older than me. He used to tell me about how when he was younger he didn’t have to do any work because they had slaves for that. He was always complaining about the next or newest chore he was heading home to. His father had gotten rid of their slaves when the new law was brought in, because he knew no slaves would be allowed very soon. We came from very different households. My father didn’t believe in slaves. He believed in us doing our own work that we deserved to do. We had chosen to own a farm, it was our duty to maintain it, you couldn’t pay anyone else to do it for you.

Eleven years after I was born, the Great Famine hit Ireland. People got sick and starved everywhere. We were fine for the first few years, but in 1850, my father got sick. There wasn’t enough supplies to get him healthy and there was no where we could take him. He passed away only a few months after the illness hit him. Soon after this, my mother, myself, and my two older brothers moved to Canada. It was the colony with new hope, for the crown, for the Irish, and for our family.

The first little while, we lived in Halifax,  Nova Scotia. We were welcome there, it seemed as though we arrived with our foot already two steps along the path to success in our new life. Then confederation came around. It was a big deal. By that time I was a little older and could actually think for myself. And I didn’t think much of those politicians. You know everyone says you have to agree with someone, but that’s not true. What’s really important is that you agree with yourself. I never much agreed with ol’ Johnny boy my neighbour in Ireland. Nor what his father’s views were. I don’t like to think too much about what happened to my father, because I know he wouldn’t want me spending time on him when there are so many more valuable things to be thought about. He got sick that one time because of a famine, but the slaves all around the world are still getting sick so often because of the conditions in which they live.

I thought it would be different in Canada. When they separated from the U.K. I must admit, a slight excitement passed through me. There were so many possibilities for Canada; you could see the potential, but it wasn’t what it should have been, at least not yet it hasn’t been.

I married and started my own family a few years after confederation. In 1872 we were offered land in the prairies and moved out to start a farm, just like the old days. There was an Irish community there that we became a part of, we had all been sent out there to help ‘colonize’ the west. It was exciting, but I don’t think the government realized they were getting a young man who was willing to crash his savings for transportation to the capital to protest social issues. Good ol’ John A. That man was very focused on his economy, didn’t like to think too much of others. I lived out in Winnepeg, so I got to see what the government was doing to Aboriginals. They were native to the land but had been kicked out by foreigners. It seemed weird to me. The government treated them no differently to how slaves were treated. Although actually, they treated the worse. They were given no control over their own lives.
After all these years, I look back on things, and I’ve realized a lot: about myself, about Canada, and about people. It should never be up to others to choose where you go or what you do. You can do whatever you wish if you only take the first step. I hope in the future that all of you can realize that too, and live a happy life being who you want to be. I hope politicians will be a bit better for you to follow by. I hope they care about things that really matter, like fairness for everyone, and aren’t so focused on the economy. My advice to all of you is, don’t think of taking action or standing up for yourself as a mountain to climb, think of it as a staircase, you only needing to take the first step.”

Well that’s that. My final socials post of the 2014-15 school year. I enjoyed looking at things from a new perspective this year, and seeing new parts of Canada’s history I hadn’t seen before. I look forward to what next year has in store, but for now, so long from the past, and have a good summer and future!

What’s Up In Politics? The Sky? – Political Narrative Doc. of Learning

The past few weeks in class we have been discussing some of the, shall we say, broadcast narratives in current Canadian politics. The four main areas we have been trying to fit these down into are economy, government, identity, and geography, which includes all resource, land, and environment issues. I find the different angles presented of these narratives by the four main parties, heading into this 2016 election, all very interesting however one particularly intrigues me because of my interest in the topic.

Geography, specifically the environment, is an issue that I am very passionate about and I have a strong opinion about how certain issues should be treated both in B.C., Canada, and the world surrounding this topic. For these reasons, I am intrigued as to how the different parties narrate the environment discussion and curious as to what they present to the public about their cause towards it.

Straightforward and bluntly, the Conservative website does not show any signs of care or thought towards the environment, in ads and campaigns the issue  is noticeably not present, only occasionally do they bring it up when discussing the economy’s effect and impact from pipelines such as the Kinder Morgan, Keystone, and Northern Gateway. Their three main sections under their ‘Where We Stand‘ heading show no mention of the health of our planet.

The NDP, current opposition party, don’t appear to have geographical focuses as a main point of interest or value either. Though their policy book, when found, is highly detailed and comprehensive, it doesn’t have any direct mention of the environment specifically or current issues surrounding it. However, some small glimpses of care and thought can be found in multiple other policies, but nothing of significant value.

The Liberals are the only of the three main parties to show a greater care for the environment and the ones who seem more attentive to it and its issues in this changing world. A recent series of Tweets and Facebook posts present Justin  Trudeau’s recent visit to the West Coast and the former Kitsilano coast guard station as a large act towards care of the environment. Upon further investigation, the backing of this case is that the removal of the coast guard greatly reduced the rate of reaction to a spill  or disaster in the marine area.

Nonetheless, the act of reacting is still not the act of preventing, or improving, which it appears there is no major action for the Liberals to uphold if they were to gain significant power. ‘Energy and the Environment‘ is the third third of six headings on the Liberal website, but upon viewing this page and identifying their views on issues, it seems they have other underlying values that in certain cases override their worry and true mindset for protecting the environment, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline.

This leaves only one other main party, outside the big three but still highly relevant, that truly presents this as their leading narrative and focus for the future of our country. Not only that, but the only party who truly shows a real worry and alarm for the worthy issues that are present in our society today.

It is not a surprise that what’s up for the Green Party, is the sky: our atmosphere, our earth, our environment. One out of their nine main categories under their ‘Our Vision‘ heading on their website focuses solely on “Solving the Climate Crisis“, but additionally, almost all of their other values incorporate and include their respect and responsibility for the environment and its current and evermore pressing issues.

The Green Party’s focus is obviously bringing a voice to an invaluable circle of life in the very land and ‘environment’ that we live, but this offer is more than just needed in today’s society. If the other parties are not willing to sacrifice, let a lone side with, the values of our Earth itself, then it becomes all the more important for the voice to become louder, in the people, and in the party. For this to occur, people need to take a chance, just like the other parties. Our Earth’s nature and life has taken a chance on human’s since the beginning of our very civilization, can we not respect it in the slightest and put but a small thought into our own future with it.

For these reasons, the Green party has the best values and support focusses for our future in terms of geography narratives, as they have consistently shown actions and greater support in putting a foot forward on the path to a healthier planet.

To close, speaking from a more literal point of view, if we don’t have an Earth to stand on, what good is anything else? If we cannot physically walk, or drive, or take other modes of transportation, to a store because it is flooded with water, what good is our money to buy our groceries? What will our ‘resources’ be when they are filled with toxins? Where will our children live, when there is no land to live on? I think the Green party has their priorities right for our ‘future’, as it is referenced:  life first, liberties later.

You Killed The Aboriginal in the Child, Why Not Raise Them There? – Socials Op-Ed

The definition of apology, found on Dictionary.com, includes the sole synonym “excuse”. If this is the case, then why do we ‘apologize’ for things we have done wrong if we know they were unjust? What did Stephen Harper’s “apology” to Aboriginal victims of residential schools truly mean? “I’m sorry”? Or was it just a political line-riding act of excusing himself and the government from further detriment; is an apology just an excuse? Or has the language we speak evolved enough over time to make it less so?

We are taught in elementary school, the value of an apology means to say that “I’m sorry,” and “this won’t happen again.” By this standard, the government has failed Aboriginals, and more importantly, their youth.  Where is the job description, of the current Prime Minister, in one of the most peaceful countries in the world, stating the duty to carry out elimination of certain cultures, “apologized” for nearly 7 years ago? If you did “kill the Indian in the child”, why don’t you at least try to raise them again there?

In April, 200 million dollars over five years federally, was allotted, in the national budget, to improve the education of Aboriginals, while $210 million is being spent over only four years on the celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary alone. Additionally, the government announced that they would be spending $11.8 billion over 10 years starting in 2017-18 on the improvement of our armed forces. That’s $5.9 over five years; Over 25 times more than the improvement of Aboriginal education. Do they really want to improve our safety from external forces more than protect those who already struggle internally?

Only six days ago, a 19 year-old woman, named Paige, died in the east side of Vancouver due to a drug overdose. She was identified as legally blind and had been exposed to violence throughout her life. She was moved from house to house and never received the care she needed in her childhood. Society moved forward while she tried to hold on for dear-life. She was an aboriginal.

Aboriginal youth are the “least likely to graduate”, reported Universities Canada. This very lack of support within their schooling causes fallout over the course of their lives, giving them less opportunity for employment, careers, and a healthy lifestyle. This unsafe environment as youth and children can lead to drugs, homelessness, joblessness, and alcoholism, amongst other negative paths in their early adulthood. What I don’t understand is how the government would apparently just like to sit back and watch it all go down within their own borders.

Two negatives do not make a positive. A negative and a neutral zero do not make a positive. Only a negative plus more positives can create a positive, a right. The unmeasurable negative of residential schools that physically ended only 19 years ago, has not yet been righted, not enough positive has been added to correct the undeniable fault of the government. If the government would truly like to ‘apologize’ for what they did, they better make sure they’re actually willing to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A grade 10 Chippewas student, said to the Toronto Star at a recent Truth and Reconciliation Conference, that they don’t learn enough about their own culture in society: “We learn about everyone else’s history, but we should learn more about ours.” Is this not seemingly a carry out of the impacts of residential schools only in a smaller, less-noticeable way? The diminishment of Aboriginal culture in the child seemingly still exists today, but we must not travel down the routes of our ancestors if we wish to see any different results. The people’s belief in the wrongness of residential schools is the only true indicator of its very unjust values. The government’s ‘apology’ and removal of the schools shows their admittance and agreement that these settings are unequal, but where has their resolve gone since then?

“Investing in Aboriginal Communities” is included in the federal budget, but closely followed by the Canada 150 celebrations section. The Aboriginal support from the government should not be just a small few pages in the book. We settled here, occasionally moving into their pre-existing settlements, and supposedly we have accepted their peoples into our society. Now if only we could actually accept them and make their culture more than just welcome, but flourishing.

 

The Deep Depths of Tradition: Aboriginals – Europeans in Canada

Where have we come from? Where are we going? Where are we now?

You may remember these questions from the start of our social studies semester in my blog post, and I’m bringing them back up again because they are, literally, what we have done, what we are doing, and what we are going to do, which is what this post is about. However, this post is specifically focused on learning outcome B2 in the socials studies 10 curriculum: “Evaluate the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815-1914”. I see this in itself, completely as a situation of the above mentioned questions.

This specific PLO directs the attention of the learner to the past, the “Where have we come from?”, 1815-1914.

Where have we come from?

Upon discussing the topics of Aboriginals in Canada I have gained many new perspectives and angles to the topic. Through class discussions, small mini-conferences, and, sometimes heated, debates with my parents, I have heard many different opinions and sides to some of the issues in the modern world surrounding Aboriginals, and how they came to be. In the beginning I was a bit confused, sometimes ‘drowned’, you could say, in the complexities of Aboriginals in Canada.

Over the course of our recent studies I have found myself intrigued by many different aspects of the topic; How did we get to where we are? Who has the rights? Or, had? Where does the puzzle begin? The topic has seemed to present itself as an extremely deep and complex situation, dealing with rights at the time of “North American discovery”, Canadian Confederation, and the modern day.

I have always been interested in Aboriginal peoples and their culture. In grade 7 I participated in an after school group where we learnt about various cultures and traditions of the local Aboriginal people. Further, in grade 8, our class had a guest presenter come in to teach us about the history of Aboriginals in addition to some stories of residential schools. I find it hard to believe that the events of residential schools actually occurred, and that they occurred in our country, and very recently.

Some points that have come up in my various discussions that I am interested and have been struggling to mull over in my mind, are ‘Who actually had the rights to the land when the Europeans came to Canada?’ The obvious answer to this question is the Aboriginal people, who were currently inhabiting the region, but as someone pointed out, if the existing Aboriginal tribes and groups simply overtook one another using manpower and physical attack, then what prevented from the Europeans from doing the same? I then wonder whether the Europeans’ introduction of a new system atop the existing, and to their position successful, form of title and claim simply outdid themselves and made it more complicated than it needed to be.

If you shoot an arrow and hit a target at the end of a dock once, you’ve succeeded, but if you shoot another arrow, in the same spot, and it knocks the target off the dock into the water, it could be lost forever. No one may ever know who shot the arrow, or why, or where from, or who was there. It may take years to uncover the truth, to get to the bottom of it. The arrow and target may end up somewhere totally unexpected, in situations completely unforeseen, but most of all, it will create confusion. Now this is just one little arrow and target of course, but what if those targets become a currency for all of Canada, then it would be pretty important.

In this metaphor, picture that the the Europeans are the shooter, the first arrow is their military, the second is their law. The lake is the people, the unforeseen situation is modern Canada, and the target is the Aboriginals. I’m not saying that Aboriginals are a currency for Canada, but as I am learning, they are becoming more and more of a factor on not only our economy, but also our society.

Further, I am interested in how the ‘modern’, or more man-made style of living of the Europeans, has meshed with the more natural way of life of the Aboriginals years ago, and how they are still meshing today. When I think about the Aboriginals and their culture, I think or peace, serenity, very natural. How have these characteristics changed, or are they true in the first place, since the collision of cultures long ago?

I am very interested to pursue further into the section of this learning outcome  stating “critique the rationale for treaties and the Indian Act, and evaluate their impact on Aboriginal peoples.  I have gathered some questions I have that I would further like to pursue and try to understand surrounding these issues:

  • What do the Aboriginals want now?
  • Did the Europeans fulfill their constitutional agreements, then and now?
  • How did the Europeans’ views at the time of Confederation shape their future?
  • How are they carrying out this ‘future’?
  • Are there other countries in a similar situation to Canada, or that went through similar events with Aboriginal groups? What happened there?
  • Did the Europeans have the right to physically take over the land inhabited by the Aboriginals?
  • What was the beginning piece of the dominos, or what first caused the complexities and confusion, or began it? Who knocked them over? When? How?
  • Why are there more and more treaties and agreements being negotiated?
  • What is treaties and agreements are being negotiated today?

Some of these are very broad questions that could not be answered in a simple black or white response. Though, in order to fully understand these issues, one must first build a basis of knowledge of the past. I feel that I should learn more about what happened in the law and constitution at the time of Confederation and the Indian Act, and how those agreements have been carried out. In regard to learning about another culture or society, I feel that this would be highly beneficial in order to have something to base our history on and compare it to. However, many of these questions are deep and intertwining puzzles that could take years to solve. In fact, they have, and are still. So, many of them will be difficult for me to solve individually throughout our study, however I can attempt to further understand the sides and background of the history.

In regard to what other areas this research and learning may entail, I think this topic, and PLO, relates to almost, if not all, other areas of the curriculum. The fact that this is the case, indicates a certain importance of this issue in our society, both then and now. Some specific PLOs  that connect very closely to this issue are A1, C1. and B3, to pinpoint a few.

A1, which involves cirtical thinking, comparing, and questioning, are the exact skills and techniques needed to fulfil this outcome, B2. Comparison could be used when analyzing the similarities of another civilization to Canada and our Aboriginal relations. Further, questioning and critical thinking are often required to progress in understanding and knowledge, even though it may feel liek you are moving backwards when coming up with radical ideas or questioning the norm.

On the other hand, C1, and B3, are possibly more debatable outcomes in connection to Aboriginal relations. However, I believe that C1, describing the evolution of ‘responsible’ government in Canada, is a key outcome to critically analyze when digging into the depths of Canadian traditions in relations with Aboriginals. Though it may require questioning, and thinking outside of the norm, I feel that the analysis of what exactly ‘responsible’ government is, is a valuable place to start when learning about the relations of Aboriginals and Europeans. Additionally, I think that B3, evaluating the influence of immigration on Canadian society, is another useful outcome to explore. However, I think we should look at it from a different angle, the angle of the Europeans being the mass immigration on the existing majority, the Aboriginals. This may also be a useful area to explore in a slightly earlier time period, but also during this time period of the impacts of more and more Europeans existing and their influence on how society functions and how the land function changed.

To continue, many of the outcomes discussing resource development and therefore the economy connect completely to Aboriginal relations as to do with land ownership and title. As I mentioned before, virtually all the PLOs connect to B2 and Aboriginal relations in some way as they were the inhabitants of our land before the Europeans arrived, and the results of this merger are still occurring today.

I hope to develop more knowledge through this study that will help me in the modern world in understanding current issues and how we can move forward as a nation together. Many of these twists and turns in the knots of law and relations are challenging to understand, but I hope they can take me closer to the deep depths of traditions, and the lake, to find the target.

T’was the Many Days of Learning – Socials Midterm

T’was the night before confederation and all through the country, every creature was stirring, even the housewives.

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Wait, washing the floors?  What? No I meant  they were actually pretty agitated.

screenshot debate 1 class confed pic
Make-up picture for my improv speech as Laura Secord in our first confederation role-play. Picture actually of me performing my slam poetry piece at Cafe du Soleil. Link to this performance here.

That’s more like it.

Oh, and then there are the politicians of course.

Politician debate class screenshot
Me as Samuel Leonard Tilley presenting Atlantic Canada’s opening statement in our mock confederation conference role-play.

Amongst, I mean, the beavers, and the bears, and the moose, and all the other truly Canadian animals who were probably going about their usual 19th century business of finding a comfortable place to sleep at night, without being disturbed by any rebellions of course.

beaver nap sleeping moose bear sleep

Leading up to Confederation, there was a lot of action, and I had a lot of action in my learning as well, like the former action, not the latter, animal nap, “don’t bug me”,  type of action.

To start off, I began my pursuit of social studies learning at the start of the year. The earliest specific piece of evidence for an achievement of a Prescribed Learning Outcome was my slam poetry performance in class, however, I am sure that I have been learning and developing social studies skills the entire year and really my entire life. This presentation represents the outcome A3 in the first section of the suggested achievements of the curriculum. This covers my ability to demonstrate effective oral communication skills individually. Below is a picture of me presenting my piece to the class.

class slam poetry grade 9 screenshot fgri fin

Additionally, to further advance my learning in that outcome, I completed my grade 9 eminent address(speech draft here) and, most recently, my final address as Laura Secord in our Confederation roleplay(speech text can be found here). Pictures of both of these can be found below.

eminent address grade 9 screenshot final address laura secord roleplay confed

In terms of communicating from a group standpoint, “collaboratively”, I covered this in the Confederation conference roleplay. It was in this discussion, I had the opportunity to change identity in the hope of having more power and influence than what I did as a woman, in Laura Secord.

No, I’m just kidding! I chose to change characters to represent a second politician and personality from the Atlantic Provinces in our mock Confederation conferences as they were in dire need of additional members and I am very interested in the Maritimes, especially as I have been there before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Nonetheless, it was in this setting that I had the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow east-coasters to prepare and present our position and position paper to the other provinces. A picture can be found above, at the beginning of this post showing my participation in the Confederation conference as I present our opening statement on behalf of Atlantic Canada.

I also demonstrated effective written communication skills(part of A3)  through my in character blog posts. Here is the first and second blog posts I composed in character as Laura Secord. Through the process of writing these, I found myself develop an attachment to my character and empathize with her through my writing. I feel that this contributed to my ability to present her feelings and my skills of effective written communication.

As a second learning outcome that I feel I was strong in completing, I chose A1 for reflection, Going back to my roleplay as Laura Secord and our in-class discussions and debates, this is where I feel I accomplished this outcome. The curriculum describes this outcome as applying critical thinking skills through many different forms including defending a position which is the form that I feel I particularly completed during our first class debate. Unfortunately video footage of my rousing improv speech was lost to the unkindly politicians of the Upper Canadian reformers, however a picture can be found above a the top of this post that took its place(otherwise known in the modern age as “the ipad storage ran out”). In this roleplay debate I defended my position as Laura Secord of remaining  a colony to Britain and expressed my thoughts on how the Americans would be waiting with arms should we detach to become an independent nation. Might I add, that I also completed the sub sections of this PLO “questioning” and “comparing” in this debate, as I made my point of throwing stones at the rising Upper Canadian Government and also comparing the risks of independence to other options.

Furthermore, I worked at a more in-depth position of this “critical thinking” skill when throughout this semester I have pursued the topics further  in various ways. I took notes on some class discussions and mind maps, had discussions, or should I say, at times debates, with my dad about current events, and posted some thoughts about empires and other areas of study on Facebook and Twitter. Here is some evidence of my critical thinking and analysis(part of A1). As my Facebook is private, I’ve screenshot my thinking posts for you to see.

socials thought facebook screenshot 1 socials thought facebook screenshot 2 socials thought facebook screenshot 3 socials thought facebook screenshot 4 socials thought facebook screenshot 5 facebook phil thoughts screenshot 1 facebook phil thoughts screenshot 2 socials post laura womens day international talk facebook post screenshot

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Notes from a class empire discussion.

 

Sorry for the blurriness, you can double click on the screenshots to view a more clear version.

Finally, a third PLO that I feel I accomplished in a highly sufficient manner this semester, was C2. This outcome asks students to analyse political, economic, social, and geographic factors that led to Confederation. I accomplished the various aspects of this outcome through multiple different tasks throughout our classroom journey to to Confederation.

I compared the positions of the various provinces prior to confederation in my review and preparation for our mock Confederation conference, as well as during the conference itself. Below is a picture of my notes for the class debate as well as the different position papers.

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I also thoroughly researched and read about the three main conferences leading to Confederation using the resources provided in class as well as some resources from home and online.

Additionally, I gained significant knowledge on the threat of annexation by the Americans from my position as Laura Secord, and a brief background knowledge on the Fenian raids through my research in consideration of different characters(Thomas D’Arcy McGee).

Areas for Improvement

beaver what moose disturbed bear mad

Okay, they might not want improvement. I think they were happy just sleeping in peace instead of having a new nation, that would run over their homes, formed. Some people were like that too, like Laura Secord, the Loyalists.

Anyways, there are some areas that could use some improvement in my social studies learning, or should I say, could use a little more development of knowledge.

The first area learning outcome that I feel I could further expand in is B3. This outcome is the evaluation of influence on Canada caused by immigration. Though Laura Secod immigrated to Canada herself, and so in a sense I had a first hand experience, I only learned of one form of immigration and its effects, and not in great depth. I would love to learn more about the Canadian immigration and how the immigrants were treated as well as how they affected Canada. Some events I am somewhat uneducated in are the Great Migration, and the Irish potato famine. However, I did obtain some knowledge regarding the underground railroad through my CRAAP testing article about “Black History” in Canada, and my analysis of the timeline in my resource blog post.

Another area of learning that I feel I could improve on is learning outcome B1. Again, although I had some experience with a portion of this topic in my role as Laura Secord, I don’t feel that I have fully reached a level of strong understanding for the multiple aspects. Outcome B1 is the analysis of Canadian society in terms of gender roles, ethnicity, daily life, and the arts. As you may conclude, I gained some background in the gender roles and daily life sections of this PLO, however Laura Secord only gave me one outlook on these happenings and I was not entirely exposed to some of the daily activities for women and men respectively. I also have a large amount of room to grow in my knowledge of the 19th century Canada areas of the arts, and ethnicity. Upon thinking about these topics, I am unsure as to how the arts world was impacted by, or effected, the Confederation of Canada. I am also a little hazy as to what were some of the minority groups within Canada and how they were affected by the changes.

As a final area for improvement, out of many of course as you can always get better at anything, I hope to grow on my ability to fulfill learning outcome C4, “describe the evolution of responsible government in Canada…”. Although I have certainly been exposed to the governmental structure at the federal level during this time period(1815-1914), I am interested in learning more about the provincial and municipal governments and their rights and responsibilities in the governmental hierarchy.One could assume that it is the same as today, but I would be interested in learning about individual influence and more in-depth on how one might get involved in politics during the given time period, as people then were very passionate about their opinions.

Overall, I have very much enjoyed my look at Confederation from different character perspectives and I feel I’ve gained many new viewpoints, opinions, and much new knowledge of the various events involved. I guess that’s it for confederation for now…

But I heard John A. exclaim as he rode into parliament, happy Confederation to all, and to all a Good Future!

The Story of The Slaves

After much deliberation, I rested my efforts on this article, or should I say timeline, shared by Nicole about the Canadian history and involvement with black slaves in North America. I have a lot of interest in Black rights around the world and so this resource caught my eye.

Whilst reading this extensive timeline, I developed a much greater understanding of some of the key events that occurred both within Canada and events that effected Canada surrounding black slavery during the 1815-1914 time period. I also gained knowledge of some new parts and elements of Canada’s black slave story that I found very interesting.

One element that really stood out to me, was the efforts of the Toronto Globe newspaper and its involvement with the slavery issue within its pages. Some of these notes directly “attacked” the American senator, as stated in the timeline:

” In the Toronto Globe, editor George Brown, one of Canada’s leading abolitionists, regularly commented on the disadvantaged condition of Blacks in North America. From its inception in 1844, the Globe gave anti-slavery forces a public forum, attacking United States senator Henry Clay, the Fugitive Slave Act, separate schools, and other issues.  “

It was interesting to find out, while reading this timeline, that Canada did in fact allow slaves legally until the year 1834, at which point a law was activated to abolish slaves within Canada once and for all. However, it was reassuring to me that Canada only held about 50 active slaves by that time. This means that Canada took early and proactive efforts to end black slavery without governmental forces. It is also so amazing to me that Canada was, and even still is, very far ahead of the United States in this area of rights.

Much of the timeline discussed how Canada was involved in freeing slaves of The United States, and how Canadians were taking part in actions towards freedom for black slaves in The United States, such as the Underground Railroad. Many mentions in the timeline were of refugee black slaves from America who immediately took hold of their own justice and fighting for those whom they had left behind once they arrived in Canada. Some of these included Henry Bibb, Josiah Henson, Mary Ann Shadd, J.T. Fisher, and more.

However, even though Canada is ahead of The States in certain aspects, as discussed in recent social studies classes, there are many other problems facing Canada the and now that are reasonably similar to those past of America. One of these may be the issue of rights and respect towards the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Another aspect of the article I found quite intriguing was British Columbia’s involvement in the black slave immigrations to Canada. This timeline gives the date of April 26th, 1858, as the first time wherein black slaves arrived in refuge in British Columbia.

” On the invitation of James Douglas, the governor of British Columbia, the first ship carrying Black Californians landed in Victoria on 26 April 1858. By summer’s end, more than 800 Black settlers had arrived. “

This is interesting as at this point in history, British Columbia was not officially part of Canada, further, Canada as a country had not yet been formed. Because of this I found it intriguing that B.C. was still involved as a refuge for American Black Slaves.

The largest and most impactful event mentioned in this timeline is the creation of the Fugitive Slave Act that occurred within the United States in 1850, Ultimately, this act allowed American slave-owners to chase, catch, and chastise any runaway slaves. Furthermore, I found it inspiring almost how this additionally impacted Canadian peoples on such a high level not necessarily physically, but emotionally. The timeline writes:

” The passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in the United States led to the formation of a larger and more durable antislavery society in Canada. “

This support and movement was largely due to the new influx of black former slaves now living in Canada. This shows the cultural impact on Canada during this time and how the American slave industry, per say, contributed to Canada’s identity as a country.

This is how this timeline relates to some of the Prescribed Learning Outcomes for Social Studies Grade Ten. This resource abundantly focuses on the outcomes discussed in section B. Some of the main outcomes this timeline addresses include:

Identity, Society, And Culture: Canada From 1815 to 1914

  • B1: Analyse Canadian society from 1815 to 1914 in terms of gender roles, ethnicity, daily life, and the arts
  • B3: Evaluate the influence of immigration on Canadian society from 1815 to 1914
  • B4: Describe the factors that contributed to a changing national identity from 1815 to 1914

I hope to expand on my knowledge of this area and issue in the coming Social Studies explorations. Check out this useful timeline yourself here and comment what you think!

Circle Synthesis

Synthesis:
noun, plural syntheses
[sin-thuh-seez]
1.

the combining of the constituent elements of separate material or abstract entities into a single or unified entity (opposed to analysis, )the separating of any material or abstract entity into its constituent elements.
2.

a complex whole formed by combining.
(Credit Dictionary.com)
Synthesis: the complex combination of elements or pieces to create a single, unified whole.
There is an infinite number of ways to answer the questions “Where have we been?” and “Where are we going?”, but the first thing that pops into my mind when thinking about humanity in this context, is that life always moves in circles. Cycles even. Animals, nature, prey to predator relationships, populations, design, food, fashion, music, the list goes on. These pieces change through circles, develop through circles, return and come back through circles. It is the cycle of life.
So when I was thinking about these questions, “Circle Synthesis” seemed a fitting way to describe them. Circles being the cycles of life and developments over time and history as we know it, and synthesis being the combination of all these endless experiences and changes that have come to make the world as we know it today.
When you look at wars and conflict, it begins with peace, there is nothing wrong, then a problem arises, people slowly become unhappy, then it elevates, and elevates, and elevates… until revolt, revolution, protests, war, this is the explosion.
But after the explosion is done, there is nothing left, for the time being, the problem likely got fixed or at least temporarily solved, and now people are happy, at least for a while. Kind of like right after you throw up(sorry for any un-pleasing images), you feel good, even great sometimes, until it comes back to you. After that joy of having survived the explosion people start to stand up again, regain their strength, and as they stand, they step on the sharp shards of debris from the chaos. And the cycle begins again.
It is constantly happening, everywhere, all the time, in everyone, in everything. The cycle.
Some thoughts that I presented to my friends on Facebook this past week regarding this topic:
“All things in life are circles, but what happens if it is a square?”
“Then what happens when we get to a corner; are we at one?”
“Or are we always at a corner, a continual corner, and therefore, it is a circle?”
This previous thought, the continual corner is likely referring to continual change, constant movement of the world.
These were just a few thoughts from earlier this week where I discussed with myself the process of life. So I guess as a new question, “If life is made of circles, then what is the next rotation?”
Brining this back a little bit, I think that we’ve obviously taken the course of humanity and evolution and developed into the people we are today. But obviously we aren’t done. Naturally we want more, to reach further, to discover even greater destinations, to advance. We are curious beings. So, from a social side, if the past has included wars and disease, then won’t the future too? Recently many people have been in neglect of immunizations, which were created due to the outbreak of disease and discovered through science. This is a prime example of a circle in society today. As the disease was common, people took the immunizations as soon as they were available. Then as more and more people took them, the disease became less prevalent, and thus people believe they no longer need to take them. So naturally, the disease will now come back, to some degree, before people will again realize that they need the immunizations to protect themselves and hence will again return to getting immunized.
From an environmental and science standpoint, as we naturally develop, so is our environment, but everything changes together, we are all on this planet together, so as our development rapidly speeds up, so does the Earth’s. Is it too much for the Earth to handle? Was this supposed to happen? Or will we stop and reset the circle by renewing our ways of life to more basic, like we used to? But in the modern world as climate change is becoming more prominent and apparent, is it maybe a stronger question to focus on the even bigger circle? If the world as WE know it started with a big bang, then will the world as WE know it end that way? Will the world around us move on, the Earth maybe even without us, and a new species will arise just like us, completing resetting the planet?
Maybe this is happening on other planets in the solar system, they are just at a different point in the cycle then we are, and therefore we will never cross paths with other live beings in the universe, and they will never cross paths with us?
These are all possibilities, and we may not find the answers to them, but I can assure you, as we have come from a past of discovery, we will again strive for this in the future. And our destiny is where we are headed.