Tours of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Residential Schools Site

The third peice I wrote last year for Canada’s History is now up on their re-designed website.  My piece on “Tours of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Residential Schools Site” talks briefly about the history of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Indian Residential Schools, the range of historic site tours provided by the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, and the emotional impact which can be associated with these tours.

As the busy tour season approaches at Shingwauk I’ve been thinking a lot about the delivery of this programming and that role it plays in educating people about residential schools, colonialism, and Indigenous communities.

Who Was Brian Vallée?

Last year I wrote a few posts for Canada’s History education section on their website. However because of website revamps some of that content was delayed in getting posted.  My second piece “Who was Brian Vallée?” is now available on their site.

This piece talks about Brian Vallée as an award winning author, journalist, film producer and Vallée’s work to raise awareness about domestic violence.  It also discusses different forms outreach to building awareness about the Brian Vallée’s life and his fonds held at Algoma University.  Brian Vallée’s lack of digital presence was one of the reason I initially became involved in editing Wikipedia – so it was nice to revisit and think about different forms of community and digital outreach.

Remember the Children and Canada’s History

I recently wrote a piece for the Canada’s History website about the Remember the Children: Photograph Identification Project that was started by the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.  This is a project that is near and dear to my heart.  It is one of the initiatives that made me realize the importance of community involvement in residential school archives, the power of images, and the many harsh realities of the intergenerational trauma.

Through this project the SRSC and CSAA have worked to connect communities and survivors with residential schools photographs and to identify people in residential school photographs.  Having the opportunity to work with survivors and communities on this project has been a humbling and eye opening experience that I am very fortunate to have worked on.

Natural Heritage: Kootenay National Park

 This is the third post in a series focusing on Canada’s natural heritage, and more specifically the preservation of this natural heritage through the Canadian Parks System.   The first two posts can be seen here and here.

The Kootenay National Park, located in southwestern British Columbia, encompasses a portion of the rich natural heritage region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Kootenay contains a variety of landscapes  and well known landmarks- thrust-faulted mountains, landscapes sculptured by glaciers and water, hot springs, Marble Canyon, Sinclair Canyon and the Paint Pots.

Kootenay is also home to a range of plants and animals.  The preservation of diverse nature of Kootenay’s landscape is in part responsible for the success of so many different ecosystems within the park – plants from the alpine, subalpine and montane ecological zones can all be found within Kooteny.

In addition to the great natural landscape Kootenay is home to the only landmark in the parks system named after James Bernard Harkin.  Harkin was a Canadian civil servant who is seen as the main advocate for the establishment of the Canadian Parks system.  Mount Harkin in Kootenay National Park is named after Harkin and his contribution to Parks throughout Canada.  A great article focusing on Harking by E.J. Hart appeared in the June-July 2011 issue of Canada’s History.