Did you know that as late as 1999 there were some Canadian provinces that did not require Canadian history to be taught in school? Two were in the Maritimes and two were on the prairies, one of which was not Manitoba. That’s right, in the late 20th century it seems Canadian history was an elective high school subject in Saskatchewan. It’s no wonder my generation grew up knowing more about Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone than about Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser, never mind Riel or Dumont, Poundmaker or Tecumseh. Thanks to technology I can read up on people who shaped this country other than politicians like Sir John A MacDonald and William Lyon Mackenzie King. We baby boomers were not aware of what had happened, and was still happening, to our indigenous population, the infamous residential schools being the number one example. Today in this province I see the grade 12 curriculum includes what they call Canadian Studies as well as Native Studies, and that’s good. With all that is happening in terms of gender equality along with Truth and Reconciliation it appears we are finally making some progress and traveling down the right road to make this a better society. And knowing and understanding our history is important because if you don’t know where you’ve been, it’s hard to know where you’re going.
That’s Coffetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.