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ERIC Number: EJ1016189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1191-162X
The Canadian Heritage Committee Kerfuffle: A History Educator's Take
Gibson, Lindsay
Canadian Social Studies, v46 n1 p44-51 Spr 2013
The latest round in Canada's History Wars was set off by reports on May 2, 2013, that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage was going to "undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of significant aspects in Canadian history." As details of the Heritage Committee's review emerged, controversy erupted as politicians, historians, political scientists, and members of the chattering classes rushed to either defend or oppose the committee's proposed mandate through public statements, articles, news reports, and editorials. The controversy centred on three main issues: (1) why the committee is reviewing federal, provincial, and municipal programs designed to preserve Canadian history and heritage when they have already made key decisions in this area; (2) whether the heritage committee's review of Canadian history was infringing on provincial rights; and (3) whether the Conservative government was trying to rebrand history to suit their vision of Canada. While all of these controversial issues focus on important discussions that Canadians need to have, the overblown partisan rhetoric that fuelled the debates served as a red herring that distracted the public from having a thoughtful discussion about what Canadian history educators have been focusing on for years--why Canadians should learn history, and the methods and practices that best enhance Canadians' understanding of their past. In other words, the importance of "how" Canadians best learn, access, preserve, and engage with their history was pushed to the sidelines. This article describes the heart of the controversy in the public debate surrounding the Committee's review of Canadian history focusing on preservation of Canadian heritage and history, provincial rights, whose history is right, and the missing part of the debate.
University of Alberta. 347 Education South, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A