Canadian Nationalism - Hunting Hills High School

Canadian Identity and
 Canadian identity has historically, been very
hard to define.
 If you ask “Us” what makes us Canadian,
most Canadians will say because I am
Canadian… or say, I am not America.
 We are good at telling people what Canadians
“are not”, but we are not good at defining our
 “I am Canadian”
The Railway and Canadian
National Identity
 Many people died to make the CPR.
 Most were immigrants and there were no
labor laws back then, so you can imagine the
working conditions.
How is the CPR a Canadian symbol?
Is it a “Canadian” symbol if it was built on the
backs of immigrants?
“The Canadian Railroad Trilogy” p. 76
Canadian Heritage Moment
Canadian Nationalism
 Much of Canada’s history has been framed by
being one of Britain’s colonies.
 Beyond the CPR, Vimy Ridge, the
Conscription crises and the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms are also pivotal
events in the minds of Canadians as defining
“our” coming of age.
 Vimy Ridge
 Pierre Trudeau- The Greatest Canadian
How has Canadian nationalism
 “Our” nationalism used to be framed by our
the country’s British history.
 However, it is now recognized that there are
many other groups of people that helped
create this country, both before and since
Metis and First Nations
 The White Paper
 This was a proposal by PM Trudeau and his
Minister Jean Chretien to create a “just
society”. It called for the end of treaty rights,
reserves, and resource rights.
 This would make aboriginal peoples have the
same status and rights as other people.
 How do you think the First Nations peoples
reacted to this?
Métis and First Nations
 They were outraged.
 The First Nations peoples wanted to maintain
their equal, but different status, and wanted
to be able to seek self-determination and
 As a result, changes were made and
ultimately resulted in First Nations and Métis
peoples being recognized as a distinct
collective of people in the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms.
Quebecois Nationalism
 After years of wars between the French and
English, the English ultimately won the “rights”
to British North America, or Canada.
 Up to that point, the dominant culture in
Quebec had been French.
 Since then, Quebec has fought to maintain
their Francophone culture in a dominantly
Anglophone nation.
 As a group, Francophones are another
collective in Canadian society that are
recognized as distinct in the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms.
What are competing (contending)
nationalist loyalties?
 How do you decide where your loyalties lie?
 There are often different celebrations for
different cultures. How do those celebrations
work within the ideas of nationalism?
National Aboriginal Day parade
Fete National parade
Chinese New Year parade
Edmonton Caribbean Arts Festival parade
All of these are celebrated in Canada, but are
they Canadian?
Cultural Pluralism
 Cultural pluralism people from many nations living together.
 Respect for cultural differences
 Ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups live together in
 Canada is a multicultural nation and
sometimes this combination of cultures leads
to conflict of loyalty.
American Nationalism
 Unlike Canada, the USA seems to have little
trouble defining its nationalism
 The USA was born out of a revolution against
British control
 Unlike Canada, the United States was born
with a Declaration of Independence and a
 As well, unlike the multicultural nature of
Canada, the United States is understood to
be a Melting Pot
American Nationalism
 Although the United States is a Melting Pot
and expects a certain amount of assimilation
to sustain their nationalism, it does not mean
that there are not conflicting ideas.
 Civil War: 1861-1865
 Slavery divided the North and South and resulted
in years of war and death
 There are still lingering tensions today
 America Dream
 The idea that if you come to America, anyone can
make it
Competing Nationalist
 When immigrants come to this country they
are have a right to maintain their culture and
 Canada makes this work through
 Canadian public institutions adapt to the religious and
cultural practices of minorities.
 Ex. Sikhs wearing turbans in the RCMP
 Ex. Wearing a hijab in sports
 July 1 in Newfoundland- bloodiest day in Newfoundland
history (WWI)
Quebecois loyalties
 There has long been conflict between French
and English in Canada
 In 1995 there was a referendum for Quebec to
decide whether or not they should separate
from the country
 50.52% decided they should stay
 In 2006 that number rose to 58%
 CBC News in Review- The Referendum
 Of course there are two sides to every story
 Sovereigntists support separation because they want
Quebec to be an independent nation (sovereign)
 Federalists want Quebec to remain a part of the
Canadian confederation.
First Nations Contending
 Although the Canadian government currently
has a policy of accommodation, it has not
always been that way
 Previously, the government tried to
ASSIMILATE cultures, especially the First
Nations peoples.
 They used various methods; most notably
residential schools. They also used the
reserve system to SEGREGATE the First
Nations population.
First Nations Contending
 In 1990, there was a land dispute between a group of
Mohawks and a group who wanted to expand a golf
course onto Mohawk land.
This is known as the OKA CRISIS because of its location
near Oka, Quebec.
At first, the Mohawk group set up a road block, but as the
Quebec provincial police were sent in it turned violent.
Eventually more than 2500 Canadian soldiers were
brought in.
The protest started on July 11, and ended on September
CBC news report
First Nations Contending
 After the Oka Crisis, the Canadian government set out to
avoid a similar situation from happening again.
At the heart of this commission was the idea that the
relationship between First Nations peoples and the
people of Canada should be based on mutual
recognition, respect, sharing, and responsibility.
The government formally apologized for the
wrongdoings of the past.
First Nations peoples reacted differently to this
statement- some say it as empty words, others felt it was
a positive step.
First Nations and the Meech Lake Accord
Non-Nationalist Loyalties
 Nationalist loyalties might be when two
nationalities with which you identify come
into conflict
 Non-nationalist loyalties are those feelings
you have about different issues that are not
tied to your nationality .
 Ex. religion, culture, class, ethnic, region
Non-Nationalist Loyalties
 Your non-nationalist loyalties may come into
play when the idea of your nation, goes
against an issue of personal interest.
 Ex. Winnipeg General Strike
 Unions are groups that bargain on the part of workers.
 They have not always been legal or favored in Canada
 In 1919, workers in Winnipeg that wanted to unionize went
on strike
 Unfortunately it did not end peacefully and did not further
the cause of unions
 However, this is an example of non-nationalist loyalties
because even though the strike was illegal, the people
fought for what they believed in.
Religion and Region
 Ireland- Catholics and Protestants
 In Ireland Catholics and Protestants fought for their respective
religious freedom for years.
 It was often bloody and brutal
 This is a non-nationalist loyalty because government policies
conflicted with people’s religious beliefs
 The National Energy Program
 In 1980, PM Pierre Trudeau introduced a program to protect
Canadians from rising world oil priced
 Albertans were concerned that this would harm their economy
and many lost their jobs
 Eventually a truce was made between the Alberta and
Canadian governments to give more power over royalties to
 This is a non-nationalist loyalty because one part of the
country was in conflict with the federal government.
Case Study: Oil Sands
 Many people are needed to process the oil
 This caused a huge influx (growth) in population
to the Fort McMurray area
 This caused a huge increase in housing costs
which left many people unable to afford housing
 How might this be an issue of contending
 Developing the oil sands causes huge
devastation to the environment
 How might THIS be an issue of contending
Dealing with loyalties
 Over the years, various governments have
had different policies to deal with contending
 Accommodation and assimilation have
already been discussed.
 Segregation is one way a government deals
with people they don’t agree with
 African Americans in USA
Other contending loyalties
 War
 Conscientious Objectors in WWI/WWII
 Hutterites, Mennonites and Doukhobors have pacifist beliefs and
although the government of Canada did not force them to fight, they
faced questions from the population as to their loyalty to Canada
 Conscientious objectors in Vietnam
 Draft dodgers moved to Canada to avoid going to war
 Illegal
 Can’t go back to the US
 Post- 9/11 racial profiling
 People with similar names may be arrested or detained
 Wrongfully put in jail

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