Where His­tory Was Made

Cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of Na­tional His­toric Sites

Canada's History - - CONTENTS - By Kate Jaimet

The pro­tec­tion of a French fort in Nova Sco­tia one hun­dred years ago launched Canada’s Na­tional His­toric Sites sys­tem.

Awoman stands on a Win­nipeg stage and, us­ing hu­mour as a weapon, strikes a blow against the pa­tri­archy that is pre­vent­ing her from vot­ing. In Que­bec, two armies meet on the Plains of Abra­ham to de­cide the fate of a con­ti­nent. And near a river cross­ing in south­ern Al­berta, lead­ers of the Sik­sika, Kainai, Pi­ikani, Stoney Nakoda, and Tsuut’ina sign a treaty with the Crown that prom­ises peace and pros­per­ity — but the treaty will be re­neged upon time and time again.

These seem­ingly dis­parate events all share a com­mon­al­ity: they are all key mile­stones in the his­tory of Canada, and all for­mally rec­og­nized by Na­tional His­toric Site des­ig­na­tion.

A cen­tury ago, in Jan­uary 1917, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment cre­ated the first Na­tional His­toric Site — a fort in the Annapolis Val­ley of Nova Sco­tia — in an ef­fort to pro­tect the site phys­i­cally, as well as to pre­serve it in the his­tor­i­cal mem­ory of the coun­try.

Since then, 981 sites have re­ceived Na­tional His­toric Site des­ig­na­tions and more than one thou­sand peo­ple and events have been for­mally rec­og­nized for their his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance. In the fol­low­ing pages, you will find sto­ries of tri­umph and loss, of progress and great achieve­ment — but also mo­ments of fail­ure, and op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn from our past mis­takes.

It’s been said that Canada has too much ge­og­ra­phy and not enough his­tory. In truth, Canada is a land where ge­og­ra­phy shapes — and is shaped by — its his­tory. Our his­toric places, peo­ple, and events are the fab­ric that make up the ta­pes­try of our coun­try.

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