The Packet

Canada's History - - CONTENTS -

Right­ing wrongs. Jar­ring log­jam. Ex­plo­sive in­for­ma­tion.

Thank you to Lynn Gehl for shar­ing her per­sonal fam­ily story of “the geno­cide of colo­nial Canada” in her piece “Fight­ing for Recog­ni­tion” (De­cem­ber 2017-Jan­uary 2018). It is painful to read.

That the govern­ment of Canada took such closed- minded, big­oted mea­sures against peo­ple who had served in their own Cana­dian army as “du­ti­ful and dec­o­rated sol­diers” is unimag­in­ably cruel. Can a dec­o­rated sol­dier re­ally be “with­out le­git­i­mate iden­tity or cul­ture”?

As a Cana­dian, I am em­bar­rassed and ashamed. My govern­ment has much to do to ad­dress and to make amends for such atroc­i­ties as th­ese. Ardythe McMaster Rossendale, Man­i­toba

Jar­ring log­jam

Your lum­ber­jack story (“Tim­ber!” Oc­to­ber- Novem­ber 2017) struck a chord with this reader.

My fa­ther, Dun­can A. Ma­cLean (1894–1971), headed west from Cape Bre­ton at the age of 15 in the hope of earn­ing enough to fund his am­bi­tion of be­com­ing a min­is­ter.

He was tall (6’ 2”) and strong, so he was un­daunted by the prospect of the dan­ger­ous work of the lum­ber­jack.

He had many sto­ries to tell us, but the one that res­onated was his near brush with death.

On this oc­ca­sion, he was “rid­ing the logs,” jump­ing from one to an­other and break­ing up the jams that oc­curred with some reg­u­lar­ity. This time he fell and found him­self join­ing the logs rush­ing down the river. He knew he was in dan­ger of drown­ing or be­ing crushed by the tim­ber that was hurtling around him. Death seemed im­mi­nent.

He some­how man­aged to raise his head and saw, ahead of him, an out­crop­ping of land with a tree lean­ing over the wa­ter. With a mighty heave, he was able to grab a branch and pull him­self out of the river. Even­tu­ally, he re­cov­ered enough to climb the tree and make his way to safety. This dra­matic story brought me up short. The thought that my four sis­ters and I might never have ex­isted was mind-blow­ing. I looked around at my pre­cious fam­ily and won­dered if life was re­ally that chancy. Kath­eryn Broughton Thorn­hill, On­tario

Ex­plo­sive in­for­ma­tion

I very much en­joyed the Fe­bru­aryMarch 2018 is­sue of Canada’s His­tory.

I par­tic­u­larly ap­pre­ci­ated the “Ra­dio Queens” ar­ti­cle be­cause it pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about Kate Aitken and her cook­book. I have copied the in­for­ma­tion and in­serted it in the copy of the cook­book that my mother had bought many years ago and which is now in my col­lec­tion of yes­ter­year items. I ap­pre­ci­ate the in­for­ma­tion. Reg Smith Ot­tawa Dur­ing the fur trade era, out­posts reg­u­larly re­ceived “pack­ets” of cor­re­spon­dence. Email your com­ments to ed­i­tors@CanadasHis­tory.ca or write to Canada’s His­tory, Bryce Hall Main Floor, 515 Portage Av­enue, Win­nipeg, MB R3B 2E9 Canada.

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