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Canadian Historical Review Vol. 95 Iss. 3

Canadian Historical Review

Volume 95, Number 3 /2014 This Issue Contains...
"Something occult in the science of flag-flying": School Flags and Educational Authority in Early Twentieth-Century Canada

Forrest D. Pass

In 1907 and 1908, the governments of four provinces - Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and British Columbia - introduced policies to encourage the display of flags on public school buildings and grounds. In British Columbia, the question of flag-flying provoked a heated debate, pitting the provincial minister of education, a proponent of the Union Jack, against city school boards that favoured the Canadian Red Ensign. On one level, school flag policies were part of a well-documented patriotic curriculum and suggested the influence of American patriotic practices. The debate in British Columbia underlined the division in Canadian imperialist sentiment between those who favoured a centralized imperial federation and those who saw Canada as an autonomous state within the British Empire. On the other hand, based on a comparative reading of the four provincial policies and the public responses to them, this article contends that the flag-flying controversy, particularly in British Columbia, reflected a process of jurisdictional negotiation as much as a contestation of identity. Drawing upon Alfred Gell's anthropological theory of art, the article suggests that flags draw their power not only from their status as figurative emblems but also from their employment as physical expressions of political agency. D.O.I 10.3138/chr.2156      

Commons, Enclosure, and Resistance in Kahnawá:ke Mohawk Territory, 1850-1900

Daniel Rueck

Historical communities that have held lands in common have, without exception, had strict regulations for using those lands. This was true also in Kahnawá:ke, a Mohawk community near Montreal, where community leaders articulated and enforced customary land laws until the last decades of the nineteenth century. Although a few Mohawks contested these laws in the nineteenth century, the Canadian government undermined, dismantled, and replaced customary land law in the 1870s and 1880s. This article reveals the way the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs exacerbated resource and land shortages in its attempts to undermine Kahnawá:ke leaders, gain control of the land, and ultimately to disperse the community. It describes a chaotic transition from regulated common property to a form of private property under the Indian Act and argues that this transformation was part of a global enclosure movement that continues to this day. Nevertheless, the Canadian government was unable to bring its project to completion, in large part the result of effective resistance offered by Kahnawá:ke Mohawks. The article draws attention to the extraordinary nature of this successful Indigenous resistance to the Canadian state in the late nineteenth century.  D.O.I 10.3138/chr.2556

Canada's First World War, 1914-2014 This fall marks 100 years since the First Canadian Contingent sailed for Europe. In anticipation of the anniversary of the First World War, the Canadian Historical Review prepared two special features to highlight past and current thinking about the war and its place in the journal and in Canadian history generally. The first, published in March, is a bibliography of the more than three-dozen articles directly related to the war that have appeared in the chr since it began publication in 1920, less than two years after the armistice. Each article in the bibliography will remain Open Access. You will find the bibliography complete with hyperlinks on our website at To continue this impressive tradition of scholarship and prompt new and equally diverse work on the war and related themes in its pages, the chr is pleased to publish the second special feature in this issue. Three scholars actively engaged in the study of the war were asked to contribute interpretative and broad, but unavoidably selective, reflections on how historians have written about Canada and the war. We invited a fourth to comment on these historiographic pieces and a fifth to help frame our readers' reflections on the commemorative and other public initiatives that have already begun and will intensify in the coming months. We are delighted that our authors accepted the challenge and trust our readers will find their work as useful and stimulating as we and our peer-reviewers have. This special feature also marks the inauguration of a new section of the chr, Historical Perspectives. This occasional section will showcase discussion among multiple scholars of important topics and historiographies.  D.O.I 10.3138/chr.95304

Between Commemoration and History: The Historiography of the Canadian Corps and Military Overseas

Mark Osborne Humphries

Without Abstract.D.O.I 10.3138/chr.95.3.384

Expanding the Narrative: A First World War with Women, Children, and Grief
Amy Shaw  

Without Abstract. D.O.I 10.3138/chr.95.3.398

Historiographie francophone de la Première Guerre mondiale: écrire la Grande Guerre de 1914-1918 en français au Canada et au Québec Mourad DjebablaWithout Abstract. D.O.I 10.3138/chr.95.3.407

Battles of the Imagined Past: Canada's Great War and Memory Tim CookWithout Abstract. D.O.I 10.3138/chr.95.3.417

1914 in 2014: What We Commemorate When We Commemorate the First World War Christopher Moore
Without Abstract.D.O.I 10.3138/chr.95.3.427

Memory of a Bygone Era: Oral History in Quebec, 1979-1986 Jean-Philippe Warren, Steven High

This research note analyzes a Quebec-based oral history contest, "Memory of a Bygone Era," which collected nearly a thousand recordings in the 1980s. By returning to this impressive initiative, the co-authors aim to shed light not only on the particular understanding of the emergence of oral history in Quebec, but also on the social context that gave meaning and relevance to what was being "heard." After describing the creation and operation of the contest, the different factors that led its organizers to support an endeavour that, in its size and ambition, has never been reproduced in Quebec, are analyzed. Vulgar Marxism, counter-cultural trends, Christian ideology, and nationalism all combined to justify and support the collection of an astonishing number of oral biographies that told the story of Quebec's past from the perspective of ordinary citizens. The attempt to give the voiceless a voice was not, therefore, without ideological implications and may help to explain both the initial success of the contest and the reasons that practically no one remembers this extraordinary initiative today. D.O.I 10.3138/chr.2389

Reviews  Recent Publications Relating to Canada
Brian Gettler