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The New History Wars?: Avoiding the Fights of the Past

Sean Kheraj

The new history wars are not battles over the meaning of Canadian history. They are battles over public financing of historical research and historical preservation. Historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, librarians, and archivists all have a stake in these important conflicts and debates. Recent federal efforts to commemorate the War of 1812 and to create a Canadian Museum of History by rebranding the Canadian Museum of Civilization have triggered new arguments among historians that echo the history war debates of the 1990s, but these arguments distract from the broader (and more important) challenge of the steady reduction of federal public financing for historical research and preservation.