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Létourneau, Jocelyn. "Remembering Our Past: An Examination of the Historical Memory of Young Québécois." In To the Past: History Education, Public Memory, and Citizenship in Canada, edited by Ruth W. Sandwell, 70-87. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.


Based on his research with young adults in Quebec, Jocelyn Létourneau shows that a common set of cultural references, “mythistories,” structure young people’s historical consciousness. Although he affirms that these mythistories are passed on and solidified by teachers, partially through their limited and outdated training and the ease with which mythistories become the best general representation for understanding the nation, students come into history class with mythistories already formed. To get away from constantly solidifying mythistories in education and public memory, Létourneau suggests that acknowledging students’ frameworks of historical understanding and replacing them with a new cultural metaphor, canadianité, are the first steps for deconstructing collective memory and providing space to nurture new memories.

Samantha Cutrara