How would you tell the story of Canada? Would you use a timeline? How else?


  1. Dave says:

    History is not made by the so-called rich and famous, it is made by the little people. There needs to be a focus on those who built this country and not on those who benefitted materially and politically from the hard work and energy of the ‘little guy and girl’. Generals don’t win wars, soldiers do, but who gets the credit? Feature the achievement of Canadians not politicians and men of power.

  2. Milt Wright says:

    When the National Museum of Canada was established in 1927 it had a truly national mandate – we are now expected to peer down a colonial microscope that only captures 10% of what is the history of this country – but I guess myopic politicans are about the 10% correct most of the time.

  3. PKM says:

    Begin at the beginning, aboriginal arrival onward and not just European settlement, please!

  4. Cathie says:

    Political history should be included ‘in context” with world events and influences. Studying early ACTS, in world context, go far to explain our current laws. Example: The Proclamation of 1763 & The Quebec Act of 1764. Without considering Britain’s victory over France, The Proclamation would make no sense. Without considering the coming American Revolution …It would be difficult to explain why The Quebec Act reversed most of the French legal and religious limitations imposed the year before.

  5. JDB says:

    I would start the timeline with our earliest information about people living in Canada, Not the earliest Europeans. Parallel timelines describing different perspectives of historical events would be helpful.

  6. John Klein says:

    Shocking lack of detail for a Canadian museum to pitch to the public. There is nothing before Eurpoean contact, and nothing about Upper and Lower Canada in the 1830s? Crowdsourcing isn’t wrong, but this isn’t done well for our national museum.

  7. Ana says:

    I would like to see a greater consideration of precontact/colonial history preferably executed through a partnership/leadership arrangement with Indigenous nations told through a decolonial lens.

  8. Patricia McCormack says:

    Unfortunately, these events encompass standard Canadian events – there is little new here. The emphasis is on eastern Canada, and Aboriginal topics are virtually absent after the first numbered treaty and the so-called NW Rebellion. There is much more to the Canadian story. Try thinking about how it looks to an Aboriginal person living in the north, for example, or a German immigrant in western Canada, or a Japanese laborer in Vancouver.

  9. Bryce Ring says:

    A collective history of Canadian universities, medicine developments in Canada, labour unions, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Pearson’s Noble Peace Prize and creation of United Nations Emergency Force predecessor to the Peace Keepers, King-Bing Affair, Chretien’s decision to stay out of Iraq, anything about Inuit history, fur trade and the Hudson Bay company, St. Lawrence Seaway project. To name a few.

  10. Bryce Ring says:

    There needs to be more on the early settlers and Iroquois six nations and their relations. 1867 Confederation, seems pretty obvious but it’s not on the list. Winnipeg General Strike, Queen Victoria’s choice of Ottawa over Kingston, and other cities for that matter for Canada’s capital, Collective history on provincial capitals i.e. the Edmonton and Calgary debates, Louis Riel and his Red River Rebellion, the construction of The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, McGill Fence, and Pine Tree Line.

  11. TomTrottier says:

    Founding of the political parties; Winnipeg general strike; Regina manifesto; Oka crisis. Fessenden inventing voice/music radio; Rise and Fall of Northern Telecom.

  12. Melanie says:

    I could not be more proud of our country’s rich heritage. Or of the wealth of knowledge that our past has to offer us.Canada’s history shares with us stories that we can cherish for many years to come. But to say that our past only begins in 1608 is ignoring thousands and thousands of years of that history. It is permitting thousands of stories to go untold.

  13. Neal Ferris says:

    There are many ways to tell the written, oral and material histories of this place. An interactive timeline is one of them… but the one presented now reads like a partial grade 3 history text book that treats the past prior the 20th century as vague and uninteresting, and the time immemorial of the pre 17th century as erased. This from the institution that has and does employ leading scholars of this rich past. Please don’t retreat to a British colonial sensibility of the past

  14. Jason Miszaniec says:

    The Dorset of the arctic? They inhabited the arctic from roughly 4,000 b.p to 1,500 a.d. Some of the first norther pioneers, having the cut off at European contact is both ethnocentric and limits the knowedlge that will be transmitted. It would be a pitty for the youths of canada to know nothing before 1608.

  15. Tim Rast says:

    Canada is a great country with a rich history. As many others have pointed out, there are thousands of years of stories to be told before 1608. Generations lived, laughed and loved in this land before the first Europeans set foot here. If our National Museum doesn’t tell these stories then who will? Where will we go to learn about Canada’s First Peoples if our Canadian Museum of History starts its story in 1608?

  16. Terry J. Deveau says:

    We need a national museum that celebrates all that we know and can learn about the people who made this land their home in the past. The most recent 400 years of that story should never be to the exclusion of the 15,000 years or so that preceded it.

  17. Amanda says:

    The timeline is a great idea– but starting the timeline at 1608 ignores the substantial contributions made to our history by Aboriginal populations many, many thousands of years earlier than 1608. Also, this date ignores the important Basque site at Red Bay, Labrador (mid 1500′s), the Cartier-Roberval site, Quebec (1541) and the Viking site at L’anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland (ca. 1000). Please make Canadian history an inclusive history that references the contribution of so many before 1608!!

  18. Maria says:

    I like the timeline idea, it’s readable & easily understood. However, starting at 1608? Really? What about Aboriginal populations, Viking presence, etc that were in Canada LONG before early 17th century?

  19. Amelia says:

    I would use a timeline, but I would start it long before the 1600s and include the first peopling of Canada and our rich Aboriginal history.

  20. Kathryn Taylor MA Anthropology says:

    The time line has a major gap which must be addressed. It begins with founding of Quebec City and which ignores all the events and exploration leading up to that event and completely leaves out Aboriginal arrival and subsequent spread across Canada. I hope that this is just a mistake and not a deliberate omission.

We travelled across Canada with stops in the cities listed below. Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas with us during our kiosk activities and our roundtable discussions.

Province City Date Venue
British Columbia Vancouver November 9 Vancouver Public Library
British Columbia Vancouver November 10 Vancouver Flea Market
Newfoundland St. John's November 20 Memorial University of Newfoundland
Newfoundland St. John's November 20 Centre scolaire et communautaire des Grands-Vents
Nova Scotia Halifax November 21 Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Nova Scotia Halifax November 22 Halifax Stanfield International Airport
New Brunswick Fredericton November 23 Crowne Plaza Fredericton Lord Beaverbrook Hotel
Alberta Edmonton December 4 Prince of Wales Armouries
Alberta Edmonton December 5 University of Alberta
Ontario Toronto December 11 Toronto Reference Library
Ontario Toronto December 12 Centennial College
Saskatchewan Saskatoon January 15 Radisson Hotel Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Saskatoon January 16 The Mall at Lawson Heights
Quebec Montréal January 24 Promenades Cathédrale
Quebec Montréal January 24 Salon Cartier 1, Centre Mont-Royal
Quebec Gatineau January 31 Canadian Museum of Civilization