Manitoba History at its best and worst


I have been pondering this idea for some time now and after a course or two I decided it was time to try my hand at this blogging thing. I have several passions all accumulating under the heading of history, such as art history, literature (history in stories), Canadian and Manitoba history, and finally dark history (the type of history most people find interesting but not always the most polite or politically correct history). I have been studying history all me life! It may have started with sitting on my grandfather’s lap and asking questions about his life and childhood. He had the best tales and in my mind he came from a different place, of wonder and unusual experiences. In reality, he was born into a German family in 1915 and lived a regular life in Little Berlin (renamed Kitchener Ont. during WWI) and was the son of a grocery store owner. Anyway, he could tell stories about his childhood with such character in his voice that as a child I hung on every word. It got to the point my grandfather wrote a book to all his grandkids about his life as a result of my insatiable quest to experience more of his story. As I got older, I had the opportunity to travel to Britain and absorb so much. The air, the greener grass, the people and of course the architecture!!! As a 12 year old I was lost in history and didn’t care in the slightest that we were walking into yet another castle or church. Each one was so exciting to me!! So when I returned to Canada after such an incredible experience and took grade 6 Canadian history, I was left with such a dry after taste I thought, “Good grief! How am I ever going to get through this stuff. It’s so boring!!” It didn’t help that the teacher, although trying his best, was not that keen on the topic either. It makes for a very difficult sell to kids if the instructor is finding the material dull too. I hoped I would hear tales of invasion, massacres, kings & queens, rebellion, battles agains other countries etc. But not so much in reality. Sure there was Louis Riel and that story but it was played down and not made out to be a huge event that changed some significant aspects to the development of the province. So, at the end of grade 6, I could make a newspaper look like old parchment and ask questions about my family history. Yeah... It wasn’t until I returned to University and studied for my second undergrad degree in Art History and then a Masters degree in Canadian History that I became focused on local history. Thanks to a personal trip to Great Britain and a class taught by Prof. Nolan Reilly at U of Wpg, I began a journey that has lasted me currently 10 years, a business, a conference, advocating for an old building in Wpg and so much more! My objective here is to share in my knowledge, offer insight on some items, have some fun with our history and explore new ideas with you on where should Canadian history go now? So, here goes another adventure!


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