The History of Home: Prescribed Learning Outcomes and Me

Throughout this semester of social studies, we have covered much of the prescribed BC curriculum in interesting ways. Some of these prescribed learning outcomes have been met by me quite effectively, while I am still working on getting better at some others. Two learning outcomes that I have become proficiently knowledgeable in are; evaluating the influence of immigration on Canadian society from 1815 to 1914, and applying critical thinking skills such as questioning, comparing, summarizing, drawing conclusions, and defending a position. One outcome that I still need to work on is evaluating the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815 to 1914.

 

When European explorers first stumbled upon North America, namely Canada, it was prized for it’s huge resource potential. It was rich in resources that Europe was not nearly as plentiful in. It’s massive coastlines allowed large amounts of fishing, it’s forests much lumber, and it’s wildlife plenty of furs and pelts. As Eastern Canada began to evolve from a brand new land to an early colony, and eventually to it’s own country – there was just one resource that it really struggled with: it’s population. Throughout the early history of Canada, Europeans were very unwilling to make the journey to the new world. Going from a comfortable and familiar life in their home countries to an unknown and uncertain one in Canada was not a likely choice for most people. This is a topic I researched in my CRAAP testing blog post. The source I chose was an article called The Peopling of Canada. In it I analysed the immigration of Europeans into Canada, looking at which nationalities came into Canada at what times, and what caused them to immigrate at those times. This shows a proficiency in understanding the crucial part that immigration played in the expansion of Canada. To communicate this however, I had to have a good foundation in applying my critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking skills are listed in the prescribed learning outcomes as questioning, comparing, summarizing, drawing conclusions and defending a position. This was a skill set I demonstrated best in our second debate (currently unavailable on YouTube – here is my blog post about the period of George Brown’s administration as Prime Minister) – when I reprised my role as a father of confederation, George Brown. I communicated my knowledge of confederation-era Canada in the debate, translating what information there was about him into outlooks and opinions he probably had. I had communicated this in writing before the debate, but this was the first time I would be using just what I knew about him as a script, my only preparations for the debate being reading up on George Brown. This was both an individual and a co operative assignment, as I had to pair up with another roleplaying partner, who was playing an aboriginal person. My final learning outcome, concerning aboriginal people in the early years of Canada, is one I need more work in.

The outcome detailing the interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers was one in which I need more work to achieve fuller comprehension. I think this is primarily due to the fact that as a European character I was focusing more on the politics involving the French and British populations of Upper and Lower Canada, rather than aboriginal peoples or the Méti people in Canada. This topic is something I do find interesting, as the aboriginal people were involved in many interesting historic moments after the introduction of European settlers.

 

In the end, I feel quite knowledgeable about many aspects of colonial Canada. I have learned to understand why immigrants made Canada into the land it is today, by being a descendant of one, to think like a politician, by embodying one, and I know that I still need more work in my understanding of aboriginal people in this era. I feel I have a deeper understanding of Canada, while it may not be where my bloodline originates from, it is a home to me now, and one should know the history of their home.

 

It’s Good to Be King

Canada has quickly transformed from a world tossed between the hands of European countries to a place that is quickly becoming a nation of its own. As confederation finally begins to look more and more viable, I am readying myself to become a political leader in Canada. I have reorganized the Clear Grit party, which is also known as the liberal party. This party supports the separation of church and state, as well as representation by population. Because of the support I have given to black people who were formerly slaves, they are an enthusiastic group of supporters.

Only yesterday, John A. MacDonald lost support of his legislative assembly, and was ousted from the position of Prime Minister, and his cabinet was forced to resign. I have taken his role and currently hold the title of Prime Minister of Canada. However, I cannot get comfortable – Sir MacDonald may be a drunk, and a buffoon, but he is very crafty and is actively attempting to retake the position of Prime Minister. That said, with the help of my partner in this administration, Antoine-Aimé Dorion, I intend to not only keep this position, but to make all the changes I have come up with to make Canada the country it deserves to be.

I am hoping that John A’s rein is over, so that I can usher in an era of confederation, to become more independent from England, and for Canada’s people to support themselves through free trade.

The Final Address of The Honourable George Brown

I was shot this morning. I am in unbearable pain, yet here I am, speaking before you all. This pain is entirely the fault of John A. MacDonald. Now, I’m sure even in his drunken stupor his ears perk up when he hears his name. He may be wondering how this is his fault. I’ll tell him – all of you.

When John A. MacDonald lost the confidence of the legislative assembly, he was outed as Prime Minister and I moved in to take his place. For four days the Prime Minister title was held by The Honourable George Brown. Me!

But on the fourth day, John A. MacDonald exploited a loophole, like he is exploiting this nation, and he fired my entire staff. I was robbed of my position, and my political career was over, just like that.

I returned to my failing newspaper. I guess when every day brings the same news, that this so-called country is run by the rich with only their own interests in mind, headlines don’t really sell. I had to make cutbacks and it appears I fired the one Canadian citizen who exercises his right to bear arms.

Mr. Prime Minister, I hope you’re happy with what you’ve turned Canada into. I offer you a toast. To our home and not-so-native land, to the mess on all of our hands, but more specifically Sir MacDonald, to the blood on yours.

END

 

It is in the dark days, where the gunshot wound in my leg grows more putrid and inflamed every day, that I look back and truly regret not taking action sooner. My light is dwindling – and John A. MacDonald stands to be the Prime Minister who made Canada what it was. If only the history books could look back on him in the way he truly was –  a selfish, lazy oaf, carried to victory by his rich supporters whom he promised still more prosperity to. This country has so much potential, but I don’t think it will last.

When children one hundred years from now are learning about this time, learning about the botched confederation of Canada, I pray to God that they will show John A. MacDonald as the man he was, as the man who held an infantile nation in his hands and dropped it in favour of the bottle. I hope George Brown will be seen as the man who accomplished more good in four days than Sir MacDonald did in years.

My two other memoirs of this era can be found here and here.