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Editorial

Roald Amundsen Crosses the Northwest Passage

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

The great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen clung grimly to the tiller of his little ship Gjøa. Adrift in the remote waters of Simpson Strait, the Gjøa had just spent two agonizing weeks in August 1905 avoiding the death grip of the polar ice. Over and over the exhausted crew begged Amundsen to turn back. Haggard and ill, he had not eaten for days and he dared not sleep. He knew that his dream of sailing across the top of the world was within his grasp.

Editorial

Editorial: John Humphrey, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

In 1946, John Humphrey became director of the United Nations Division on Human Rights, and Eleanor Roosevelt was named the United States representative to the UN’s Commission on Human Rights. Humphrey was an obscure Canadian law professor. Roosevelt was the world’s most celebrated woman. For two years, they collaborated on the creation of one of the modern world’s great documents: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was adopted on 10 December 1948.

Editorial

Irene Parlby and the United Farmers of Alberta

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Most Canadians, if they have heard of Irene Parlby, know her as one of the “Famous Five.” This group of five Alberta women were plaintiffs in a court case that argued women were indeed persons under the British North America Act (now the Constitution Act, 1867) and thus entitled to be named to the Senate. It was a landmark case in the long struggle by women to achieve political and legal equality in Canada. But Parlby’s historical significance rests on much more than just the Persons Case.

Editorial

Barr: An All-English Agrarian Settlement in the Prairies

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

"The English race gets continually into the most unheard of scrapes all over the world by reason of its insular prejudices and superiority to advice; but somehow they muddle through and when they do they are on the ground to hold it." Manitoba Free Press, December 1903

Article

Catherine (HRH The Princess of Wales)

Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess of Wales, née Catherine “Kate” Middleton (born 9 January 1982 in Reading, United Kingdom) is the wife of HRH The Prince of Wales (The Prince William) , who is first in line to the thrones of Canada, the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. Kate has become famous worldwide for her philanthropy and fashion, and is closely associated with the modernization of the monarchy. William and Kate have three children: Prince George of Wales (born 22 July 2013), Princess Charlotte of Wales (born 2 May 2015), and Prince Louis of Wales (born 23 April 2018).

Editorial

Joseph Howe Acquitted of Libel

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

1 January 1835 turned out to be memorable both for Joseph Howe and for Nova Scotia. On that day Howe's newspaper, the Novascotian, published a letter accusing the magistrates and police of taking £30,000 in illegal payments "from the pockets of the poor and distressed."

Article

French Canada and the Monarchy

French Canadian attitudes toward monarchical government and members of the French and, later, British royal families have changed over time. King Louis XIV of France made New France a crown colony and supported its expansion and economic development. King George III of Great Britain granted royal assent to the Quebec Act in 1774, which guaranteed freedom of worship and French Canadian property rights. Early royal tours of Quebec were well received by the public. There was republican sentiment expressed during the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837, however, and support for the monarchy in Quebec declined sharply following the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. Today, polling data indicates that a majority of people in Quebec support the abolition of the monarchy in Canada.

Article

Joseph Howe

Joseph Howe, journalist, publisher, politician, premier of Nova Scotia, lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia (born 13 December 1804 in Halifax, NS; died 1 June 1873 in Halifax, NS). Howe was well-known in his time as an ardent defender of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and was also a champion of responsible government. He was a prominent figure in the movement opposed to Confederation, yet later, as a federal Cabinet minister, played an important role in securing Manitoba’s entry to Confederation.

Article

Canadian War Art Programs

Since the First World War, there have been four major initiatives to allow Canadian artists to document Canadian Armed Forces at war. Canada’s first official war art program, the Canadian War Memorials Fund (1916–19), was one of the first government-sponsored programs of its kind. It was followed by the Canadian War Art Program (1943–46) during the Second World War. The Canadian Armed Forces Civilian Artists Program (1968–95) and the Canadian Forces Artists Program (2001–present) were established to send civilian artists to combat and peacekeeping zones. Notable Canadian war artists have included A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Varley, Lawren Harris, Alex Colville and Molly Lamb Bobak.

Article

Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier, navigator (born between 7 June and 23 December 1491 in Saint-Malo, France; died 1 September 1557 in Saint-Malo, France). From 1534 to 1542, Cartier led three maritime expeditions to the interior of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence River. During these expeditions, he explored, but more importantly accurately mapped for the first time the interior of the river, from the Gulf to Montreal (see also History of Cartography in Canada). For this navigational prowess, Cartier is still considered by many as the founder of “Canada.” At the time, however, this term described only the region immediately surrounding Quebec. Cartier’s upstream navigation of the St. Lawrence River in the 16th century ultimately led to France occupying this part of North America.

Article

Elizabeth Rummel

Baroness Elizabet von Rummel (anglicized as Elizabeth Rummel, also known as “Lizzie”), CM, mountain lodge proprietor, mountaineer (born 19 February 1897 in Munich, Germany; died 10 October 1980 in Canmore, AB.) After a privileged upbringing in Europe, Elizabeth Rummel and her family settled on a ranch in Alberta during the First World War. At age 41, Rummel struck out on her own, working at and managing lodges in the Rocky Mountains. In 1951, she opened her own mountain camp for tourists and climbers on Sunburst Lake, north of Mount Assiniboine. She was a renowned figure in the Rockies, known for sharing her love and knowledge of the area with guests from around the world. Rummel was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for her work in the mountains.

List

Mothers of Confederation

Volumes have been dedicated to the Fathers of Confederation, but what about their wives and daughters, valuable record-keepers and political players in their own right? Official records of the 1864 Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences, which paved the road to Confederation, are sparse. But historians have been able to flesh out the social and political dynamics at play in these conferences by consulting the letters and journals of the Mothers of Confederation. They not only provide a view into the experiences of privileged women of the era, but draw attention to the contributions those women made to the historic record and political landscape. This article focuses on the efforts of six of these women. 

Article

Sheila Na Geira

According to legend, Sheila Na Geira (also spelled NaGeira and Nagira) was an Irish aristocrat or princess who, 300 or 400 years ago, while travelling between France and Ireland, was captured by a Dutch warship and then rescued by British privateers. She fell in love and was married to one of the privateers, Lieutenant Gilbert Pike. They settled at western Conception Bay. By the early 20th century, the legend was being told as part of Newfoundland’s oral tradition, and has since been popularized by poems, novels, scholarly articles and several plays.

Article

Cuthbert Grant

Cuthbert Grant, fur trader, Métis leader (born circa 1793 in Fort de la Rivière Tremblante, SK; died 15 July 1854 in White Horse Plains, MB). Grant led the Métis to victory at Seven Oaks in 1816 and founded the Métis community Grantown (later St. François Xavier), Manitoba, in 1824. Today, Cuthbert Grant is hailed as a founder of the Métis nation. (See also Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

Article

Laura Secord

Laura Secord, née Ingersoll, Loyalist, mythologized historic figure (born 13 September 1775 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; died 17 October 1868 in Chippawa [Niagara Falls], ON). During the War of 1812, Laura Secord walked 30 km from Queenston to Beaver Dams, near Thorold, Ontario, to warn British Lieutenant James FitzGibbon that the Americans were planning to attack his outpost. The story of her trek has become legendary, and Secord herself mythologized in Canadian history.

Article

Andrew Mynarski, VC

Andrew Charles Mynarski, airman, Victoria Cross recipient (b at Winnipeg 14 Oct 1916; d at Cambrai, France 13 June 1944). Mynarski was the mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster bomber that was shot down by a German aircraft.

Article

Marie-Anne Lagimodière

Marie-Anne Lagimodière (née Gaboury), settler (born 2 August 1780 in Maskinongé, QC; died 14 December 1875 in St. Boniface, MB). Marie-Anne Lagimodière accompanied her fur-trader husband, Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière, to what is now Western Canada. She was one of the first women of European descent in the area and they became some of the first settlers in Red River. Marie-Anne Lagimodière was grandmother of Louis Riel, the Métis leader of the Red River Resistance.