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Michelle Stilwell

Michelle “Mikey” Stilwell (née Bauknecht), wheelchair basketball player, wheelchair racer, politician (born 4 July 1974 in Winnipeg, MB). Michelle Stilwell is the only Canadian woman to win gold medals in two sports at the Paralympic Games. She and the Canadian team won gold in women’s wheelchair basketball at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney. Stilwell also won gold in women’s wheelchair racing at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. From 2006 to 2016, she was the fastest wheelchair racer in the world in the T52-class; she currently holds world records in the women’s 100 m and 200 m. She also served as a BC MLA for Parksville-Qualicum from 2013 to 2020.

Article

No. 2 Construction Battalion

On 5 July 1916, the Department of Defence and Militia authorized the formation of No. 2 Construction Battalion. It was the largest Black unit in Canadian history. Its members continued the proud tradition of service to king and country that went back to the American Revolution and continued through the War of 1812 and the Rebellions of 1837–38 to the start of the First World War. But there were many obstacles: Black soldiers and communities faced racism both at home and overseas, despite their commitment to the war effort.

Article

Numbered Treaties (Plain-Language Summary)

The Numbered Treaties are a series of 11 treaties. A treaty is an agreement between two or more nations. The Numbered Treaties were signed by the Canadian government and Indigenous people. All 11 treaties were signed between 1871 and 1921. The Numbered Treaties cover parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario. They also cover portions of Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

The treaties provided the Canadian government with land. The government wanted land for industrial development and white settlement. In exchange, the government promised Indigenous people special rights and benefits. These treaty terms are controversial and contested. The Numbered Treaties have ongoing legal, social, and economic impacts on Indigenous communities. (See also Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

(This is a plain-language summary of the Numbered Treaties. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Numbered Treaties.)

Article

Judy Kang

Judy Kang, violinist (born 13 July 1979 in Toronto, ON ). A child prodigy who has become a world-renowned musician, Judy Kang began violin lessons at age four and made her orchestral debut when she was 10. She studied at the Curtis Institute, Julliard and the Manhattan School of Music, and has given acclaimed performances with major orchestras, composers and conductors around the world. A versatile performer with a strong interest in improvisation, she transitions easily between classical and contemporary pop music — she was the violinist for Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball world tour (2010–11) — as well as indie rock, hip hop, jazz and electronica.

Article

Jean-Paul Desbiens

Jean-Paul Desbiens, member of the Marist order of brothers, teacher, philosopher, writer, journalist (born on 7 March 1927 at Métabetchouan, QC; died on 23 July 2006 at Château-Richer). Desbiens’ book on the failures of Quebec’s education system, Les Insolences du Frère Untel (published in English as The Insolences of Brother Anonymous), received unprecedented success.

Article

Frank Bing Wong (Primary Source)

"“Your blood, our freedom.” That’s how they think of the Canadians."

See below for Mr. Wong's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Fred Joyce (Primary Source)

"He said, “Come over here, I’ve got something to show you.” And this is a 50 foot trailer and it’s a refrigerator car. And he opened up the back door and there at the very, very front end was the ice cream for 10,000 people."

See below for Mr. Joyce's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Helen Jean “Jean” Crawley (Primary Source)

"As Mr. Winston Churchill said in one of his last speeches after the war, he said “without the women, we may have lost the war.”"

See below for Ms. Crawley's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Thomas Kwok Hung “Tommy” Wong (Primary Source)

"We [Chinese-Canadians] did our share during the war and we did our share to fight for our rights which we got in 1947, we got our vote [in federal elections] now, so we were equal to harmonize with the fabric of our society."

See below for Mr. Wong's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

collection

Indigenous Material Culture in Canada

Material culture refers to physical forms of culture. This includes art, monuments, buildings, tools, weapons, money, clothing, religious items, and other artifacts. The design and function of these objects directly reflects the society that made them. A society’s history and geography also influence the creation and meaning of such items. The study of material culture helps us to understand human behaviour and the way that people interact with objects. This collection explores Indigenous material culture in Canada. It features articles that provide insight into traditional ways of life. It also includes content that considers the effects of colonization on Indigenous peoples and their cultures. This collection aims to highlight the richness and diversity of various physical forms of Indigenous culture in this country.

Article

Dennis William Knapik (Primary Source)

"And so we started to circle the base and plead with them to let us come down because when we had fired our Very pistols there, the colours were wrong. They thought it might be Japanese."

See below for Mr. Knapik's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Edison Yeadon (Primary Source)

"The German submarines don't like this weather but we do, to keep them down."

See below for Mr. Yeadon's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Tommy Banks

The Honourable Thomas Benjamin Banks, OCAOE, pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, TV personality, actor, producer, politician (born 17 December 1936 in Calgary, AB; died 25 January 2018 in Edmonton, AB). The multi-talented Tommy Banks had an unparalleled, multi-faceted career spanning more than 60 years in virtually every aspect of the entertainment industry in Canada. A professional jazz pianist at age 14, he went on to lead his own bands, conduct symphony orchestras around the world, direct musical ceremonies at international events, host his own long-running television show, and act in film and television. He also served nearly 12 years in the Senate as a member of the Liberal Parliamentary Caucus.

Article

Peter Henderson Bryce

Peter Henderson Bryce, physician, public health official (born 17 August 1853 in Mount Pleasant, Canada West; died 15 January 1932 at sea). Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce was a pioneer of public health and sanitation policy in Canada. He is most remembered for his efforts to improve the health and living conditions of Indigenous people. His Report on the Indian Schools of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories exposed the unsanitary conditions of residential schools in the Prairie provinces. It also prompted national calls for residential school reform.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Bernard Belleau

Joseph Rolland Bernard Belleau, FRSC, OC, biochemist, medical chemist, (born 15 March 1925 in Montreal, QC; died 4 September 1989 in Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, QC). Bernard Belleau was a Canadian pioneer in therapeutic chemistry, merging the fields of synthetic chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology for use in medicine. He is acclaimed for his discovery and synthesis of the drug 3TC (2,3 dideoxy – 3-thiacytidine), also known as lamivudine or Epivir, used as an anti-viral for HIV/AIDS. He also developed butorphanol (Stadol), in the hope of having a non-addictive alternative to morphine, which is used to treat pain. Bernard Belleau’s discoveries have bettered human health and saved millions of lives globally.

Article

Mac Beattie

John McNab "Mac" Beattie, singer, songwriter (born 21 December 1916 in Arnprior, ON; died 14 June 1982 in Arnprior).

Article

Frank Tomkins (Primary Source)

"I had four brothers during the war and of course every young person I guess wants to join up, especially when their brothers are gone."

See below for Mr. Tomkins' entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.