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Article

Joseph Francis Dion

Joseph Francis Dion, Métis leader, political organizer, and teacher (born 2 July 1888 near Onion Lake, SK; died 21 December 1960 in Bonnyville, AB). Dion was central to the shaping of modern Indigenous political organizations on the Prairies. He became a farmer (1903) and teacher on the Kehewin reserve (1916-40). In the 1930s he worked with Jim Brady and  Malcolm Norris  to found what is now the Métis Nation of Alberta (1932; president, 1932-58) and the Indian Association of Alberta (1939). Serving in the executives of First Nations, Métis and Roman Catholic Church organizations, he travelled, lectured, recorded living traditions (published as  My Tribe the Crees, 1979) and managed a Métis dance troupe. A relatively conservative reformer, Dion promoted the idea of Indigenous self-help through local agricultural development and the preservation of traditional culture.

Article

Ernestine Russell

Ernestine “Ernie” Jean Russell, gymnast, coach (born 10 June 1938 in Windsor, ON). Ernestine Russell was Canada’s best female gymnast of the 1950s. She was the first woman to represent Canada in gymnastics at the Olympic Summer Games, at Melbourne in 1956. She was also the first Canadian gymnast ever to medal in an international competition, at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago, where she won four gold medals and two silver. She won 46 gold medals at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships between 1954 and 1960. She also had a successful career coaching women’s gymnastics at the NCAA level and with Team USA. She has been inducted into the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame and the US Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Article

Black Enslavement in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

The practice of slavery was introduced by colonists in New France in the early 1600s. The practice was continued after the British took control of New France in 1760 (see British North America.) For about two hundred years, thousands of Indigenous and Black African people were bought, sold, traded and inherited like property in early Canada. Slavery was abolished (made illegal) throughout British North America in 1834.

(This article is a plain-language summary of slavery in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry on Black Enslavement in Canada.)

Article

Marcelle Gauvreau

Marcelle Gauvreau, Quebec scientist, botanist, educator, administrator, writer and journalist (born 28 February 1907 in Rimouski, QC; died 16 December 1968 in Montreal, QC). A botanist by profession, Marcelle Gauvreau made her mark as a teacher, writer, journalist, administrator and faithful collaborator of Frère Marie-Victorin (Conrad Kirouac). Through her books, articles, talks, the school she established, and her desire to promote public interest in plant life, she encouraged many Quebecers to learn about plants and to love nature in the 20th century.

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Inuit Experiences at Residential School

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools created to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Schools in the North were run by missionaries for nearly a century before the federal government began to open new, so-called modern institutions in the 1950s. This was less than a decade after a Special Joint Committee (see Indigenous Suffrage) found that the system was ineffectual. The committee’s recommendations led to the eventual closure of residential schools across the country.

Article

Martha Salcudean

Martha Eva Salcudean (née Abel), OC, OBC, professor of mechanical engineering (born 26 February 1934 in Cluj, Romania; died 17 July 2019 in British Columbia). Salcudean was a leading authority on computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer. In 1985, she was named chair of the department of mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia. This made her the first female head of a Canadian university’s engineering department. Salcudean dedicated much of her academic career to forging research and development partnerships. She fostered collaboration between universities, government agencies and industry groups in sectors such as mining, pulp and paper and aeronautics.

Article

Stanley Vollant

Stanley Vollant, CQ, Innu surgeon, professor and lecturer (born 2 April 1965 in Quebec City, Quebec). Vollant is the first Indigenous surgeon trained in Quebec. In 1996, he received a National Aboriginal Role Model Award from the Governor General of Canada. Vollant began Innu Meshkenu in 2010, a 6,000 km walk to promote the teachings of First Nations and to encourage Indigenous young people to pursue their dreams. In 2016, he founded the non-profit organization Puamun Meshkenu to inspire and support Indigenous peoples in their mental and physical health.

Article

Molly Sclater

Mary Lindsay "Molly" Sclater, teacher, author, organist-choirmaster (born 28 December 1912 in Edinburgh, Scotland; died 31 March 2002 in Jackson's Point, ON). ATCM 1938, ACCO ca 1938, B MUS (Toronto) 1939.

Article

Antoine Dessane

Despite this, his father withdrew Antoine from the conservatoire in October 1841 and took him and his older brother on a concert tour to promote his music business, first to the USA, and then to the French provinces, Italy, Austria, and Germany.

Article

Antoine Dessane

Antoine Dessane, organist, pianist, cellist, teacher, composer (b at Forcalquier, near Aix-en-Provence, France 10 Dec 1826; d at Québec City 8 June 1873). Founder of the choral Société musicale.

Article

Frederick A. Hall

Frederick A. (Albert) Hall. Musicologist, teacher, b Niagara-on-the-Lake 2 Jul 1944; Associate in music (McGill) 1966, B MUS (McGill) 1969, MA (Toronto) 1970, PH D (Toronto) 1978.

Article

Garry Neill Kennedy

Garry Neill Kennedy, CM, artist, teacher (born 6 November 1935 in St. Catharines, ON; died 8 August 2021 in Vancouver, BC). Garry Neill Kennedy was an award-winning conceptual artist. His work earned a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts and was presented at the National Gallery of Canada. Kennedy was also president (1967–90) of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax. He is credited with transforming the conservative and traditional art school into an energetic and internationally renowned avant-garde institution. Kennedy was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

Article

Edna Elias

Elias began her career as an elementary school teacher in Kugluktuk and Arctic Bay in 1980, and at the same time was the head of the language bureau of what was then still a part of the Northwest Territory's Department of Culture and Employment.

Article

Wallace Berry

Wallace (Taft) Berry. Composer, theorist, educator, pianist, b La Crosse, Wisc, 10 Jan 1928, d Vancouver, 16 Nov 1991; B MUS (Southern California) 1949, PH D (Southern California) 1956. Wallace Berry studied with Halsey Stevens and 1953-4 with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

Article

Robin Hopper

​Robin Hopper, ceramist, potter, teacher (born 1939 in Selsdon, Surrey, England). For over a half century, Robin Hopper has been one of Canada’s leading artists and advocates of functional clay.

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Sir Charles Edward Saunders

Charles was the least robust of them all but perhaps had the highest standards. Educated at U of T and Johns Hopkins U, he was a professor of chemistry at Central U, Ky, in 1892-93 and then devoted 1894-1903 to the study of music and teaching of voice.