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Wartime Home Front

The two world wars of the 20th century were total wars that involved the whole nation, and the "home front" became a critical part of Canada’s effort.

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Wartime Information Board

Wartime Information Board, est 9 Sept 1942, succeeded the Bureau of Public Information, which had been formed early in WWII to issue certain information on the course of the war to the public. By 1942 the government believed that its troubles over CONSCRIPTION derived from inadequate publicity.

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Voyageurs

Voyageurs were independent contractors, workers or minor partners in companies involved in the fur trade. They were licensed to transport goods to trading posts and were usually forbidden to do any trading of their own. The fur trade changed over the years, as did the groups of men working in it. In the 17th century, voyageurs were often coureurs des bois — unlicensed traders responsible for delivering trade goods from suppliers to Indigenous peoples. The implementation of the trading licence system in 1681 set voyageurs apart from coureurs des bois, who were then considered outlaws of sorts. Today, the word voyageur, like the term coureur des bois, evokes the romantic image of men canoeing across the continent in search of furs. Their life was full of perilous adventure, gruelling work and cheerful camaraderie.

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Ville-Marie (Colony)

Ville-Marie, Catholic utopian colony founded on 17 May 1642 on Île de Montréal by the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal, under the governship of Paul de Chomeday de Maisonneuve, to bring Christianity to the native people; but located in a key region for the development of agriculture and the fur trade.

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VE-Day Riots

On 7 and 8 May 1945, riots broke out after poorly coordinated Victory in Europe celebrations fell apart in Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Several thousand servicemen (predominantly naval), merchant seamen and civilians drank, vandalized and looted.

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Women in the Labour Force

Women are considered labour force participants only if they work outside the home. In the past women have been expected to be in the labour force only until they marry; this reflects the historical, idealized notion of a society in which the man is the breadwinner and the woman the homemaker.

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XY Company

 XY Company (New North West Co), named after the marks used to distinguish its bales of goods from those of the NORTH WEST COMPANY, was a product of conflicts between NWC agents (led by Simon MCTAVISH) and NWC winterers, following the company's reorganization in 1795.

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Whaling

In the 18th century, British and American ships cruised the Atlantic seaboard. In the 19th century, Canadians entered the field, establishing a whaling station in Newfoundland, and taking whales as part of a deep-sea fishery operation from Gaspé.

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Yukon Field Force

Yukon Field Force (1898-1900), composed of 203 officers and men drawn from all 3 branches (cavalry, artillery and infantry) of the Permanent Force of the Canadian Militia.

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War of the Spanish Succession

The War of the Spanish Succession, 1701–1714 (also known as Queen Anne's War), was a general European war that spread around the globe to include the colonies of the major powers — including French and English colonies in North America.

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Eugenics in Canada

Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices aimed at improving the human population through controlled breeding. It includes “negative” eugenics (discouraging or limiting the procreation of people considered to have undesirable characteristics and genes) and “positive” eugenics (encouraging the procreation of people considered to have desirable characteristics and genes). Many Canadians supported eugenic policies in the early 20th century, including some medical professionals, politicians and feminists. Both Alberta (1928) and British Columbia (1933) passed Sexual Sterilization Acts, which were not repealed until the 1970s. Although often considered a pseudoscience and a thing of the past, eugenic methods have continued into the 21st century, including the coerced sterilization of Indigenous women and what some have termed the “new eugenics” — genetic editing and the screening of fetuses for disabilities.

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Red Coat Trail

A number of highways in southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta roughly follow the original route. The ride was re-enacted in 1999, the 125th anniversary of the march.

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La Plaine

In the mid-1600s the first of 3 seigneuries (Repentigny, 1647; Des Plaines, 1731; and Lachenaie, 1752) was granted in the area, but the first settlers did not arrive until 1760-65. In 1877 the Laurentian Railway between SAINTE-THÉRÈSE and Saint-Lin was completed but development remained slow.

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You'll Get Used to It

'You'll Get Used to It'. World War II song in quick-march tempo, written in 1940 by Freddie Grant about life in a camp for German and Austrian nationals (many of whom were refugees) in England during the hostilities.