Monday, June 27, 2016

Canadian Week in Review 27 June 2016

I have come across the following Canadian genealogy, history and heritage websites, social media, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.

This Week in Canadian History 

O Canada 
In 1880, “O Canada,” the future Canadian national anthem, was first performed in Quebec City, Quebec. The music had been written in 1880 for St-Jean-Baptist Day, and the lyrics were originally in French, and English version was created in 1906. 

Canada kept the British anthem until 1967, when it was adopted as the national anthem. 

To read more about the anthem, go to 

Social Media 

(Audio) The battle of Vimy- continued in Montreal 

A small greenspace in Montreal, Parc de Vimy (Vimy Park) has become a national issue as city council plans to rename the space after controversial politician Jacques Parizeau 

Newspaper Articles 

Newfoundland and Labrador 

Letter: Give the Beothucks their day 

One of our Province’s statutory holidays is Discovery Day (June 24). It is a commemoration of John’s Cabot’s “discovery” of Newfoundland in 1497. The claim that Cabot discovered this island is problematic. There is no clear documented evidence that he actually came here and even if he did, he was far from the first. 

Prince Edward Island 

P.E.I. museum launches WWI exhibit 

P.E.I.'s Regiment Museum launched a new exhibit in Charlottetown on Saturday. 

The exhibit, called Rally Round the Flag — PEI and the Great War, features photos, artifacts and stories from all the units that served overseas, including nurses, navy and the air force. 

New tourism website maps out culture trail for Island visitors 

Visitors to the Island can better plan their experiences with the help of a new website from PEI Arts and Heritage Trail. 

Nova Scotia 

Monument honouring women a first for Halifax: 'This is a big deal' 

Of the 280 statues in Halifax, fewer than a dozen show women — and virtually all of them are mythical figures, such as fairies and nymphs.That is about to change: A project to recognize the contribution to Canada of real women took a leap forward on Friday 

Polish Church to reopen Sunday 

St. Mary's Polish Church in Whitney Pier, Cape Breton, has risen from the ashes following a spectacular fire that burned the 100-year-old building to the ground in November 2014. 

The doors of the newly rebuilt church will reopen to the community during an open house on Sunday 

New Brunswick 

Sisters meet for first time at Fredericton Airport 

"You're just like me!" exclaimed Sharon Rein, as she and her sister Sharon Dennis held each other for the first time. 

It was an airport moment 56 years in the making. 

With the help of an amateur genealogist and a Facebook group, the biological sisters — who share a first name — spoke on the phone for the first time earlier this year. 

Campsite dating back 12,000 years unearthed by Route 8 

Archaeologists say a campsite unearthed just metres from a new highway in Fredericton could be more than 12,000 years old. 
The campsite includes a fire pit, which was determined by the presence of charcoal. 


Quebec National Assembly to get a $60-million makeover 

The historic monument, designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché in the 1800s, is getting an unprecedented $60.5 million makeover. 

The project is ambitious: to build a 3,800-square-metre underground reception pavilion, just outside the main building, and expand facilities underneath the inner courtyard. Two additional parliamentary committee rooms are being built. 


Canadian shipwrecks on display at the Peterborough Museum and Archives 

An exhibition of shipwrecks has landed at the Peterborough Museum and Archives until September, giving the community the chance to learn the tragic stories of vessels of all sizes, torn apart in Canadian waters. 

CN Tower at 40: Still a magnet for Toronto photographers 

Look up. Look way up — 553.33 metres up to be exact, the crown jewel of Toronto's skyline. 

For a while there, it was the world's tallest freestanding structure and tallest tower. 

Tory MP calls on government to apologize for St. Louis 

An Alberta opposition MP is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to formally apologize on behalf of the government of Canada for turning away Jewish refugees on board the ocean liner St. Louis in 1939. 

Smiths Falls, Ont., funeral business dissolves the dead into the town's sewers 

Waterworks officials in Smiths Falls, Ont., are monitoring a funeral company that's become the first in Ontario to use an alkaline solution to dissolve the bodies of the dead — and then drain the leftover coffee-coloured effluents into the town's sewer system. 

Island has unique heritage 

About 35 kilometres southwest of Kingston in Lake Ontario, the island was out of view of the prying eyes of prohibition authorities. "It is almost directly north of the city of Oswego, making it an ideal spot for smugglers," said C.W. Hunt in Booze, Boats, and Billions: Smuggling Liquid Gold (McClelland and Stewart, Toronto 1988). "It was here that the rum-runners would lay over, waiting for darkness or better weather before making their dash for the American shore." 

Ajax seeks historic designation for munitions plant 

The Town is seeking a historic designation for the former Defence Industries Limited (DIL) munitions plant. 

Ajax is applying for a National Historic Event, though the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC). 

Three students compete at Ontario Provincial Heritage Fair 

Winners from the recent Kenjgewin Teg Regional Heritage Fair, representing two Manitoulin area schools, travelled to the University of Toronto recently to share their projects at the provincial level. 


Street names tell stories of neighbourhood 

Names on the doorways of museums or universities often tell who has donated money or supplies to the institution. On street signs, names tell a different story. 

Manitoba celebrates National Aboriginal Day 

For the 20th year in a row, Manitoba is celebrating National Aboriginal Day with festivities throughout the province that honour the culture, heritage and achievements of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

British Columbia 

B.C. demands return of First Nations artifacts 

The province is calling on museums and institutions from around the world to give back artifacts and 'treasures' from British Columbia First Nations. 

Over hundreds of years, items including grave goods, ceremonial regalia, masks and pieces of arts have found their way out of B.C. and into museums and private collections around the world. 


Why is First Nations oral history embracing voice, video and paper? 

For centuries, First Nations people recounted the cultures’ histories orally. With decreasing use of traditional languages, the art of oral history is looking to film, audio and paper methods to pass the history on to younger generations. 


New Heritage Minute explores dark history of Indian residential schools 

Making its premiere on National Aboriginal Day, Historica Canada's newest Heritage Minute explores the dark history of Indian residential schools and their lasting effects on Indigenous people. 

Goodbye Great Slave Lake? Movement to decolonize N.W.T. maps is growing 

Behind every name there is a history that moulds a collective consciousness, a narrative that transcends time and ties people to the land and for many, to their ancestors. 

WW I hero Francis Pegahmagabow given Aboriginal Day honour 

His Ojibway name was Binaaswi, translating roughly to "the wind that blows off." 

How apposite it is, then, that a hard wind was blowing off the choppy waters of Ontario's Georgian Bay when the most decorated Indigenous soldier in Canada's history was finally given an honour befitting his story. 

History largely remembers him as Corp. Francis Pegahmagabow — the deadliest sniper and scout of the First World War, credited with 378 kills and 300 captures. 

Canadian Stories this Week 

Users give Library and Archives Canada low marks for public access to collection 

I don't entirely agree with this survey, and the reason I don't agree is that I think the service has improved. It got so bad a couple of years ago, you felt the negative vibes as soon as you would walk in there. But now, the attitude is a lot brighter, and you feel happier when you walk into there – it's all better. 

So to read that people still feel there isn't enough public access, I don't think I agree with that. True, I think they could do a better job on the microfilm that has been digitized and put on, like further explanation, but it can still be worked with – even though it could stand more publicity. 

DPLA and FamilySearch Partner to Expand Access to Digitized Historic Books Online 

FamilySearch International is on the move again – they have partnered with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), “the largest genealogy organization in the world, have signed an agreement that will expand access to’s growing free digital historical book collection”. 

They also say that “this new partnership, DPLA will incorporate metadata from’s online digital book collection that will make more than 200,000 family history books discoverable through DPLA’s search portal later this year. From DPLA, users will be able to access the free, fully viewable digital books on”.  

And don't forget, check them often to see the latest books which have been advertised. 

And has put on the Canada Homestead Grant Registers, 1892-1930.
They have put the register books online ONLY, not the actual land grant. The archives still has the index and you can still write for the land grant (for a fee), to the archives, has just put on the index book.

They have put on With 668,623 records and 78,794 images, Ancestry users can learn about some of Canada’s earliest settlers such as applicants’ names, region, date of application and homestead fee paid. 

The Canada Homestead Grant Registers 1892-1930 Collection is now available on Ancestry at: 

And that was the week in Canadian news! 

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