RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 16 November 2016

November 16, 2016

“Mi’kmaw Politicism and the Origins of the Micmac Community Development Program, 1900–1957”

Martha Walls, Mount Saint Vincent University

Abstract:
Between 1957 and 1970, the Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University operated the Micmac Community Development Program (MCDP), intended to build financial and political independence in Mi’kmaw communities in northeastern Nova Scotia. Implicit in the work of MCDP was an assumption that the program would teach the Mi’kmaq political skills with which they would be better able to contest state interferences. This paper challenges this assumption as it explores how, in the decades preceding the MCDP, deeply-rooted and effective Mi’kmaw political mechanisms challenged the most egregious of colonial impositions. The MCDP was no catalyst to Mi’kmaw political action; instead it tapped into an existing and effective Mi’kmaw political network.

Click here for a bio of Martha Walls

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 19 October 2016

October 19, 2016

“The Halifax Relief Commission and the Politics of the Canadian Home Front during the First World War”

Barry Cahill

Abstract:
The 6 December 1917 explosion of a munitions vessel in the Narrows of Halifax Harbour killed or fatally wounded nearly 2000 persons and injured many more. The catastrophic Halifax disaster was the most significant event affecting Canada’s home front during the Great War. Among its lesser-known aspects is the role played by Canada’s Union government, which assumed complete authority over recovery. It did this through the Halifax Relief Commission (1918–1976), established in January 1918 by Order in Council. This lecture examines the political aspects of the process that led to the establishment of the commission, taking place as it did during the bitterest federal election campaign in Canada’s history — the conscription election of 1917.

Click here for a bio of Barry Cahill.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Click here for a downloadable programme brochure.

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September 21, 2016

“The Private Life of Jessie MacCallum, Diarist of Windsor & St. George, 1901–1910”

Julian Gwyn, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Ottawa

Phyllis R Blakeley Memorial Lecture

Abstract:
There is a growing interest among historians in diaries especially for the light they shine on the private lives of women. Largely written by those of middle class families, there is always excitement when another diary comes to light, especially by a young person. Such is the case of Jessie MacCallum (1885–1956). The diary of her early life in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and St. George, New Brunswick, covers the first decade of the last century beginning on January 1st 1901. Though she continued for the rest of her life to keep a diary, most were wantonly destroyed after her death by one of her daughters‐in‐law, who thought them too depressing. Yet what has survived (1901–08, 1910) deserves, a century later, to see the light of day.

Click here for a bio of Julian Gwyn and here for a poster for Dr. Gwyn’s talk

The 29th Annual Phyllis R. Blakeley lecture is named in memory of the late Provincial Archivist of Nova Scotia who is remembered for her contributions to local history, as a writer in her own right, and also as an archivist, a facilitator of research and a mentor, reader and advisor to many historians.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, May 18, 2016

“Immigration to Atlantic Canada: Historical Reflections”

RNSHS_May_2016_Lecture

Click to download lecture poster.

John Reid, Saint Mary’s University

Presented in conjunction with the Immigration to Atlantic Canada Conference. The public lecture will take place in the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Theatre at Pier 21 at 8:00pm, following our Annual General Meeting at 7:00. 

Abstract:
This lecture will present a broad analysis of historical immigration patterns in Atlantic Canada, setting migration within an Indigenous context and distinguishing between Newfoundland and the Maritime region. The twin processes of Indigenous dispossession and settler colonization will be considered as contexts for Atlantic Canada’s roles and responsibilities in a world increasingly shaped both by the need to recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples and by the forces of global migration.

Click here for a bio of John Reid.

RNSHS Annual Dinner and Lecture – Wednesday, 20 April 2016

“Outslicking Sam Slick: The Mysterious Stranger (Henry More Smith) in Nova Scotia: 1812‐1815”

April2016

Click to download lecture poster

Gwendolyn Davies, University of New Brunswick

Note: This lecture takes place at our Annual Banquet at the Dalhousie University Club. Space is limited! See below for ticket information. 

Abstract:
In 1812, a charming young English trickster swept through Rawdon, Windsor, Halifax, and Pictou leaving behind a trail of identities and audacious thefts. Condemned to death in New Brunswick in 1814 for horse theft, he was nonetheless back in Nova Scotia in 1815 embarking yet again on a life of audacious crime and inspiring Sheriff Walter Bates’ 1817 bestseller, The Mysterious Stranger.

Click here for bio of Gwendolyn Davies.

NOTE – ANNUAL DINNER AT DALHOUSIE CLUB

Tickets for this event must be purchased by Friday, 15 April 2014.  Seating for this event is limited. If you are interested in attending, please notify Rosemary Barbour at 902 424-6070 or email Rosemary.Barbour@novascotia.ca to ensure your ticket reservation and before submitting payment.  To reserve tickets please print and complete a copy of the reservation form available here, and then mail it along with a cheque (made payable to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society), to: The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, PO Box 2622, Halifax, NS B3J 3P7.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD RESERVATION FORM.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 16 March 2016

“The Triumph of the ‘Larger Unit’: Origins and Impact of the School Consolidation Movement in Antigonish County, 1923 to 2012”

RNSHS_March_2016_Lecture

Click to download lecture poster

Paul W. Bennett, Founding Director of Schoolhouse Institute and Adjunct Professor of Education, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
The modern school consolidation movement, pioneered in Alberta between 1913 and 1919, eventually emerged a decade later in full force in the Maritimes. In April 1923, Pastor James Boyle of Havre Boucher, Antigonish County, NS, dismissed the one school “district unit” as a relic of the past and signaled the advent of school consolidation to address the impoverishment of rural schools. Building upon research undertaken for Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities (2011), this lecture will explore and analyze the origins, extent and impact of the first school consolidation movement in Antigonish County from the 1920s until the full adoption of the “Larger Unit” as provincial policy in 1954.

Click here for a bio of Paul W. Bennett.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 17 February 2016

“Surviving War and Adapting to Village Life: Ella Barron, A Dutch War Bride in Ingonish, Cape Breton”

RNSHS_February_2016_Lecture

Click to download lecture poster.

Ken Donovan (ret’d), Parks Canada Historian

Abstract:
Cornelia Aletta Iske (Ella) was one of 48,000 war brides who came to Canada after 1945. During the war, Ella’s family of nine children struggled merely to survive. Ella met Alex Barron of Ingonish and they were married in Holland in January 1946. Arriving in Cape Breton in June 1946, she and Alex eventually raised a family of 10 children. Some adjustments, however, were necessary: Ella spoke Dutch; she was a Protestant in a Catholic community; she was a city woman in a village.

Click here for a bio of Ken Donovan.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 20 January 2016

“Valiant Nova Scotians: The Province’s Recipients of the Victoria Cross”

January_2016_RNSHS

Click to download lecture poster

Col. John Boileau (ret’d), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Canadian Armed Forces

Abstract:
Since Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross in 1856 it has been awarded 1,363 times, including to 98 Canadians, five of whom were Nova Scotians. In an illustrated talk, John Boileau explains the background to the creation of the Victoria Cross, the history of the award over the years and a detailed description of the lives and military actions of the Nova Scotia recipients of this prestigious gallantry decoration.

Click here for a bio of Col. John Boileau.

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Winter/Spring 2016 Lecture Series

The society meets monthly from September to May inclusive to hear and to discuss individual papers about personalities, places and events integral to the history of Nova Scotia at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Society lectures are open to the public and are completely free. Lectures are followed by refreshments.
Click here for a downloadable programme brochure.

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January 20, 2016

“Valiant Nova Scotians: The Province’s Recipients of the Victoria Cross”

Col. John Boileau (ret’d), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Canadian Armed Forces

Abstract:
Since Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross in 1856 it has been awarded 1,363 times, including to 98 Canadians, five of whom were Nova Scotians. In an illustrated talk, John Boileau explains the background to the creation of the Victoria Cross, the history of the award over the years and a detailed description of the lives and military actions of the Nova Scotia recipients of this prestigious gallantry decoration.

Click here for a bio of Col. John Boileau.

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February 17, 2016

“Surviving War and Adapting to Village Life: Ella Barron, A Dutch War Bride in Ingonish, Cape Breton”

Ken Donovan (ret’d), Parks Canada Historian

Abstract:
Cornelia Aletta Iske (Ella) was one of 48,000 war brides who came to Canada after 1945. During the war, Ella’s family of nine children struggled merely to survive. Ella met Alex Barron of Ingonish and they were married in Holland in January 1946. Arriving in Cape Breton in June 1946, she and Alex eventually raised a family of 10 children. Some adjustments, however, were necessary: Ella spoke Dutch; she was a Protestant in a Catholic community; she was a city woman in a village.

Click here for a bio of Ken Donovan.

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March 16, 2016

“The Triumph of the ‘Larger Unit’: Origins and Impact of the School Consolidation Movement in Antigonish County, 1923 to 2012”

Paul W. Bennett, Founding Director of Schoolhouse Institute and Adjunct Professor of Education, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
The modern school consolidation movement, pioneered in Alberta between 1913 and 1919, eventually emerged a decade later in full force in the Maritimes. In April 1923, Pastor James Boyle of Havre Boucher, Antigonish County, NS, dismissed the one school “district unit” as a relic of the past and signaled the advent of school consolidation to address the impoverishment of rural schools. Building upon research undertaken for Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities (2011), this lecture will explore and analyze the origins, extent and impact of the first school consolidation movement in Antigonish County from the 1920s until the full adoption of the “Larger Unit” as provincial policy in 1954.

Click here for a bio of Paul W. Bennett.

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April 20, 2016

“Outslicking Sam Slick: The Mysterious Stranger (Henry More Smith) in Nova Scotia: 1812‐1815”

Gwendolyn Davies, University of New Brunswick

Note: This lecture takes place at our Annual Banquet at the Dalhousie University Club. Tickets will be available to purchase in March.

Abstract:
In 1812, a charming young English trickster swept through Rawdon, Windsor, Halifax, and Pictou leaving behind a trail of identities and audacious thefts. Condemned to death in New Brunswick in 1814 for horse theft, he was nonetheless back in Nova Scotia in 1815 embarking yet again on a life of audacious crime and inspiring Sheriff Walter Bates’ 1817 bestseller, The Mysterious Stranger.

Click here for bio of Gwendolyn Davies.

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May 18, 2016

“Immigration to Atlantic Canada: Historical Reflections”

John Reid, Saint Mary’s University

Note: Lecture will follow our Annual General Meeting and will take place in the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Theatre at Pier 21.

Abstract:
Presented in conjunction with the Immigration to Atlantic Canada Conference This lecture will present a broad analysis of historical immigration patterns in Atlantic Canada, setting migration within an Indigenous context and distinguishing between Newfoundland and the Maritime region. The twin processes of Indigenous dispossession and settler colonization will be considered as contexts for Atlantic Canada’s roles and responsibilities in a world increasingly shaped both by the need to recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples and by the forces of global migration.

Click here for a bio of John Reid.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 9 December 2015

December_2015_RNSHS

Click to download lecture poster

“Material Life and Landscape along the St. Mary’s River in Northeastern Nova Scotia, 1840-1910”

Meghann Jack, PhD Candidate, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Abstract:
The nineteenth century Nova Scotia countryside was a dynamic landscape where ideas of improvement, industriousness, and convenience characterized the way farmers patterned and negotiated their material surroundings. This talk analyzes the material motivations of St. Mary’s farmers in relation to the architectural expression of their farmsteads. The focus is both spatial and temporal, showing change in one small region over time. An examination of architectural choice and conceptualization, and the experiential realities of farm life and labour, demonstrates how farmers used their barns and farmhouses––buildings that reflected both economic and cultural concerns.

Click here for a bio of Meghann Jack.