Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative
May 29, 2017

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In case you've been waiting for the news,  the ballots have been counted and my history of North Vancouver, Where Mountains Meet the Sea, has won the community history prize awarded by the BC Historical Federation at its annual meeting, this year held in Chilliwack.

The Federation threw a great banquet on Saturday night and Sunday morning I got a chance to have breakfast...

May 24, 2017

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Next week, May 29-June 4 is Bike to Work Week in Vancouver. 

Everything old is new again, including bike commuting. The inaugural bicycle in the city was owned by Dr. Robert Mathison, a dentist, who imported it from Ontario in 1887. According to the first archivist, Major James Matthews, by 1900 a bicycle "craze" had swept the city. "Almost every family...

May 22, 2017

Congratulations to Rolf Knight who has been named this year's winner of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for a BC writer with a long and meritorious career.

I keep two of Knight's books close to hand. His Indians at Work is a compendious account of the Aboriginal labour force in BC, pathbreaking when it first...

May 18, 2017

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I’ve recently been poking around the history of squatting in Vancouver. Issues of homelessness and transiency go right back to the origins of the city. Gassy Jack himself was a squatter and of course you could argue that we are all squatters, on native land.

During the Dirty Thirties the men in the photograph were among the thousands of single unemployed who arrived in the...

May 15, 2017

I've been thinking about adding to the din about cultural appropriation but since I've written an entire book that is mostly about the subject I thought I'd leave it at that.

Except to recommend that if you want to educate yourself about the issue, watch Jesse Wente's interview on CBC television, or listen to...

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