Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative
July 9, 2013

Yesterday brought exciting news for orca lovers on the BC coast. A sighting near Bella Bella indicates that Springer, the famous "orphan orca," has given birth and that mother and calf are doing well.

In 2002 Springer, then less than two years old, captured the world's attention when she was discovered, alone and in poor health, down in Puget Sound near Seattle. Marine scientists decided to intervene to capture the animal, nurse her back to health, then return her to her normal...

July 5, 2013

 

Just in time for Canada History Week the folks at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography had done a makeover to their website. The result makes for a vastly improved visitor experience. As a taste test, try this new bio of historian Donald Creighton.

For the Fourth of July, Slate published a critical...

July 2, 2013

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Admonished by my government to get out and "celebrate our history and the achievements that define who we are" (in the words of our heritage minister), I spent part of Canada Day, and the first day of Canada History Week, marching in a parade.

The North Vancouver Museum & Archives, of which I am a commissioner, is hoping to move to a new location in a...

June 24, 2013

Some thirty years ago while I was researching the history of whaling for my book on the subject (The Great Chase, Penguin Canada, 1990) I had the pleasure of chatting with Selma Barkham about her work in the Basque archives.

Last Saturday I thought of our conversation as UNESCO declared that Red Bay, Labrador, located on the north shore of the Strait of Belle Isle, would be Canada's newest World Heritage Site. Almost 500 years ago, the tiny settlement was one of the whaling...

June 18, 2013

Recently I’ve been researching the history of prohibition during the 1920s, in Canada and in the borderlands with the US as well. As so often happens, echoes of one’s own research can be heard in the political issues of the present day, specifically in the recent revelations of massive electronic eavesdropping by the American government on its own citizens.

Watchers of Ken Burns’s television series “Prohibition” that showed last year on PBS will recall the story of Roy Olmstead, the...

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