Teaching History Summer Institute

2018 University of Winnipeg-Manitoba Education and Training

Teaching History Summer Institute:

"Comrades in Arms: Teaching and Learning About Indigenous Peoples, War, and Memory in Canadian History"


This year marks the centennial of the end of the First World War, a war in which millions of combatants and millions of non-combatants and civilians died. As a member of the British Commonwealth, Canada, too, went to war: more than half a million Canadians participated. Tens of thousands died or were wounded; many never returned. Among those Canadians who also joined the war effort were many Indigenous peoples who enlisted in disproportionately high numbers.

As historians have made clear, Indigenous peoples in Canada were not legally obligated to enlist in the military, yet they did so, volunteering at a rate beyond that of non-Indigenous Canadians. About 4000 served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Canada's army:  35 percent of all Indigenous men and women eligible for military service. Indigenous peoples served both overseas and at home, generating support for Canada's war effort at several levels, including financial support, even in the face of pervasive poverty in reserve communities (many Indigenous peoples also chose not to enlist). Indigenous war veterans experienced the stark paradox of citizenship and equality as members of Canada's armed forces, and continued, oppressive conditions on the home front:  denial of citizenship; intensifying, invasive pressures on First Nations lands; and Indian Act subjection, enduring struggles inherited from the previous century and confronted on several fronts. At this year’s Summer Institute, World War I becomes a departure point for an in-depth examination of  race, intercultural relations, and commemoration in Canadian history.    

The 2018 University of Winnipeg Teaching History Summer Institute explores the relationships between Indigenous peoples the state, and public opinion, between memory and history, and between wars abroad and conflict at home. Insights generated from guest speakers, presenters, participants, and cutting-edge scholarship will be combined to produce practical and creative learning strategies for use in the classroom. 

As always, the institute strives to engage teachers, students, communities, and the wider public in a debate about historical thinking and the dynamic link between history and contemporary issues. As part of this partnership, Manitoba Education encourages teachers from grades 5 to 12 to participate in this valuable learning experience.

Location: 223 Bryce Hall, University of Winnipeg
Registration fee: $50.00.
For registration and additional information please contact Jason M. Yaremko, Coordinator, 204.786.9353 or

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