An Introduction to Canadian History

Learning to “Do” History

What is History and how do you do it? This is a fairly packed question that most people wouldn’t think of or know how to answer. I was taken by surprise when this was brought up on the first day of class. Before attending, I used to think that history is not something you do but something you learn. That you can read and come to understand from stories and documentations of the past.  Through class and discussions, I have come to understand that you can do history by looking in the past, analyzing the situation, taking in evidence and different perspectives. You can do history by giving your own point of view, observations and concerns and questions. History can be seen through pictures, buildings, societies and everyday life. I’ve also come to gather that History is not only in the past, history is everything surrounding us. It is anything that can or will impact the future of Canada, or Canadians. That everyday all of us are making and watching history happen. This also goes to show that we can in fact change history. I had always thought that history could not be changed as it already happened, but the fact of the matter is, that history is happening yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That we as a young generation can change history for our futures. I think a lot of the younger peoples also believe in this. That this could be the reason why a lot are not interested in history or don’t think that voting will matter. They only think that history happens in the past.

I signed up for history with the intentions to find out more about the past. I am specifically interested in different wars, genocides, missions, and residential schooling. I plan to do history by taking it with me in my future endeavors. Next year I am going on a study abroad for the year and then I plan on continuing to do this for the rest of my university experience. I have enrolled to go to Australia, Chile, London and Croatia. With each location I plan to take my interests and learn about the history of all these different places. I am extremely excited to go see different museums, old and new buildings, artifacts and document all my observations. I am also excited to give my own observations and state how these things have affected me.  These places interest me specifically for a few reasons. I find each place to be very different in culture, society and art. They all have very different landscapes, temperatures and seasons. They also have very different stories, different ways of how their continents came to be and how it works now. I think that when I’ve learned and done history in each place I will have a broader understanding of the world and how it’s come to be.

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