Reflecting on the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in Canada

June 2, 2017 by Nicholas Terpstra

Dear alumni and friends of the Department of History,

This is a significant year in Canada, given the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and our Department has been hosting a series of lectures and exhibits to reflect on this anniversary. To make these accessible to a widespread audience, we have produced podcasts of the lectures that you will find on our Canada150 page

Canada by Treaty: Negotiating Histories: Co-curated by James Bird, Heidi Bohaker and Laurie Bertram, this new pop-up exhibit is a response to the 150th Anniversary of Confederation. The exhibit is intended for a general audience—for students grabbing a coffee between classes, or staff or faculty taking a break in the library—to learn about the long history of treaty making, and how and why these agreements were essential to the foundation of modern Canada. Please visit the Canada by Treaty online, for information about where you can visit the exhibit.

The Other 60s: A Decade that Shaped Canada and the World: this was a daylong conference that brought together scholars from across Canada to discuss the global context in which the Canadian federation emerged. It included a plenary address on Métis, treaty-making, and Confederation by Jean Teillet, a legal scholar and lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and treaty negotiations, and author of a forthcoming history of the Métis Nation.

Creighton Lecture: This is an annual event, and the Department’s only named lecture. Professor Elsbeth Heaman (McGill University) delivered the 2017 Creighton Lecture, discussing the complicated academic and political uses of “civilization” in Canada during the 1860s and their afterlife.

Ten Minute Talks: A series of short talks delivered by faculty members in the Department, discussing a few of the key issues surrounding Confederation.

We very much hope that you will find the exhibit and series of talks informative and a cause for reflection.


Nicholas Terpstra, FRSC
Professor & Chair