Canadian Business History Association Partnership with the Confederation Debates Project

10 01 2017
AS: As a business historian, CBHA member and author of works on Canadian Confederation, I am very pleased to see the CBHA has established a  formal affiliation with The Confederation Debates project. The 150th anniversary of Confederation will be a wonderful “teachable moment” to allow business historians to share their knowledge of how business shaped the making of the Canadian constitution and Canada more generally. The Confederation Debates project involves the innovative use of digitized primary sources.
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Joseph L. PinsonneaultThis image is part of the Canadian Copyright Collection held by the British Library, and has been digitised as part of the “Picturing Canada” project.  It is also made available on a British Library website. Catalogue entry: HS85/10/16085

The Confederation Debates is a national non-partisan legacy digitization and dissemination project that is making the country’s founding records accessible to Canadians of all ages and walks of life. Before each province and territory became a part of Canada, their local legislatures (and the House of Commons after 1867) debated the extent, purposes, and principles of political union between 1865 and 1949.  Indigenous Peoples and Crown officials have also negotiated treaties that committed both parties to lasting relationships. The Confederation Debates brings the records of all of these exchanges together for the first time, and makes them accessible to specialists as well as the general public though a variety of deliverables including:
    • website  where anyone can view the records, and help us to correct typos made by our text scanning software after watching a short 3 minute YouTube video;
    • A legacy website hosted by the University of Victoria that will include a map where visitors can enter their postal code and learn whether the local leaders were for, or against, joining Canada;
    • Grade 7/8 and high school lesson plans that give equal voice to pro- and anti-Confederation positions;
    • Provincial or regional e-books, with introductions composed by recognized scholars;
    • Confederation “Quotes of the Day” published in both official languages to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook between 1 July 2016 and 1 July 2017 that spotlight all sides of the debates.
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