We have started a new website called activehistory.ca to help connect historians with the public, policy makers and the media.  This is a part of an effort to facilitate and disseminate the ideas developed at the  Active History conference. Please visit and send us your feedback by email (jimclifford (at) activehistory.ca) or in person at the Canadian Historical Association meeting in Ottawa.  We are looking for historians to join our network and to submit short paper for the website.

We are happy to announce that we will be hosting a Business lunch meeting at the CHA meeting this May in Ottawa. During this meeting we will be promoting our new web-project Activehistory.ca and founding an Active History committee affiliated with the CHA. If you are interested in this project please attend our meeting and our Round Table discussion the following morning.

Please contact Thomas Peace for more information: tpeace@activehistory.ca

We have organised a round table for this the CHA in Ottawa this Spring.  The round table is scheduled on Wednesday, May 27 at 8:30am.  The presenters include Kieth Jamieson, a Cultural Consultant, Adjunct Professor and Curator from the Mohawk of the Six Nations of the Grand River, Robin Elliott, Excutive Director of Murmur Toronto, Geoffrey Reaume, Associate Professor, York University, Jim Clifford, PhD Candidate, York University and Thomas Peace, PhD Candidate, York University.

Tom and I hope the round table will both discuss the idea of active history developed at our conference in September and begin a conversation about where we can take active history in the future.  Please attend the round table if you are in Ottawa for the CHA.

I recently stumbled across a sheet of paper I picket up at a conference in London during the summer of 2007.  The paper advertised the History and Policy website: http://www.historyandpolicy.org

I think this group in the UK has a lot of parallels with the ideas presented at the Active History conference in September 2008.  Moreover, they have developed a web resource to facilitate active or applied history that we need to consider developing in Canada.

David A. Zonderman from North Carolina State University was unable to present his active history project during the conference do to a medical incident.  He was able to return home soon after the conference and was given a clean bill of health.  Please take a look at this presentation notes linked below:


On Cultural Idenity

From: Keith A. Jamieson, Mohawk, Six Nations of the Grand River, September, 2008

These two quotes are from the keynote address I delivered at the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, March 5th, 2007, on opening the “Between Worlds” exhibit, which featured the portraits of the “Four Kings”, four Mohawk emissaries to the Court of Queen Anne, 1710.

The first quote was informed by my reading of Jorge Larraine’s “Ideology and Cultural Identity”, 1984, and the second quote came from Paul Wallace’s book, “The White Roots of Peace”, 1940’s, and he attributed it to an anonymous Haudenosaunee/Iroquois speaker.

“For me, a cultural identity is as much a matter of becoming as it is of being. It belongs to the future as much as it does to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending place, time, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, they have histories. But like everything which is historical, they undergo transformation, they are not (static) fixed in the past. They are subject to the continuous play of history, culture and power. Far from being grounded in a mere recovery of the past waiting to be found, identities are the names we give to the different ways we position ourselves within, and are positioned by the narratives of the past.”

“Ours is not a thing of paint and feathers, it is a thing of the heart.”

Active History Conference Blog

Active History: History for the Future took place this past weekend at Glendon College in Toronto.  The organizers are really happy with how it turned out and we would like to thank everyone who took part.  We have asked the presenters and attendees to submit blog posts for this website.  I will be adding them as they arrive, so check back often for presentation summaries and reflections on the conference.

Glendon Map

The conference is taking place in the Manor or Glendon Hall, which is #16 on this map (with the circular driveway)

Travel within Toronto: The easiest way to get to Glendon College is by taking the 124 bus from Lawrence station (Yonge subway line) to Bayview Avenue. Participants staying in the Best Western Roehampton or elsewhere near the college can take the 34 bus along Eglinton to Bayview and then the 11 up Bayview to Lawrence.

Glendon College directions: http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/english/directions/direction.html

Travel Funding

The organizers of Active History: History for the Future are pleased to announce that we have received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Part of this funding is being allocated to help fund travel and accommodation for historians who do not have access to institutional travel funding. Preference will be given to independent historians. Forms must be submitted by August 31st in order to receive consideration. For more information please contact tpeace@yorku.ca.

Travel Support form:active-history-travel-funding-form