the Past a Future conference is an experience I will never
forget. I received a greater knowledge on the teaching of Canadian
history in one weekend than I have throughout my schooling career.
My stay in Montreal and the experience of attending the Conference
are once in a lifetime opportunities, and one of the most beneficial
experiences to my continuous improvement as a history student.
The opportunity to come to Montreal for the weekend was a
privilege. After my history teacher, Mr. McAdam asked me to join
him at the weekend, I felt honoured to be a guest of Canada's
National History Society.
I really did not know what to expect before the conference began.
So for starters, I have learned how a large conference would
operate. As well, I never consciously realized or thought about
the important figures in Canadian history, and by attending not
only did I find out who they are, and what they do, but I had
the opportunity to meet and talk with some of them.
Something that I found really fascinating was being surrounded
by another language. I had never been to Quebec before, and visiting
a new city, and trying to communicate with people who spoke a
different language was actually really fun. Being able to meet
students and teachers from almost every province was something
that I may never have had the chance to do if it were not for
this conference, and for that I am that much more aware of the
state of Canadian history, and the teaching of it in Canada's
This conference, from my perspective, was extremely successful
and beneficial to all those who attended, and I am hopeful that
they will continue to take place, and that in the future I will
have the opportunity to attend again. On top of all this, being
surrounded for a weekend by extremely considerate and friendly
people meant a great deal.
Desmond Morton, Director, The McGill Institute for the Study
of Canada, said the conference went very well and that the best
aspect of the conference was that it allowed for historians to
gather from across Canada to discuss their views on various fields
of study. Without there ever being a national gathering like
this before, historians from across Canada were never able to
hear first hand what was happening in other provinces. Morton
also said there is no national organization in Canada for history,
as there is in many other countries, so he hoped that this event
would lead to the beginning of such an institution.
Ken Osborne, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University
of Manitoba, said he was impressed with the sessions that had
taken place over the weekend, and the importance of the conference.
He said the conference is the first gathering of people on the
topic of Canadian history that croesses so many borders -- almost
every province was represented, language barriers were crossed,
and people from every field related to history were present.
He felt that not only was this conference extremely important
to the teaching of history in Canada, but also that this is not
a one-time affair. Osborne hopes this will lead to a unification
of people from across Canada who are looking out for the well-being
of Canadian history.
The conference featured an extensive display area with booths
from book publishers, producers of cd-rom and websites, television
and film productions, historical groups, educational projects
and heritage sites
This picture was taken at the Pointe-à-Callierè
Museum. A group of students and teachers visited the site on
Sunday morning. Not only did everyone learn a great deal about
historic Montreal through the artifacts, multi-media displays,
and archaeological remains that were present, but a great time
was had by all who went.
Al Skeoch is an author and former president of the Ontario History
and social science Teacher's Association,. He said students are
the future of history education and should be playing more of
a role in the conference. Furthermore, he thinks that technology's
impact on teaching history (CD-Rom's and the Internet) will never
replace learning through reading books and using one's imagination
when it comes to discovering the past.