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Category Archives: History

Imprisoning Our Own: Caught at Emerson! (Part II)

Jan 9, 2019  Post by Dr. Leah Morton, Assistant Curator (History) This research was supported by a grant from the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund. During the Great War, 8,579 people were sent to internment camps in Canada. Over 5,000 of them were Austro-Hungarian, or Ukrainian, civilians who had been classified as ‘enemy aliens.’ They were from countries Canada was fighting against, but the main reason for their internment was unemployment. It was hard for Ukrainians to find work during the war, mainly due to nativist beliefs (many thought Anglo-Canadians should be given the jobs). Unemployed ‘enemy aliens’ made others very nervous. In 1915, over 100 Ukrainians from…

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Imprisoning Our Own: First World War Internment in Winnipeg (Part I)

Posted by Dr. Leah Morton, Assistant Curator (History) This research was supported by a grant from the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund. During the Great War (1914-1918) Canada interned thousands of German and Ukrainian immigrants. Internment camps were set up across the country and a few ‘receiving stations’ were opened to process and hold those slated for internment. One of these receiving stations was located at the Fort Osborne Barracks in Winnipeg. In 1914 Canada adopted the War Measures Act, giving the federal government sweeping powers. It allowed the government to set up internment camps and create the category of enemy alien — a designation given to people…

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Legacies of Confederation: The Participation Awards!

Medals that commemorate important events in a nation’s history fill every history museum collection around the planet. Collectors and antique traders adore medals, but let’s be honest: when they’re on display they don’t have the impact of a giant dinosaur skeleton. Medals are small. But that didn’t stop politicians and government officials from clamouring for shiny objects when Canadian Confederation was officially enacted in 1867. In our exhibit “Legacies of Confederation: A New Look at Manitoba History” we have on display not one, but two Confederation medals, minted in 1869, that commemorate the founding moment of the Dominion of Canada. The Confederation Medal is seemingly the first honour of Canada,…

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Legacies of Confederation: Manitoba, a New Homeland

After Manitoba entered Confederation in 1870 and the Canadian government negotiated Treaty No. 1 with First Nations leaders, Canada began to actively engage potential immigrants to settle and farm the prairies. The first two groups that arrived in large numbers were English speaking Ontarians and German speaking Mennonites from eastern Ukraine. This first large wave of immigration to Manitoba would begin the irrevocable transformation of the environment and the economy of the province forever. The success of the Mennonites in particular may have helped open the door to other immigrants who did not speak English and had different religious backgrounds compared to the English Protestants and French Catholics who dominated…

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Bringing Our Stories Forward: Modern Immigration in Manitoba – by Rachel Erickson

Guest blog by Rachel Erickson, Assistant Curator For the past four months, I’ve been working at the Manitoba Museum on a project about contemporary migration, just one part of the large capital renewal project Bringing Our Stories Forward. My project involves researching all aspects of migration to Manitoba; why do people come to Manitoba, and from where, what sort of policies have existed over the years that encourage (or discourage) migration, how have people settled in, and what sort of challenges might they face upon arrival. One of the aims of the project is to collect oral histories about modern migration to Manitoba, and potentially collect new objects that can be…

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Terry Fox Exhibit: A Call for Artefacts

The Manitoba Museum is hosting the Canadian Museum of History national travelling exhibit “Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada” exhibit, opening July 14, 2016. The exhibit features the incredible story of Terry Fox as he embarked on the Marathon of Hope in 1980 to raise funds for cancer research. The marathon, which so many Canadians remember through annual Terry Fox Runs, is memorialized by personal artefacts collected by Terry’s mother. We’re asking Manitobans to help us find artefacts and memorabilia that may be tucked away around the province. If you have anything related to the early days of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, or if you have something…

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A Strange Migration

Usually geese migrate from North to South and back again. Some goose decoys, however, migrated from Manitoba to British Columbia a hundred years ago, and have now come home to Manitoba again. A woman from Victoria, British Columbia called some time ago wanting to donate a batch of goose decoys that had been in the possession of her father. Duck and goose decoys used for hunting are common enough items, but the photographs the donor showed me were unique. These decoys, which were said to have been made in Manitoba in the 1880s, were made from actual geese. Twelve body forms were adorned with goose feathers, and these were accompanied…

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Guest Blog – The Tupper Quilt and Canadian Confederation

By Kelly Burwash, Practicum student, Master of Arts in Cultural Studies/Curatorial Practices, University of Winnipeg One of the great things about museums is that they can help foster relationships with (so-called) distant historical events. My placement at The Manitoba Museum involves doing research for an upcoming exhibition on the 150th anniversary of Confederation. As a new resident of Manitoba, it has been especially interesting for me to research what Confederation means to the province’s unique context. Manitoba was, of course, not part of the original four provinces that became Canada on July 1, 1867. At the time, Canada consisted of Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec. This does not…

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Guest Blog – First hand impressions of the 1919 General Strike

Master’s student Jessica Adam in the Urban Gallery café. The gallery represents Winnipeg in 1920, one year after the events of the General Strike. By Jessica Adam, Practicum student, Master of Arts in Cultural Studies/Curatorial Practices, University of Winnipeg In 2019, it will be the one hundredth anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, a movement that had major social and political repercussions across Canada. To commemorate this dramatic episode in Winnipeg’s history, The Manitoba Museum is researching a potential exhibition about the strike, and specifically, the experience of what it was like to be there – on the streets, in the crowds, part of the events. My role in this, as…

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The Log Cabin Gets a 21st Century Upgrade

The Grasslands Gallery was developed as one of the first galleries at The Manitoba Museum when it opened 45 years ago. The Log Cabin exhibit in this gallery has been used intensively by our school programs ever since, and hundreds of thousands of visitors have enjoyed its pioneer flavour. Whenever you hear someone say “pioneer flavour”, you know it’s time for a change.   The Log Cabin just didn’t seem as engaging as it could be, so we put in new spotlights and removed a plex-glass wall that was meant to protect the artefacts, but really just created a visual barrier. But most of all, I wanted our visitors to learn…

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