As part of its mandate to promote and recognise excellence in historical research, the CHA awards a series of prizes.
The Neil Sutherland Article Prize - 2022
Antoine Burgard, “Contested Childhood: Assessing the Age of Young Refugees in the Aftermath of the Second World War,” History Workshop 92 (2021). Doi:10.1093/hwj/dbab016.
This decidedly enjoyable piece demonstrates how a variety of actors, including states, NGOs, and young people themselves, constructed and contested age-limited understandings of childhood in the years immediately after the Second World War. The committee was particularly impressed with Burgard’s strong theoretical and conceptual framing, well grounded in the lived experiences of young Holocaust survivors who applied for resettlement in Canada. Notably, the Canadian case study is set in a rich comparative context. Bringing together age studies, humanitarian history, and migration history in a highly fruitful way, “Contested Childhood” argues proof of chronological age took on greater significance as part of efforts to restore childhood at war’s end – a shift that both offered young refugees the promise of normality while simultaneously requiring them to either present documentation often destroyed during the conflict, or to present a child-like appearance or behaviours belied by their wartime experiences.
Heather Fitzsimmons Frey and Tania Gigliotti, “Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: Youth Interpreters at Fort Edmonton Park Performing Possibilities Across Time,” TRIC/ITAC 42.2 (2021): 243-263. Doi: 10.3138/TRIC.42.2.A05
This article offers an original and generative approach to thinking about the activities and experiences of teenaged volunteers at Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton, Alberta. Fitzsimmons Frey and Gigliotti examine how young people themselves create the “multiple, intersectional, and time- and space-specific constructions of youth” in the park. The prize committee appreciated the focus on young people actively interpreting the past (or doing history). As the authors argue, teenaged interpreters’ performance – “disrupting [visitor] expectations, challenging narratives, and performing choice” – challenges fixed understandings of the histories of Fort Edmonton, of the experiences of youth in the past, and of contemporary teenagers’ ability to mediate between past and present. “Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” poses intriguing questions at the intersection of public history, performance studies, and the histories of childhood and youth.
Prize for Best article on the history of Sexuality - 2022
Belinda Deneen Wallace
Belinda Deneen Wallace, “Our Lives: Scribal Activism, Intimacy, and Black Lesbian Visibility in 1980s Canada. Journal of Canadian Studies 54, 2-3 (Spring 2020): 334-359.
Dr. Belinda Wallace (University of New Mexico) offers a stimulating and generative journey into Black lesbian-feminist mobilization during the 1980s by focusing on Toronto’s first Black women’s newspaper, Our Lives, founded in 1986 by the Black Women’s Collective. Using the term “scribal activism” as a vehicle to describe the “strategic use of the written word, including symbols, to fervently advocate for social change,” Wallace charts how Our Lives played an integral role in establishing a “new politic” in response to the invisibility and marginalization Black lesbians experienced in the context of the feminist movement. Wallace re-narrates the script of the feminist movement by using “queertimacy” as analytical tool. A term coined by Wallace, queertimacy nurtured kinship networks and propagated a fertile space for Black lesbian feminists to explore Blackness, queerness, and “femaleness” through knowledge creation. Wallace presents compelling archival examples of this knowledge creation as liberatory practice gleaned from the pages of Our Lives, including artwork, reviews of plays, and essays on the Black lesbian experience, such as Donna Barker’s 1987 essay “Women Loving Women.” With this rich archive, Wallace sheds much-needed light on the significant contributions of Black lesbian creativity, visibility, and community.
Best Book in Political History Prize - 2022
Benjamin Hoy, A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border across Indigenous Lands (OUP, 2021)
Sweeping in its temporal and geographic scope, A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border across Indigenous Lands (Oxford) offers an audacious intervention in the history of the border between Canada and the United States. By placing particular importance on the people who built or learned to live with the border – including government representatives, members of diaspora communities and Indigenous peoples – Benjamin Hoy deftly weaves a complex narrative of uneven development, administrative chaos and control, and multifaceted resistance. Based on extensive archival, oral and iconographic research, and introducing a wide range of perspectives from all sides of the border, A Line of Dirt and Blood makes an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of political boundaries and the people who shape and are shaped by them.
Pierre B. Berthelot, Duplessis is still alive (Septentrion, 2021)
The jury is pleased to award an honorable mention to Pierre B. Berthelot, Duplessis is still alive (Septentrion). This book is destined to become the definitive synthesis of Maurice Duplessis, Duplessism and the Union Nationale in Quebec's memory, from the 1930s to today. The author shows the intertwining of realities and perceptions concerning the "Chief", what he has meant and continues to mean. The character, work and legacy of Maurice Duplessis are complex. Pierre B. Berthelot gives access to these various keys to reading with sensitivity. The author carefully examines - even exhaustively - the sources (from scholarly books to comic strips, songs, radio and television, manuals, caricatures, plays and films). The result is an original work, both erudite and accessible.
The CHA Best Scholarly Book in Canadian History Prize - 2022
Benjamin Hoy, A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border Across Indigenous Lands
Benjamin Hoy’s A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border across Indigenous Lands is at once wide-ranging and sharply conceived. Drawing on a wide range of written and oral archives, Hoy examines the physical, political, and cultural making of the Canada-US border from the 1770s to the early twentieth century in beautiful and compelling prose. A Line of Blood and Dirt documents a border made in conflict, inseparable from histories of colonialism and Indigenous resistance, and designed to mean different things for different people. Hoy shows the connections between environmental and political history and histories of migration and Indigenous people, all analyzed without compromise. This is a story of settler governments, but also of the environments and ordinary people who resisted and remade them.
A Line of Blood and Dirt is a powerful reminder of the capacity of history to cast new and needed light on the present, and especially the meaning and impact of international borders. The questions the book raises are difficult and tangled ones: how legal, governmental, and diplomatic decisions can determine the practice of everyday life while those lived experiences on the ground can also defy, ignore, and complicate the decisions made by the powerful. A Line of Blood and Dirt is a powerful and timely engagement between past and present, and one that will shape how we understand international and diplomatic history, environmental history, Indigenous history, and immigration history.
Pierre Anctil, Antijudaïsme et influence nazie au Québec: le cas du journal L'Action catholique (1931-1939), Les Presses de L'Université de Montréal, 2021
Catherine Larochelle, L'école du racisme: La construction de l’altérité à l’école québécoise (1830-1915 ), Les Presses de L'Université de Montréal, 2021
Martin Pâquet et Stéphane Savard, Brève histoire de la Révolution tranquille. Boréal, 2021.
Allyson Stevenson, Intimate Integration: A History of the Sixties Scoop and the colonization of Indigenous Kinship, University of Toronto Press, 2021.
Network in Canadian History and Environment Prize for Best Book - 2022
Brittany Luby, Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.
Brittany Luby’s beautifully written analysis of hydroelectric development impacts on Anishinabeg communities in the Lake of the Woods–Winnipeg River watershed artfully weaves oral testimony and archival research with embodied generational experience of place to deliver an accessible narrative linking environmental transformation and dispossession. Luby contributes to the existing environmental history literature on dams and rivers with a unique analysis focused primarily on water and Indigenous histories of adaptation, cooperation, and resistance in response to medium and small-scale hydro operations. In centering Indigenous responses, Luby demonstrates that the dispossession of water systems and watersheds, in addition to land, is another way colonialism is articulated and activated.
In this rich narrative, Luby reorients readers’ perspectives by starting on the ground and centering Indigenous knowledge systems and stories. Dammed is a community-engaged and decolonizing historical work rooted in place and the author’s personal experiences. In centering the experiences of Dalles 38C First Nation, Luby lends a voice to community members, elders, and relatives and mediates their participation in telling this story.
Luby also challenges the common narrative of universal post-war Canadian prosperity. Rather than concentrating on high modernism, affluence, and progress, she argues that, by viewing the 20th century hydro boom from the “periphery” (geographically and racially), we can see the inequitable distribution of benefits and burdens of energy development. As Luby skillfully follows the story of 20th century hydroelectric development in the Lake of the Woods, she weaves together a diverse array of historical themes: from environment and race to gender and health to energy, justice, and labour. Her examination of women’s health, pre- and post-natal care, and food insecurity makes an important gendered contribution to energy histories, highlighting the ways in which the projects of settler colonialism left legacies on Indigenous bodies, lands, and livelihoods.
Dammed is an important work in Canadian environmental history. Through its deeply engaging and descriptive prose, this book shows that medium to smaller scale dams have profoundly changed relationships among water, land, animals, and human bodies. It will inspire its readers to critically consider water-based colonialism as well as water activism among Indigenous communities across Canada.
The Indigenous History Best Article Prize - 2022
Cody Groat and Kim Anderson & Daniel Macfarlane and Andrea Olive
Cody Groat & Kim Anderson, “Holding Place: Resistance, Reframing, and Relationality in the Representation of Indigenous History”. The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 102, Issue 3.
Cody Groat and Kim Anderson’s article “Holding Place: Resistance, Reframing, and Relationality in the Representation of Indigenous History” (The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 102, Issue 3) explores questions of commemoration in Canadian history from the perspective of two Indigenous historians: one who has engaged in public history through performance art (Anderson) and another who is building a career studying public history (Groat). The two explore both the ways in which Indigenous peoples resist public commemorations that distort Indigenous histories and how Indigenous peoples can engage with commemorative practices to celebrate their histories. Anderson recounts her experiences in working with the public history troupe the Kika’ige Historical Society, which has been reframing Canadian commemorative practices to centre Indigenous peoples.
The article goes on to survey Indigenous interventions in Canadian public commemorations across the country, highlighting Indigenous commemorations as relational practices that distinguish themselves by their engagement with the land and the integration of human, natural, and spirit worlds. Groat and Anderson highlight the ways in which Indigenous histories can be integrated into a national discourse to promote reconciliation and cultural revitalization.
Daniel Macfarlane & Andrea Olive, “Whither Wintego: Environmental Impact Assessment and Indigenous Opposition in Saskatchewan’s Churchill River Hydropower Project in the 1970.” The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 102, Issue 4.
This article highlights the growing resistance to northern development by Indigenous communities. The tensions between settler projects and Indigenous treaty rights are unpacked with the use of an array of documentation including the Indigenous-led studies of the assessment process. This article points to an important turn within the history of the impact of settler colonialism on Indigenous histories.
The John Bullen Prize - 2022
Colin Murray Osmond
Colin Murray Osmond, “Paycheques and Paper Promises: Coast Salish and Mi’kmaw Work and Family Life under Canadian Settler Colonialism,” PhD dissertation, University of Saskatchewan, 2021.
Colin Osmond’s dissertation is an outstanding example of community-engaged research that amply illustrates the strengths of this framework while making a substantial contribution to the scholarship on First Nations labour history and to the historical analysis of settler colonialism in two very different settings. Building on a decade of engagement with Coast Salish communities, Osmond develops a comparative study of the lived experiences of the Tla’amin people of Tišosem (present-day Sliammon) in British Columbia and the Mi’kmaw people of Piktuk (Pictou Landing) in Nova Scotia through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing in particular on the role of waged labour and the dynamics of reserve creation (without treaty making) in both locales. Drawing on extensive archival sources and oral histories, the analysis takes into account the ways both localized manifestations of settler colonialism and Indigenous cultural contexts shaped daily life and work for these Tla’amin and Mi’kmaq communities. Further, it documents the multifaceted agency and complex strategies of First Nations who mobilized tradition to survive the challenges — economic, environmental, and political — posed by colonial intrusions on their lands. Osmond balances evidence of successful adaptations and community creation with the acknowledgement that, in the end, it was the amorphous, contradictory, and ever-shifting nature of settler colonialism that undermined Tla’amin and Mi’kmaw efforts to preserve an equitable share of, and control over, the economic resources of their traditional territories.
Osmond’s sensitivity to the ethical dimensions of collaborative research, thoughtful navigation of an asymmetrical evidentiary corpus, and commitment to producing knowledge that benefits the communities involved are models for work of this kind. It is most deserving of the John Bullen prize for 2022.
Melissa N. Shaw, ‘Blackness and British “Fair Play”: Burgeoning Black Social Activism in Ontario and Its Grassroots Responses to the Canadian Colour Line, 1919-1939,’ PhD dissertation, Queen’s University, 2021.
Melissa Shaw's dissertation provides a detailed analysis into how Black Canadians experienced the colour line post-World War I in Ontario, with a focus on the roles of local community organizations in challenging anti-Black racism. Her deep analysis of these organizations unpacks their internal and external dynamics, noting the significant role of women as leaders and activists. The committee highlighted in particular, Shaw's nuanced exploration of oral history interviews, church records, activist organization records, and newspapers as a means of uncovering the debates among activists, the struggles over colourism, and the impact that involvement in these community groups had on youth. This dissertation brings post-World War I Ontario to life from a perspective often unheard: Black women who through their positions in church and other community organizations combatted anti-Black racism and helped to inculcate intra-racial solidarity and Black pride. It is for the above reasons, the committee would like to note Melissa Shaw's dissertation as an "honourable mention" for the 2022 Bullen prize.
Political History Prize - Best Article (English Language) - 2022
Daniel Manulak, “’An African Representative’: Canada, the Third World, and South African Apartheid, 1984-1990,” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (June 2021), 1-32.
This first-rate example of international history uses interviews with some of the key actors and archival sources from three continents to show “the efforts of the African ‘Frontline States’ to enlist the diplomatic support of so-called ‘middle powers’ in the mid-late 1980s -- mainly Canada -- in the global struggle against South African apartheid.” At the same time, it examines why the Mulroney government participated in the fight to dismantle “South Africa’s racial order.” In so doing, this well-written article challenges and expands some ideas about Canada’s actions in the world.
The CHA's Teaching Prizes - 2022
Funké Aladejebi, Benjamin Hoy
Early or Alternative Career Award, Canadian history
Funké Aladejebi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. Her nomination package impressed with diverse primary source engagement across all levels of instruction, as well as an incredible dedication to mentorship, advocacy, and inclusion in her teaching. Dr. Aladejebi’s pedagogical approach masterfully incorporates skill development and contemporary application, social justice and inclusion, accessible learning models, as well as public history and engagement. The development of her two hundred level course “Black Canadian History” led to her foundational role in the creation of the Certificate in Black Canadian Studies, the first of its kind at the University of Toronto. The committee was particularly impressed with her commitment to extending primary source engagement beyond traditional archives and creating opportunities to bring public history and collaboration into her instruction. She continuously seeks to create exceptional experiences for her students, such as inviting Clement Virgo, critically acclaimed director of the series adaptation of “The Book of Negroes”, to her classroom. Above all, Professor Aladejebi demonstrates an incredible dedication to student learning and the creation of community.
Early or Alternative Career Award, other than Canadian history
The prize was not awarded this year.
Open Career State Award, Canadian history
Benjamin Hoy is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Hoy’s nomination package provides evidence of his impressive ability to make history come alive in appropriately complex ways as well as his innovative use of a wide range of primary sources in the classroom. By incorporating primary sources effortlessly into lesson plans, he allows for students to not only learn history, but learn history as historians do. Thus, he offers students the toolset and confidence necessary to explore historical questions that would otherwise seem out of reach. The committee was particularly impressed by commitment to the teaching community. Dr. Hoy attended 41 pedagogical workshops, training, and certification programs offered by the History Department, professional bodies, and the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning at USask, and he earned a second teaching certification for online teaching in 2020. He also developed two games for instructional purposes. For example, Escaping the Office of Professor Brutalis teaches students how to learn about thesis statements, grammar, plagiarism, and the Chicago Style citation system by solving puzzles. Above all, Professor Hoy demonstrates an impressive commitment to fostering community in the classroom and student learning.
Open Career State Award, other than Canadian history
The prize was not awarded this year.
The Indigenous History Book Prize - 2022
Helen Olsen Agger & Daniel Rück
Helen Olsen Agger, Dadibaajim : Returning Home through Narrative. University of Manitoba Press.
Helen Olsen Agger’s Dadibaajim reclaims and re-centres dadibaajim, or oral narratives, about the Namegosibii Anishinaabeg Trout Lake homelands in what is today known as northwestern Ontario, Treaty 3 territory. In grounding her work in critical Anishinaabe methodology, specifically her extensive use of Anishinaabemowin, Agger offers an insightful study of the ways in which the Namegosibii Anishinaabeg navigated intrusions of colonialism and capitalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In focusing specifically on dadibaajim narratives, Agger is able to fill in silences and omissions of the colonial record, and the book provides a very valuable self-description by Namegosibii Anishinaabeg that contributes to historical memory. Dadibaajim skillfully weaves together oral history, examination of historical documents, and language to help readers understand the care, use, and occupation of the Namegosibii Anishinaabeg’s Trout Lake homelands.
Daniel Rück, The Laws and the Land: The Settler Colonial Invasion of Kahnawake in Nineteenth-Century Canada. UBC Press.
In Laws and the Land, Daniel Rück focuses on the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) community of Kahnawà:ke, just south of Montreal, examining Indigenous relationships with the land and Settler intrusion across a broad arc that stretches from the seventeenth century to the start of the twentieth. The book distinguishes itself by its twinned engagement with legal and environmental history. This approach proves extremely fertile, making visible the processes of colonization, slow and uncoordinated, paradoxically “weak” yet inexorably oppressive. Rück grounds himself in extensive archival research, innovative cartographic efforts, and a thorough commitment to the current-day people of Kahnawà:ke. He is mindful of the interplay of individual and collective experiences, and attentive to how the local relates to the national and beyond, to the global context of settler colonialism.
The Hilda Neatby Prize - French Article - 2022
Jean-Philippe Garneau, « La tutelle des enfants mineurs au Bas-Canada : autorité domestique, traditions juridiques et masculinités », Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française, volume 74, No. 4, Printemps 2021, p. 11-35.
Based on an examination of hundreds of early nineteenth century guardianship election files from the district of Montreal, Jean-Philippe Garneau's article focuses on the guardianship of minor children, and proposes a reflection on the gendered and culturally differentiated use of this judicial procedure. While recognizing the limits of the information collected by the lawmen of the time, the study reveals a very strong link between law and origin, but above all, the importance of gender in this delineation. It is clear that the lawmen often reduced the rights of widows to their simplest expression, using accounting operations contrary to the interests of the latter. Another noteworthy observation is that, for Canadian fathers, the death of a wife initiated a negotiation which often includes the family of the deceased, whereas for British fathers (but not mothers), the refusal of the Parisian guardianship is almost generalized, which avoided them the hassle gathering relatives and friends.
Canadian Committee on Migration, Ethnicity and Transnationalism Article Prize - 2022
Jelena Golubovic, “Beyond Agency as Good: Complicity and Displacement after the Siege of Sarajevo.” Journal of Refugee Studies (2021): 1-20.
Jelena Golubovic’s article compels the reader to reconsider forced migrants’ agency to include those who are displaced as a result of their ethnocultural group’s complicity in acts of violence. Existing scholarship has largely focused on the construction of an ‘ideal refugee/victim’ and the links between refugee agency and victimhood. In conducting oral history interviews, Golubovic examines the displacement of Bosnian Serb women, following the Siege of Sarajevo in 1996, to help broaden our understanding of forced migrant agency by including guilt and (perceived) complicity in acts of violence perpetrated as by members of the same ethnocultural group. The author effectively uses interviews with displaced people to demonstrate how they negotiate their legibility as victims and to problematize the tendency to prioritize the positive articulations of "agency as good" in the context of conflict and refugee studies. Golubovic's work promises to make a significant impact on the way migration scholars contextualize discussions of 'refugeeness'.