Hi. I’m Gerry Burnie, an author of Canadian historical fiction, and a crusader of ‘Canadian history made interesting.’
When I was a student in the 1940s and 50s we were grudgingly obliged to learn about the various kings and queens of Britain, as well as the great battles of Europe, and what little Canadian history we did study was as boring as it could possibly be. Indeed, if the educators of the day had set out to make history boring they couldn’t have done a better job of it.
Shockingly, things haven’t improved. If anything, they have gotten worse. Out of curiosity I took a look at the recommended course outline for elementary students the other day, and was appalled to see the following:
“The earliest settlers who made their homes in the wilderness were known as pioneers.
“Many pioneers of Upper Canada came from France, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and other countries in Europe. Some settlers went to other parts of North America and later moved into Upper Canada.
“They came to Upper Canada for many reasons. Some came so they could freely practice their religion. Some did not like the way their home countries were being run. Some just hoped they could have a better life in a new country.
“Interesting Facts about the Early Settlers
in 1800, only 10% of the population lived in towns or cities – most lived on farms in 1800, the population of Upper Canada was 35 000 before 1800, most immigrants came from America after 1815, large numbers of immigrants started to come from the British Isles (England, Ireland, Scotland) between 1825 and the 1830′s more people came from the British Isles than from America
(see the full lesson plan at: Pioneer Life in Upper Canada
Good heavens! It’s about as appetizing as wallpaper past!
I have therefore assembled a list of interesting Canadian tales that have some life to them, as well as historical value, and I will be adding to that list as time goes by.
- Sam Steele: The Wild Adventures of Canada’s Most Famous Mountie, by Holly Quan
- Real Justice: Guilty of Being Weird: The story of Guy Paul Morin, by Cynthia J. Faryon
- The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Expedition (Twentieth-Century Battles), by Robin Neillands
- To Wawa With Love, by Tom Douglas
- Wild Canadian West, by E.C. (Ted) Meyers
- Tecumseh: Diplomat and Warrior in the War of 1812, by Irene Gordon
- Klondike Cattle Drive – Normal Lee
- Blazing the Old Cattle Trail, by Grant MacEwan
- Secrets of Lake Simcoe: Fascinating Stories From Ontario’s Past, by Andrew Hind & Maria Da Silva
- Amazing stories of WWI, WWII, and the Canadian Navy
- Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent, by Richmond P. Hobson, Jr.
- Jimmy Simpson: Legend of the Rockies, by E.J. Hart
- To Every Thing There Is a Season: A Cape Breton Christmas Story, by Alistair MacLeod
- Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder by Lee Mellor
- The Canadian Rockies: Pioneers, Legends and True Tales by Roger W. Patillo
- Convoys of World War II: Dangerous Missions on the North Atlantic, by Dorothy Pederson.
if you would like to learn more about any of my books, or to order copies, click on the specific cover below. Two Irish Lads and Nor All Thy Tears are available in both Kindle and Nook formats. Publisher’s price, $4.95.