Stories have a way of finding us when we need them.
Fall, 2010. I sit in the board room at York Catholic District School Board. It is the first day of the Barrie Region Aboriginal Education Professional Learning Community (PLC). David Bouchard is our guest speaker.
Since I was a teenager I have felt a connection to First Nation and Metis culture. One summer in the early 1990s I bought a copy of Michael Robinson’s poetry at the French River Trading Post, The Freedom of Silence. The next summer I bought another, Touching the Serpent’s Tale. I read the books many times. Robinson’s words and pictures were treasures of my adolescence. Robinson’s poetry inspired me to feel connected to something greater than myself.
By the mid-nineties I was reading Tomson Highway’s plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. Highway’s work is my greatest influence as a playwright. At Trent University I served on the Otonabee Council for a couple of years. One of my positions was Cultural Representative. The best perk of this position was that I was invited to amazing events. In about 1996 I attended a dinner (with 30 or so other people from the university) with Tomson Highway. I remember it was a magical evening. It was one of my first encounters with a real writer, one of my heroes.
Born in Berlin. Child of the Enlightenment Era.
Ezekiel Solomon was born in Berlin, Germany in 1735. Solomon shares his birth year with John Adams (second American President) and Paul Revere (American Patriot). In 1735, Alexander Pope was writing poetry and George Frederic Handel composed operas. King George II was on the British throne.
In 1740 Frederick the Great came into power in Germany and would soon declare himself the leader of the Age of Enlightenment. Ezekiel Solomon was a child of the Enlightenment. He grew up during a time when ideas about science and faith and humanity were changing. Was Solomon an educated man?
I love sentimental Christmas presents. When I was in my twenties mom and dad gave me Grandpa’s ship wheel clock for Christmas. It works beautifully when I remember to wind it. It is an “Ingraham 8 Day Ships Wheel” mantel clock.
A few weeks ago I chatted with Erika Bailey. Her research at University of Toronto focused on experiential learning and a sense of place. Her work will be published in 2012 by Backalong Books. As I recall, to begin the stories with her research participants Erika asked them to bring an object that had meaning for them. The object became an entry point to a story about place, about learning.
Grandpa Lamondin’s ship wheel clock is one of my favourite things. I was a young child when he passed away, too young to remember him. But somehow having his clock in my living room helps me to feel close to him. It reminds me of the years he spent on the water living at the lighthouse as a child, then as a Georgian Bay tour guide for Toronto fishermen when he retired. I imagine he felt at home on the water.
The metaphor of time is powerful as I begin this journey into the past.
There is an art to blogging well: from blog design to topic selection to writing quality. A blog needs to connect with the audience, inspire online dialogue, and serve as a database of insights and information on a given topic. It was too cold to walk this morning so as I sipped my tea I searched for some fabulous family history blogs.
- Lorelle VanFossen Family History Blog: Clean design, abundance of resources. This blog is truly fabulous! It was one of the first ones I found. The design is simple and clean with clear headings and great pictures. VanFossen has included a variety of articles on the business of genealogy, her family history, and ideas for researching. The pages include many links to help readers connect to information about how to conduct research and where to look for information.
- Alberta Family Histories Society Blog: Community involvement, good list of Canadian links. Family history research does not need to be a solitary act! This blog represents a community group. I enjoyed reading about how people of all ages are learning about their ancestors. From library events for children to monthly meetings for genealogy enthusiasts the culture of family history research is rich, inclusive, and widespread.
- A Canadian Family: Awesome images, good variety of resources. The pictures of vintage Canadian postcards on this blog fascinated me instantly. Evelyn Yvonne Theriault includes some commentary about how the images relate to her family history. I have never been much of a collector, but this blog inspired me! Theriault includes numerous links to other blogs. This site exudes community and passion for Canadian history. I will absolutely visit again!
What family history blogs do you love to visit?
Welcome to the resource list! There are so many great sites to visit for information about Canadian history. Here is a list of some of the sites I like to visit:
- Archives of Ontario
- Archives Canada
- History of CBC Radio/Radio-Canada and Canadian Public Broadcasting
- Canadian History: Government of Canada Website
- History of Canada: Wikipedia
- Multicultural Canada
- Maple Leaf Web
- Ontario Historical Society
- Historical Narratives of Early Canada
- Aboriginal Canada Portal
- Jewish Virtual Library: Canada
- Canadian Literature
- Ontario Cemetery Records