In honour of Earth Day, I was asked by NiCHE (Network in Canadian History and Environment) to write a short piece about my research.
Keyed toward a public audience, the piece reflects the thematic structure of my research. In blithely dividing Canada into regions, major regional stereotypes have developed. Those stereotypes have actually obscured and skewed not only our perception of places within those regions, but the stories that are told. Historians have repeated and analyzed the story of flat, treeless prairies with endless fields of wheat. But where are the mixed farmers? What about those who chose to leave the open plains and settle at the forest edge? Forestry, fishing, freighting, fur trapping, hunting — these were part of the way of life for people who didn’t live on the prairies. Where are those stories? How will an understanding of those non-prairie spaces change the way historians portray the West? And finally, how can someone be from Saskatchewan, but NOT from the prairie? Stereotypes, begone.
See http://niche-canada.org/node/8963 to read the article.