Canadian History: Our Evolving Identity

Since the earliest days of contact between Indigenous peoples and the first European arrivals, the country that came to be known as Canada has been shaped by an ongoing – and safe to say, imperfect – process of negotiation. This collection of CBC documentaries, dramas and re-enactments considers multiple viewpoints and values, changing tensions and accommodations. It explores the individuals, communities and events that make up the many facets of Canada's history.

  • 2014
  • 9-12
  • 48 Titles

Included in this collection

The Secret Life of Canada The Indian Act Must-See

What is the Indian Act and why Canada still have it on the books? The Secret Life team looks at the roots of this complicated policy, which after 143 years is still embedded in Canadian identity, from the policy that led to the Act to how it still impacts Indigenous identities today.View the Secret Life of Canada curriculum package
  • 2019
  • 00:43:38
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 10/24/2019

The National Dream The Last Spike

In the final episode of The National Dream, eastern militiamen begin the cruellest journey in Canadian military history and the national crisis is averted. The CPR faces riots, strikes and bankruptcy before an 11th-hour government loan saves the day. In November 1885, Donald Smith drives the last spike in the CPR to link Canada from sea to sea.
  • 1974
  • 00:54:54
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 06/14/2013

Doc Zone The Mystery of the Bell Classroom Favourites

Could this CBC documentary solve a long-standing mystery in Metis history? From Ontario to Alberta, we follow a trail of clues through four generations of suspects in the search for one of the most sought-after historical objects in Canada. According to legend, Canadian soldiers stole the church bell from Batoche, Saskachewan after they’d defeated Louis Riel and his Metis fighters ...
  • 2014
  • 00:45:11
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 06/18/2014

Teacher Guide(s)

  • Mystery of the Bell Teacher Resource Guide [.pdf]

The National Dream The Pacific Scandal

In episode 2 of the celebrated series The National Dream, the prime minister delivers an impassioned defence in the House, but independent MP Donald Smith breaks a Commons deadlock and Sir John resigns.
  • 1974
  • 00:55:14
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 06/14/2013

Canada: A People's History The Pathfinders

Episode 6: 1670 to 1850 CE. The Canadian west is opened by the great fur-trading empires of the Hudson's Bay and Northwest Companies, the native people who were their indispensable allies, and bold explorers and map makers who ventured from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean and long-sought-for Pacific. Pierre Esprit Radisson defies a governor to take New France's ...
  • 2000
  • 01:47:19
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 06/14/2013

Teacher Guide(s)

  • Canada: A People's History TRP, Grades 10 to 12

  • Canada: A People's History TRP, Grades 5 to 9

The National Dream The Railway General

In episode 5 of The National Dream, new cities spring up as the railway snakes across the prairies. William Cornelius Van Horne is appointed CPR general manager, and he profoundly influences the future of Western Canada by his placement of railway stations.
  • 1974
  • 00:56:14
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 06/14/2013

The National Dream The Sea of Mountains

In the sixth episode of The National Dream, construction in B.C. is painstakingly slower than on the Prairies. Suave contractor Andrew Onderdonk lures thousands of workers from China to help hack and tunnel through the Rockies. As the CPR creeps over the continental spine, trouble looms on the horizon.
  • 1974
  • 00:56:10
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/16/2013

The Secret Life of Canada The Secret Life of Chinatown Must-See

Most major cities across Canada have a Chinatown – but how did they start, and why? What is the historical importance of Chinatowns? How did Chinatowns go from safe-havens to celebrated cultural spaces?  This episode, a look at the early history of Chinese people this side of the Pacific, and the historic Chinatown in B.C. that predates Confederation. (Hint: it's ...
  • 2019
  • 00:28:05
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/03/2019