Summer 2019 - HIST 102W D100

Canada since Confederation (3)

Class Number: 4335

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2019: Tue, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 10, 2019
    Sat, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Liam O'Flaherty



Canadian social, political, and economic history from 1867, examining aboriginal/settler relations, immigration, regionalism, foreign policy, economic development, culture, and political movements. Students with credit for HIST 102 may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


This course is about making sense of the Canadian past through looking at the historical roots of contemporary issues. We start in the mid-19th century, roughly around Confederation (1867) and work our way forwards to the early 2000s. We will directly encounter sources from the past, as well as new, cutting-edge research about the past, including research from historians here at SFU. We will compare, interrogate, debate, and reflect on these sources individually in writing assignments but also through lectures, group work, and discussion.

This semester, this section of History 102W will survey Canadian history by focusing on two interrelated themes: colonialism and imperialism. While we often assume that the era of colonization and empire is over, we can see the effects of (and permutations in) them throughout the past century and a half, up to and including present times. This course argues that these twin processes are the main drivers of Canadian history. Indeed, current discussions about settler-indigenous reconciliation, decolonization, land and resources (eg. the pipelines controversies), Canada’s involvement in wars overseas, economics and trade (eg. the issues surrounding NAFTA/USMCA), race, and gender inequality (eg. the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry) all are in the news in 2019. Yet all are rooted in post-Confederation developments that have at their core Canada’s unique history as both a colony and also as a colonizer. By the end of this course, students will have a broad understanding of key moments in Canadian history, but will also have a more robust understanding of colonialism and imperialism specifically (and resistance to both), and power more generally.


  • Tutorial Participation 25%
  • Compare/Contrast Assignment #1 (either week 3 or 4, exact date TBA) 15%
  • Compare/Contrast Assignment #2 (and optional #3) (exact date(s) TBA) 20%
  • Letter to the Prime Minister (date TBA, towards the middle of the semester) 5%
  • Book Response (date TBA, likely Week 9 10%
  • Reflection Paper (Week 13/end of the course) 25%
  • Subject to slight changes



Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2017).

Other required and recommended readings will be identified and made available to you on the course homepage, on SFU Library’s website, or elsewhere online.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.