Fall 2020 - HIST 101 D100

Canada to Confederation (3)

Class Number: 3395

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2020
    Mon, 12:00–12:00 p.m.



A survey of Canadian history to 1867. Breadth-Humanities.


This course will explore the contours of Canadian history from the period of earliest human occupation to Confederation in 1867.  We will examine major themes in Canada’s past, including: the diversity of early First Nations cultures; contact and interaction between Indigenous societies and European cultures; social, economic, and political developments in New France and early British North America; processes and impacts of colonialism; immigration, industrialization, and social and political reform in the nineteenth century; the contested path to confederation; and the question of who was actually included in the new nation of Canada.  We will discuss how class, race, ethnicity, gender, and region tempered the experiences of early settler societies and Indigenous peoples, and how a number of important issues challenging present-day Canada are rooted in the pre-Confederation period.  Through readings, online tutorial activities, and assignments, you will also have opportunities to develop research, critical thinking, and communication skills that will serve you well throughout your university career and beyond.


  • Tutorial Participation (by discussion board) 25%
  • Assignment No. 1 - Primary Source Analysis 25%
  • Assignment No. 2 – Collect and Curate Images 25%
  • Final Examination (open book) 25%



This course, like most teaching efforts at SFU in the fall term of 2020, will be conducted through remote methods. Please be assured that, although our efforts to contain COVID-19 are causing us to meet virtually, rather than face to face, our goals are the same: to create a community of learning; to share information and ideas; to provide encouragement and offer feedback; and to make sense of content. 

All lectures will be asynchronous, which means that you will be able to access them at a time in the week that is convenient for you.  Two-thirds of tutorial activities will also be asynchronous to allow flexibility for students; but every third week, your tutorial group will convene online in real time (synchronously) to enable you to meet each other and have conversations with your peers and your teaching assistant.  You should therefore register in a tutorial slot that will enable you to join these real-time discussions.  Also, once a week, you will have an opportunity to meet synchronously online with the larger class and me, your instructor, about any ideas and themes that you wish to discuss further and any questions and concerns you might have about the course. That time space will vary from week to week to ensure flexibility.  Please note that participation in real-time sessions, while HIGHLY recommended, will not be mandatory.  We will provide more instructions on learning processes once you have registered and the course is published on Canvas.



John Belshaw.  Canadian History: Pre-Confederation.  BC Open Textbook Project, 2015.  Open access, available at https://opentextbc.ca/preconfederation/.  Used under a CC-BY 4.0 International license.

Articles, primary sources, and other learning materials available through SFU Canvas.  You will be invited to join the course platform by email.  You can find a student guide to Canvas at http://www.sfu.ca/canvas/student-guide.html.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).