Spring 2024 - HIST 102W D100

Canada since Confederation (3)

Class Number: 4622

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 8:30–10:20 a.m.



Canadian social, political, and economic history from 1867, examining Indigenous/colonial 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.


Canada has been called a noble experiment in nation building. It has also been called “a plot hatched by a drunk and a bunch of greedheads.” Which is it? We’ll explore that question as we look at the history of Canada from Confederation to the present. You don’t need any prior knowledge of Canadian history for this course.

We’ll look at the connections between the economy and politics, conflicts between Indigenous Peoples, the state, and European settlers, and the idea of “Canada” itself. We’ll talk about the issues people in Canada fought over and fought for, and examine who won, who lost, and the challenges we still face.

We’ll use songs, lectures, articles, art, and popular writing to develop our understanding of the past. This history will let us explore broader questions, such as when is war justified? How free is the free market? How democratic is Canadian democracy? What is genocide? When is protest legitimate? How do historians interpret the past? Does Canada matter?

The course counts towards SFU's writing requirements, but it is not a course in "how to write." Instead, we’ll use writing as a way to learn and to help you discover and develop your ideas and your voice while thinking about the past.




No exams, no large papers, no kidding. Instead, there will be a number of short writing assignments of about 2-4 pages each. You will have some choice among the assignments.

*Why you might like the course:

The course looks critically at much of what is taken for granted in our society. It will push you to think through some of your assumptions and opinions. There is some flexibility with assignments and deadlines. The lectures will have singing and banjo playing. There are no exams or large research papers. Your ideas and experience matter.

*Why you might not like the course: see above



  • Will Ferguson, Canadian History for Dummies
  • History 102 Readings on Canvas
  • John Belshaw, Canadian History Since Confederation (free OpenText BC book)


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.