By Sydney Ririe
Westwind Weekly News
My connections to Canada go back all the way to the 1800’s, when my ancestors began farming in southern Alberta. There were many farmers and ranchers, a few schoolteachers, and a lot of pioneer grit and determination.
My grandfather was born in Magrath as Watson Elmer Ririe. He farmed with his father, married a girl from Raymond, and became the shop teacher at Magrath high school. My father was raised in Magrath, but left for school and only returned on vacations, bringing us with him once or twice a year.
Two years ago, my family decided to move from Portland, Oregon to Magrath. While I was excited to be closer to family, I felt little connection to Canada. Its history was a story I’d never learned. I started to read and learn more about Canada’s past, and the important roles it has played in world events. These books are some of the few I have encountered on my journey to learn more about Canada – I hope you can learn too!
“The Day I Became A Canadian: A Citizenship Scrapbook”, by Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet and illustrated by Song Nan Zhang
Canada is a country created by immigrants of every color and race. “The Day I Became A Canadian” tells the story of Xiao Ling Li and her family on the day they became citizens of Canada. Xiao believes this event is so important, she wants to chronicle it for her soon-tp-be younger sibling. Through a scrapbook, children can learn about the excitement and pride felt as Xiao gained her citizenship-and how they can feel about their own citizenship!
“This Place”, by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette and Chelsea Vowel
Canada was inhabited by many people before the Queen of England was even born. “This Place” is a groundbreaking graphic novel attempting to portray 150 years of Canadian history through the eyes of its native peoples. Featuring Indigenous artists, it includes 10 stories about Indigenous history, and contains epic tales of time travel, apocalypse, and physic tests of strength. A fascinating and beautifully illustrated perspective of Canada’s past.
“The Three Pleasures” by Terry Watada
Written by Toronto based author Terry Watada, “The Three Pleasures” is based during a dark period of Canada’s history when Japanese-Canadians were detained and removed during the second World War. The story follows the lives of three Japanese men living in British Columbia during the bombing of Pearl harbor and the high racial tension in 1940’s Vancouver.