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Units 3 & 4

UNIT 3: Toward Confederation

Peoples of British North America, c. 1850

See the resources in Unit 2 of this Web site for information on the Aboriginal peoples of British North America.
Also check the Reference Section. Many of the sources listed there have information about the Aboriginal, European, and Black peoples of British North America.

  • Acadian Odyssey
    Acadian history and culture from the 1600s to today. 
  • African Nova Scotians in the Age of Slavery and Abolition
    Information, historical photographs, and illustrations showing Black society in Nova Scotia from 1749 to 1955. 
  • Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People
    Information, illustrations, and primary documents concerning Black Loyalists and their descendents. Includes community profiles. 
  • Remembering Black Loyalists, Black Communities in Nova Scotia
    History of loyalist settlement in Nova Scotia, including the 1800s and early 1900s. Includes community profiles, artifacts, and biographies. 
  • Saint John's Black Heritage
    The Black community in Saint John, New Brunswick from the time of the loyalists to the 20th century. Includes primary sources. 
  • Germany-Canada Migration
    Information on German Canadians from early settlement to 1975. 
  • The Kid's Site of Canadian Settlement
    The sections on Scottish, French, and Acadian settlement can help you understand the history, culture, and daily life of these peoples of British North America. Some of the information is about life in the 1700s or earlier, but many of the details of daily life were the same in the early 1800s.

Life in British North America, c. 1850: Atlantic Region

  • Acadia: Lifestyle in the Days of Our Ancestors
    This site is a virtual tour of the Village Historique Acadian, near Caraquet, New Brunswick. This is an open-air museum made up of buildings from the late 1800s to the early 20th century and exhibits showing Acadian daily life. Also includes a brief history of Acadians. 
  • Birthplace of Ice Hockey: Windsor, Nova Scotia
    History of the game, including First Nations and women's involvement, and information disputing other communities' claims to be the birthplace of hockey. 
  • Helen Bayfield's Photograph Album
    Photographs taken in Prince Edward Island prior to 1867. Includes diary entries relating to the photographs and information about the life and times. 
  • Louisa's World
    The 1815 diary of a Nova Scotia farm girl. Includes background information and the original diary. The excerpt on page 95 of Changing Your World is from this source. 
  • The Marco Polo Project
    Information on the famous New Brunswick sailing ship, built in 1851, which was the fastest in the world in its day. 
  • New Brunswick: Our Stories, Our People
    Information on the peoples and cultures of New Brunswick, from before Contact to the late 1800s.

Life in British North America, c. 1850: General and Other Regions

From Responsible Government to Confederation

  • Canada in the Making: Constitutional History
    Includes information on the Rebellions of 1837-1838, Responsible Government, and Confederation. A good source of primary documents, such as letters between historical figures and government bills and acts. 
  • Confederation for Kids
    History of Confederation to the present. Includes biographies of some of the key figures of Confederation, as well as a list of the "Fathers of Confederation." 
  • The Prime Ministers of Canada
    "Quick Facts" and a biography for each Prime Minister, with additional "Impressions" and "Issues" sections for some key figures. Includes John A. MacDonald.



  • Elections Canada
    Everything you could want to know about voting in Canada. See the "Young Voters" section for information that might help you take action on voter apathy in young people (Unit 3 Taking It Further). The "I Can Vote" feature is a good summary of voting basics. 
  • Explore A History of the Vote in Canada
    The history section is a good summary of how ideas about who should be able to vote have changed over time. Also includes information on voting today and ideas for the future.

Canadian Federal Government Today

UNIT 4: Many Voices

Westward Expansion, Late 19th Century

  • The Canadian West
    European settlement in the West from Contact to the 1920s. Includes a wide variety of primary sources and information on topics such as cultural life, urbanization, and the changing role of women. 
  • Canadian National Railway Historic Photograph Collection
    The history of railways in Canada, including the Canadian Pacific Railway. 
  • Canada, by Train
    "Ties that Bind" gives a history of railways in Canada, including information on the role of the railways in opening the West.

The Numbered Treaties

  • Atlas of Canada: Historical Indian Treaties
    Go to the "Historical Indian Treaties Map," then use the toolbar at this site to zoom in on the area of the Numbered Treaties. The "Read About this Map" section will give you background information on the treaties. The "Historical Indian Treaties Timeline" is especially helpful. The "Links" section can help you find the actual text of the treaties online.

First Nations: Assimilation Issues

  • Deculturation
    "Deculturation" means to take away a culture -- in other words, assimilation. This section of the "Making of Canada" site describes the impact of government policies on First Nations. Includes information on residential schools. 
  • Moravians
    Information on the Moravian mission in Labrador. Includes primary sources.

Métis Struggle for Rights
You might also want to check back to the information on Métis history and culture listed in Unit 2. If you need it, ask for help with this site

  • Heroes of Yore and Lore
    Canadian heroes in fact and fiction. Includes Louis Riel, Poundmaker, and Sir Sandford Fleming. 
  • Louis Riel and the Métis
    Although this site says it is for grade 6 students, it is useful for anyone researching this topic. 
  • The Riel Rebellions
    A summary of the events at Red River and the Northwest Rebellion.

Immigrants in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries, General

  • Calgary and Southern Alberta
    See the "Ethnicity" section for information on immigrant groups in this region. 
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization: Canada Hall, Phase 2
    Virtual tour of museum exhibits, including information on settlement of the West in the late 1800s. 
  • Immigrant Voices
    Information on immigrant groups, 1867 to the present. Includes images, documents, maps, and graphs. Includes more information about Willie Benson, whose story is included on page 83 of Changing Your World
  • The Last Best West: Advertising for Immigrants to Western Canada, 1870-1930
    Advertising methods and posters. Also includes artifacts representing kinds of things immigrants brought with them.

Specific Immigrant Groups

  • Across the Generations: A History of the Chinese in Canada
    A point-form overview of issues such as push-pull factors affecting Chinese immigration, how communities developed, and racism. Includes a photo gallery. 
  • Becoming Canadian: Pioneer Sikhs in their Own Words
    The experiences of Sikh immigrants, beginning in 1904. Includes a description of the racism faced by the passengers of the Komagata Maru in 1914. 
  • A Chinese Canadian Story: The Yip Sang Family
    Biography of Yip Sang, a Chinese immigrant who started out working on the CPR railway and ended up a successful businessperson. Illustrated with historical photographs. Includes some background information on issues related to Chinese immigration. 
  • Germany-Canada Migration
    Information on German Canadians from early settlement to 1975. 
  • The Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia
    Information on the Markland and Lockport settlements established by Icelanders. 
  • Japanese Canadian Timeline
    A timeline shows key events of the history of Japanese Canadians. 
  • The Kid's Site of Canadian Settlement
    The sections on Chinese and Doukhobor settlement can help you understand the history, culture, and daily life of these immigrant groups of the late 1800s. 
  • The Settlement of New Iceland
    History of Gimli, Manitoba. Includes information on reasons for Icelandic immigration and descriptions of the conditions settlers faced and Icelandic culture.