Reading for Canada Day

Canada Day History Book Recommendations

Fireworks, parades, and picnics are some popular ways Canadians have celebrated July 1st since 1868. While many still celebrate this way, others have begun to look on Canada Day in a different light, especially since the discovery in May 2021 of 215 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School site.

Whether you have decided to celebrate or not, it can be useful to learn more about the history of the country we call home. Our understanding of our country is ever evolving, and history is a great way to gain a better understanding of how Canada came to be as it is today. History books, who they are written by, and the stories they tell are reflective of how we grow as a society. In the past the stories and voices of Indigenous people, women, and the working class would go unheard or were suppressed. To quote Shari Peyerl, author of Alberta’s Cornerstone, “…everyone is a part of history, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, or social class.” 

In the list below, you will find five new books we published this spring that look at Canadian history from various regions and perspectives—plus one book forthcoming this Fall. Read one man’s residential school experience and journey to healing, stories from homesteader immigrants in the 1900s, as well as architectural history, geography, and archaeology.

Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools—Commemorative Edition
By Theodore Niizhotay Fontaine
$24.95 CAD

A new commemorative edition of Theodore Fontaine’s powerful, groundbreaking memoir of survival and healing after years of residential school abuse. Theodore was a member and former chief of the Sagkeeng Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba, and passed away in 2021.

Alberta’s Cornerstone: Archaeological Adventures in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
By Shari Peyerl
$34.95 CAD
E-Book Price: $17.99 CAD

The fascinating exploration of a vanished settlement in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, told within the framework of an archaeologist’s memoir. It is a wonderful, full-colour book with original photography that tells the story of Glenbow’s past occupants, the social history of the land.

Tales from the Homestead: A History of Prairie Pioneers, 1867–1914
By Sandra Rollings-Magnusson
$29.95 CAD

A compilation of thirty-six personal homesteader stories, providing unique insight into the daily life of prairie pioneers. By using diary entries and journals, Tales from the Homestead shares the challenges and triumphs of prairie life through their own words. These families arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, looking to improve their lives and prospects, and their stories depict the resilience of immigrant communities and what it took to build a life on the prairies from scratch.

Pioneer Churches along the Gold Rush Trail: An Explorer’s Guide
By Liz Bryan
$24.95 CAD

Tour through BC’s historical gold rush trails, focusing on the history, architecture, and craftsmanship of nineteenth-century churches along the route. A companion to the award-winning Pioneer Churches of Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea, Liz Bryan also discusses the social context behind the buildings.

Adventure Roads of BC’s Northwest Heartland
By Liz Bryan
$24.95 CAD

Travel writer, historian, and photographer Liz Bryan takes readers on an off-the-beaten track virtual tour of BC Interior. Along the way she shares a mix of cultural and social history of pioneers and First Nations along with examinations of the landscape through the geology, geography, and other ecological features.

Coming Fall 2022

From Denmark to the Cariboo: The Epic Journey of the Lindhard Sisters
By Linda Peterat
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
$26.95 CAD

A captivating account of the lives of Laura, Christine, and Caroline Lindhard, three sisters who left their home in Stege, Denmark, in 1870 due to war, political turmoil, and limited opportunities, and sought out new lives in the Cariboo region of British Columbia.