Canada’s National History Society spoke with finalists of the 2020 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming who additionally received honourable mention distinction for their projects.
The award aims to inspire small or volunteer-led community organizations in the creation of innovative programming that commemorates unique aspects of our heritage. In the interviews, project representatives give insight into how their projects engaged the public in Canadian history, the unique community partnerships they forged, and the lasting community impact.
John Sandlos is a professor of history at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he studies and teaches in the area of Canadian and environmental history. Since 2007, he has conducted extensive archival and community-based research on the history of mining in northern Canada. He is the co-editor (with Arn Keeling) of Mining and Communities in the Canadian North: History, Politics, Memory (University of Calgary Press, 2015). From 2013, Sandlos was the Principal Investigator on the Toxic Legacies Project, a community-based research partnership with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and Alternatives North (a Yellowknife-based environmental and social justice coalition) to study the historical impacts of arsenic contamination due to gold mining at Yellowknife, and how to communicate the long term toxic threat of 237,000 tonnes of arsenic buried under the ground at the abandoned Giant Mine to future generations.