Governor General Brings Past to Life with Celebrations of Canadian Achievement in History

    OTTAWA, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - On Friday, November 2, 2007, Her Excellency the
Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, will present the 2007 Governor General's
Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History at Rideau Hall.
    The Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History
were established in 1996 by Canada's National History Society. Every year, the
Awards recognize teachers from elementary and secondary schools, who have
inspired and challenged students about Canadian history, be it in the field of
social studies, economics, political studies, contemporary studies or
    This year's acclaimed teaching strategies included recording original
folksongs, creating public bus stop advertisements, holding a youth forum to
resolve the black superhero deficit in Canada, staging the re-trial of William
Lyon MacKenzie, building one's own school archives, and inviting historical
figures back into the classroom with mythical passports from the past.
    "We are delighted to support these awards honouring Canadian history
teachers," commented Doug Rimmer, ADM Programs and Services, Library and
Archives Canada. "Building relationships with these exceptional teachers and
helping to connect classrooms with the breadth of resources and historical
collections both here and in institutions across the country helps to ensure
all Canadian students benefit from a richer and more meaningful connection to
the past."
    The six recipients of the 2007 Governor General's Awards for Excellence in
Teaching Canadian History are:

    -  Rhonda Draper - Glenmore Elementary, Kelowna, BC
    -  Rose Fine-Meyer - Humberside Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON
    -  Susan Haynes - Havergal College, Toronto, ON
    -  John MacPhail - St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School, Oakville, ON
    -  Monique Martin - Georges Vanier Catholic School, Saskatoon, SK
    -  David Watkins - Weston Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON

    Detailed biographical information and photos of each of the recipients
are available for download through the press room of the History Society's
    In addition, for the first time, this year's ceremonies will include the
announcement and presentation of the 2008 Pierre Berton Award. The Pierre
Berton Award, established in 1994 and first presented to the late Pierre
Berton, is the History Society's top honour for achievement in popularizing
Canadian history beyond the classroom.
    The Governor General will also take part in the first National Forum on
Canadian History, which will follow the awards ceremony and involve more than
100 history educators from across Canada. Hosted by Carleton University, in
partnership with Canada's National History Society, this inaugural forum will
explore how and what we should be teaching in classrooms about Canadian
history. Topics to be discussed include: defining what forms a good history
education, the influence of public memory on history teaching, and the impact
on our schools of the recent emergence of popular interest in Canada's past.
    TD Bank Financial Group is the lead sponsor of the National Forum
providing financial support for the awards program in addition to contributing
cash prizes for the recipients and their schools. Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair,
TD Bank Financial Group and TD's Literacy Champion adds, "We're pleased to be
contributing to a new gathering of top educators who are working hard to
ensure future generations of Canadians gain a deep and meaningful knowledge of
our country's rich and colourful past."

    Members of the media are invited to attend the 2007 Governor General's
Teaching Awards on Friday, November 2, 2007 at Rideau Hall at 10 a.m.

    The media is also invited to attend the National Forum on Canadian
History at Carleton University (Porter Hall, 2nd Floor, University Centre) on
Friday, November 2, 2007 from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. The Governor General will be
speaking at 2:05 p.m. Please note that media must register by 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 1 for the Forum event by emailing
Please include the name of journalist including camera people and
photographers and the media organization represented, along with contact

    The National Forum on Canadian History and the 2007 Governor General's
Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History are initiatives of Canada's
National History Society, a charitable organization dedicated to popularizing
Canadian history. The History Society also publishes The Beaver: Canada's
History Magazine and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids.

For further information:

For further information: Marie-Eve Létourneau, Rideau Hall Press Office,
(613) 998-0287,; Nicole Harris, Maverick Media Solutions, (204)

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