Western Canada

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 2209
Western Canada
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hrs. per week / semester Seminar: 2 hrs. per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Class sessions will be divided between lectures and discussions.  The discussion sessions will serve as a forum for the exchange of student reactions and criticisms and as a testing ground for student hypotheses.  By acting as referee and devil’s advocate, the instructor will encourage the student to elaborate, refine, and revise his/her ideas.  Participation in class discussions is therefore essential.

Course Description
This course examines the evolution of the region which became the prairie provinces from the fur trade era to the present. The themes of race, class, and community are explored. Topics include the growth and dislocation of Metis communities, the marginalization of Natives, the settlement experience on the agricultural frontier, the changing roles of women and workers within prairie society, the creation of “protest” political parties such as the CCF and Social Credit, and the oil boom in Alberta.
Course Content

Syllabus Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.


Introduction to Historical Method

  1. Review of Historical Terms and Methods
  2. Research Strategies for a Major Paper
  3. Historiography

    Native History and the Fur Trade

  4. Prairie First Nations
  5. The Fur Trade
  6. Selkirk’s Colony and the North West Company
  7. Red River Settlement: Growth, Conflict, and Canadian Invasion.

    Settlement and Politics to 1905

  8. Manitoba, the First Western Province
  9. The National Policy and the West
  10. Settlement: Homestead and Family Farm
  11. The Northwest Rebellion
  12. Mid-term Examination

    The West in a Cycle

  13. The emergence of two new provinces: Saskatchewan and Alberta
  14. Building infrastructure – Railways
  15. Urbanization - Winnipeg
  16. Immigration and Nativism

    1914 - 1945 The West: Politics and Society

  17. The Great War
  18. White Women, the Farm and the Vote
  19. Labour and Strikes
  20. The Depression
  21. Social Credit in Alberta
  22. World War II
  23. Democratic Socialist Experiment in Saskatchewan

    The West Since 1945

  24. Oil
  25. Northern Development
  26. Intergovernmental Relations - Energy Policy
  27. Prairies as Region and Western Regionalism
  28. Review and Revision
  29. Final Exam
Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have demonstrated the following skills:


  1. The critical examination of historical sources (reading history).  These sources include not only survey texts and articles but also short monographs and extended primary sources.
  2. The creation and communication of personal interpretations of historical problems (writing history).  Forms for communication of personal interpretations include annotated bibliographies, medium-length essays (from 1500-3000 words), comparative book reviews, and three-hour final examinations.
  3. The independent analysis of the ideas of other students and the instructor in class in both tutorials and seminars (discussing history).
Means of Assessment

The evaluation of this course follows Douglas College policies as outlined in the current calendar.  During the first week of classes the instructor will provide students with typed course outline handout setting out the evaluation scheme of the course.  A copy of this handout will be filed with the History discipline Chair.  A sample evaluation scheme follows.



Written/oral analysis of article  10%
Bibliography - Review Analysis       10%
Midterm exam  10%
Research essay  30%
Final exam  25%
Class/seminar participation  15%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Texts will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically:


Campbell, M.  Halfbreed.  Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973.


Carter, S. Aboriginal People and Colonizers of Western Canada to 1900.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.


Fisher, R. and K. Coates, eds.   Out of the Background: Readings on Canadian Native History. 2nd edition

          Toronto: Copp Clark, 1996.


Francis, D. and H. Palmer, eds.  The Prairie West:  Historical Readings.  2nd ed.

          Edmonton: Pica Pica Press, 1992.


Friesen, G.  The Canadian Prairies: A History.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984.


Laurence, M.  The Stone Angel.  Toronto: M & S , 1998.


Peterson, J. and J. Brown.  The New People: Being and Becoming Metis in North America.

          Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1985.


Thompson, J.H.  Forging the Prairie West.  Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998


Boisey, Paul Leonard.  Vulcan: The Making of a Prairie Community.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.


One 1000-level History course