Monthly Archives: September 2022

Get your Thanksgiving tickets! 🍂 Plus: How Quebec preserved “The King’s French”

A newsletter from a fellow Canadian organization in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements

In This Issue:

Upcoming Events:

  • 5th Annual Canadian Family Thanksgiving
  • Book talk: Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945
  • Graduate student discussion with Prof. Andrea Geiger

Canadian News

  • How Quebec preserved “the King’s French”


5th Annual Canadian Family Thanksgiving

Saturday, October 8 | 5:00 pm

Clark Kerr Campus, UC Berkeley | Buy tickets here

Canadian Studies is pleased to partner with the Digital Moose Lounge for our fifth annual Canadian Thanksgiving dinner! Join us for a special meal celebrating the Bay Area’s Canadian community, as you mingle with your fellow SF Bay Canadians while enjoying entertainment and a delicious turkey dinner.

Tickets may be purchased through the Digital Moose Lounge.

We’re also looking for volunteers to help staff the event. A limited number of reduced-price tickets are available to volunteers; please contact us for more information.

Book Talk: Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945

Wednesday, October 19 | 12:30 pm | 223 Moses | RSVP here

Andrea Geiger will discuss her new book, Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945 (University of North Carolina Press, 2022). Making a vital contribution to our understanding of North American borderlands history through its examination of the northernmost stretches of the U.S.-Canada border, the book highlights the role that the North Pacific borderlands played in the construction of race and citizenship on both sides of the international border from 1867, when the United States acquired Russia’s interests in Alaska, through the end of World War II. Imperial, national, provincial, territorial, reserve, and municipal borders worked together to create a dynamic legal landscape that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people negotiated in myriad ways as they traversed these borderlands. Adventurers, prospectors, laborers, and settlers from Europe, Canada, the United States, Latin America, and Asia made and remade themselves as they crossed from one jurisdiction to another.

Within this broader framework, Geiger pays particular attention to the ways in which Japanese migrants and the Indigenous people who had made this borderlands region their home for millennia negotiated the web of intersecting boundaries that emerged over time, charting the ways in which they infused these reconfigured national, provincial, and territorial spaces with new meanings. To see the North Pacific borderlands only as a remote outpost that marked the westernmost edges of the U.S. or British empire, is to miss not only the central place it occupied in the lives of the Indigenous peoples whose home it continues to be, but the extent to which it functioned, in the eyes of Japanese entrepreneurs, as an economic hinterland for an expanding Japanese empire, as well as the role it played in shaping wartime policy with regard to citizens and subjects of Japanese ancestry in both Canada and the United States.

Andrea Geiger is professor emerita of history at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include transpacific and borderlands history, race, migration, and legal history. She received a J.D. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington, and is the author of the award-winning Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885–1928.

This event is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI), the Center for Race and Gender, and the Department of History.

Graduate Student Discussion with Andrea Geiger

UC Berkeley students with a research interest in Professor Geiger’s work are welcome to attend a small group discussion with the speaker following her public presentation. For more information, please email


How Quebec Preserved “The King’s French”

Metropolitan French speakers (and even some Canadians) have long dismissed QuĂ©bĂ©cois French as rustic and unsophisticated. However, as Montreal-based journalist Elizabeth Warkentin points out in BBC Travel, it turns out Louis Quatorze may have sounded a lot more like your average gaspĂ©sien than a contemporary Parisian. Quebec’s unique historical development has helped preserve an aristocratic dialect of a past century now vanished from continental France.

The story starts with the early French colonization of Canada in the 1600s. At the time, few French subjects actually spoke French; instead, they spoke many now-vanishing regional languages, such as Breton or Occitan. When settlers reached New France, the French authorities therefore had to teach them a standardized French to facilitate communication. This French was based on the royal pronunciation of the time, and Quebec thus became known for its aristocratic dialect “as pure as that of the Parisians”, according to a French visitor in the mid-1700s.

Things changed when the British wrested control of the colony from the French in 1759. The QuĂ©bĂ©cois were cut off from developments in France, where the French Revolution was fomenting major changes. To consolidate a new republican identity, the revolutionaries pushed for a single language spoken throughout the country, which they based on the bourgeois Parisian dialect. Modernizers eliminated many features of the “old” French spoken during the Ancien RĂ©gime, particularly “aristocratic” affectations. The government then enforced this standard throughout France, with the aim of creating a uniform “French” language.

Quebec, however, remained isolated from these reforms, and conserved the older language. When Alexis de Toqueville visited Lower Canada in 1830, he wrote: “The French nation has been preserved there… one can observe the customs and the language spoken during Louis XIV’s reign.” As a result, he noted, “It seems more like Old France lives on in Canada, and that it is our country [France] which is the new one.”

But how do scholars know that Quebec’s French hasn’t also changed over the same time? Historian Claude Poirier looks for misspellings in old documents to give us a clue to pronunciation. For example, the word “perdre” misspelled as “pardre” in a 17th-century document, shows us that the pronunciation back then was quite similar to how some contemporary Quebecois still pronounce it. And many terms now considered archaic in France are still widely used in Canada, such as “piastre” for dollar (originally referring to a 17th-century coin), or “barrer” to close a door (meaning, literally, to bar it).

Image: Bust of Louis XIV by Bernini, at the Place Royale in Quebec City. Source: Gilbert Bochenek, Wikimedia Commons.

Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
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Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

New articles are available from Canadian Military History!

A newsletter from a partner of Dominion Command, which contains several articles that may be of interest to members.

First World War artifacts at the Canadian War Museum, a new trove of Great War personnel files, and an Ontario high school commemorates its war dead.
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New articles are available from Canadian Military History!

Vol. 31, No. 2, Summer / Autumn 2022

“A Very Fine Plan in the Memory of Our Boys”

Abstract: The memorial plaques dedicated to the First and Second World War dead of many of Canada’s secondary schools including the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute may have borne close resemblance but the experience of those whose names appeared on the walls was very different. The adolescent experience of students who attended these schools during the interwar years contrasted with that of their mothers and fathers. They enlisted, fought and died in a much more technologically advanced and globalised war than the previous generation. They were shaping their own distinct identity in youth and war and how would the collective memory of them reflect these realities? Although many of the same ceremonial rituals and ways were adopted once again, there were new emerging forms to commemorate Canada’s Second World War dead.

The Lives and Afterlives of Material Culture / Les mille et une vies de la culture matérielle

LAURA BROWN & TIM COOK | Canadian War Museum – MusĂ©e canadien de la guerre
Abstract: This article presents a selection of First World War artifacts that have been acquired by the Canadian War Museum since its opening in 2005. Each object is infused with multiple stories. Some were treasured mementos handed down through families, while others were nearly forgotten over time. Once at the museum, they acquired new narratives as these objects, artifacts and material culture are integrated into exhibitions, educational and digital products or accessed by researchers. The artifacts tell stories, contribute to our understanding of the diversity of Canadian experiences during the war and demonstrate the central role of the artifact in the museum.

Cet article présente une sélection d’artefacts de la Première Guerre mondiale qui ont été acquis par le Musée canadien de la guerre depuis son ouverture en 2005. Ces objets évoquent des histoires diverses, les uns, souvenirs précieux transmis par les familles, les autres, presque oubliés au fil du temps. Une fois acquis par le musée, les objets, les artefacts et la culture matérielle entament une nouvelle vie en s’insérant dans les expositions, en servant de matériel éducatif et numérique ou en étant mis à la disposition des chercheurs. Les artefacts racontent des histoires, contribuent à notre compréhension de la diversité des expériences canadiennes pendant la guerre et démontrent le rôle central de l’artefact dans le musée.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Abstract: In the late 1940s, the Department of National Defence enthusiastically embraced microfilming technology, undertaking a massive project to microfilm several million files covering the period 1885 to 1948. This article describes the authors’ research to trace one particular microfilm job covering Military Personnel Files managed by the Department of Militia and Defence. The authors have unearthed a large cache of unexplored records, comprising tens of thousands of military personnel files, the majority of which deal with military service during the Great War.

October 29th @7:00pm ET


The Irish Canadian Rangers in Canada and Ireland


For more information and to register CLICK HERE.

Canadian Military History is a partnership between the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada and the Canadian War Museum – MusĂ©e canadien de la guerre.
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You are receiving this email because you signed up for updates from the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada (formerly Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies), Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada

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Blessing of the Fleet Interfaith Service

An item from the Interfaith Center at the Presidio concerning the upcoming Fleet Week here in San Francisco.

Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Unleashing the Power of

Interreligious Cooperation

Please join us!

  Blessing of the Fleet Interfaith Service  


  Sunday, October 9, 2022 at 9 am

Presidio Chapel

130 Fisher Loop, San Francisco

Masks Required Indoors

For additional information please email or call 415-515-5681 or 415-561-3930

News Release: Today We Pay Tribute to Law Enforcement Officers and their Families on Canada’s Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day in Canada, September 25, 2022

An item from the Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project that may be of interest to members.

Dear Sir/Madam:

Please find attached the News Release: Today We Pay Tribute to Law Enforcement Officers and their Families on Canada’s Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day in Canada, September 25, 2022, for reference.

My very best regards,

Stéphane Ouellette
President and Chief Executive Officer
Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project (MNCTP)/
Colonel John Gardam Lifetime Achievement Award


Attachment: News Release-Today We Pay Tribute to Law Enforcement Officers and their Families on Canadas Police and Peace Officers National Memorial Day in Canada September 25 2022.pdf

Help families of fallen heroes

An item from a fellow veterans service organization in the Bay Area.

Honor our heroes’ sacrifice by helping their families.
Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is 9/25
Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is 9/25
Dear Michael Barbour,
Every September, we pay tribute to the parents and families of our fallen military heroes. Each one lost a loved one who bravely served our Nation.
As a fellow patriot, you appreciate the sacrifices made by military individuals. So, I’m sure you would agree they deserve our honor and respect. And that we owe it to them to do what we can to help their families left behind.
That is why I am asking you to make a gift today. Your generosity will provide solace and comfort to people like Dianne Layfield, whose son died in Iraq, through programs like our Gold Star Parents Honor and Remembrance event. You’ll also ensure that the memories of our Country’s heroes live on through our Tribute Wall. Every dollar you give will help Commemorate, Educate, and Serve America’s defenders and their families.
“Here we can cry, laugh, grieve, and heal among others who have shared the same heartbreak of losing our loved ones in conflict.”
— Dianne Layfield, Gold Star Mom of Lance Cpl. Travis Layfield
“I knew that my son would always be remembered [here]. That’s one of the biggest fears that Gold Star families have: that our children will be forgotten. That’s not going to happen.”
— Yolanda Vega, Gold Star Mom of Senior Airman Jonathan Vega Yelner
Please give today. I cannot think of a better way to honor our fallen heroes than by helping those who love them most.
Semper Fidelis,
Michael A. Rocco Signature
Michael A. Rocco
Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret.)
President & CEO
Give Now
P.S. Your gift now will help keep alive the legacy of those who gave their lives to protect us.
After two years of COVID cancellations, we are thrilled to be holding our 2023 Gold Star Parents Honor and Remembrance event March 1-3!
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Marines’ Memorial Association & Foundation
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102,415.673.6672
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