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Mysteries in Canadian History

Everyone loves a good mystery. Canadian history is rich with stories of great secrets, unsolved crimes, and events that defy explanation. Among them are the following five mysteries, each shrouded in puzzling circumstances and unresolved endings.

Editorial

Voting in Early Canada

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Before Confederation, elections were rowdy, highly competitive and even violent.

Article

Pandemics in Canada

A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease that affects a large proportion of the population in multiple countries or worldwide. Human populations have been affected by pandemics since ancient times. These include widespread outbreaks of plague, cholera, influenza and, more recently, HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. In order to slow or stop the spread of disease, governments implement public health measures that include testing, isolation and quarantine. In Canada, public health agencies at the federal, provincial and municipal levels play an important role in monitoring disease, advising governments and communicating to the public.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

First Nations in Canada

First Nation is one of three groupings of Indigenous people in Canada, the other two being Métis and Inuit. Unlike Métis and Inuit, most First Nations hold reserve lands, and members of a First Nation may live both on and off these reserves. While the term First Nation can describe a large ethnic grouping (e.g. the Cree Nation), in other cases it is synonymous with the term band, a word originally chosen by the federal government and used in the Indian Act. The word band describes smaller communities. Many First Nations prefer the term First Nation over band.

Article

Marcellus Gilmore Edson

Marcellus Gilmore Edson, chemist, pharmacist (born 7 February 1849 in Bedford, QC; died 6 March 1940 in Montreal, QC). In 1884, Edson received a patent for the manufacture of a peanut paste, which he named “peanut-candy.” Edson’s patent for peanut-candy has been recognized as a forerunner to the commercially available peanut butter or spread. (See also Legume; Oilseed Crops.)

Article

Jesuits

The Society of Jesus was founded in Paris in 1534 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish soldier who underwent a profound religious experience while recovering from serious wounds. Loyola called the society "The Company of Jesus" to indicate its military spirit. The order was authorized in September 1540 to ordain its members. The name "Jesuits" (meaning those who too frequently use or appropriate the name of Jesus) was used against the order as a term of reproach but in time was accepted by its members.