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Wade Hemsworth

Albert Wade Hemsworth, draftsman, graphic artist, singer, songwriter (born 23 October 1916 in Brantford, ON; died 19 January 2002 in Montréal, QC). The composer of evocative songs celebrating Canadiana and the northern forests, draftsman Wade Hemsworth turned his folk music hobby into a lasting national legacy. Iconic compositions such as “The Black Fly Song” and “The Log Driver’s Waltz” made Hemsworth an elder statesman of Canadian folk music throughout the second half of the 20th century. Several of his songs gained wide popularity through their use in National Film Board productions. “The Black Fly Song” was featured in Christopher Hinton’s Oscar-nominated animated short Blackfly (1991) and inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.



Ethnocentrism is a conscious or unconscious bias which distorts our understanding of reality. It overemphasizes our group’s perspective as a reference point. This bias often leads to a misinterpretation of realities which differ from those of the group to which we belong. Ethnocentric thought can also lead to a more negative opinion of foreign groups and to a superior view of our own.



Milton, Ontario, incorporated as a town in 1857, population 132,979 (2021 census), 110,128 (2016 census). One of four municipalities in Halton Region, Milton’s odd shape means it shares a border with six communities. Milton’s modern borders were created in 1974, from Nassagaweya Township, the Town of Milton, and parts of Esquesing, Trafalgar, and Nelson townships.

Throughout history, the Milton area has been home to different Indigenous groups, namely the Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabeg, including the Mississauga. The land is within treaties 3 ¾, 14, and 19 (see Upper Canada Land Surrenders).


Pamajewon Case

The Pamajewon case (1996) (also known as R. v. Pamajewon) was the first case in which First Nations in Canada argued an inherent right to self-government before the Supreme Court. Spearheaded by two Anishinaabe First Nations, Eagle Lake and Shawanaga, the claimants argued that the Indigenous right to self-government included a right to control gambling practices on reserves. The Supreme Court ruled that these First Nations did not have rights to high-stakes gaming under self-government.



Cambridge, Ontario, incorporated as a city in 1973, population 138,479 (2021 census), 129,920 (2016 census). Cambridge is located within Waterloo Region and along the Grand River. It was created through the amalgamation of the City of Galt, the Towns of Preston and Hespeler, and parts of North Dumfries and Waterloo townships.

Throughout history, the Cambridge area has been home to different Indigenous groups, namely the Neutral, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. The land is covered by the Haldimand Proclamation.


Adam Dollard des Ormeaux

Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, soldier, French colonist (born 23 July 1635 in France; died in May 1660 near Carillon, in New France). Adam Dollard des Ormeaux was the garrison commander in Ville-Marie­. He led a group of French fighters and their Algonquin and Huron-Wendat allies against the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) at the battle of Long Sault. Adam Dollard des Ormeaux has long been considered both a hero and a martyr who sacrified himself in the defence of Ville-Marie. Recent studies, however, have cast doubt on how heroic his conduct actually was.


Religion and Spirituality of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

First Nation, Métis and Inuit religions in Canada vary widely and consist of complex social and cultural customs for addressing the sacred and the supernatural. The influence of Christianity — through settlers, missionaries and government policy — significantly altered life for Indigenous peoples. In some communities, this resulted in hybridized religious practices; while in others, European religion replaced traditional spiritual practices entirely. Though historically suppressed by colonial administrators and missionaries, especially from the late 19th- to mid-20th centuries, many contemporary Indigenous communities have revived, or continue to practice, traditional spirituality.



District Municipality of Muskoka, Ontario, incorporated in 1971, permanent population 66,674 (2021 census), 60,614 (2016 census); estimated seasonal population 85,163 (2016). Muskoka is an iconic area of Ontario’s cottage country located approximately 200 km north of Toronto. A destination for seasonal residents and tourists who have been drawn by its natural beauty since the late 1800s, the district has equally been home to generations of permanent residents.


François Saillant

François Saillant, activist, community worker, politician, author (born 15 June 1951 in Quebec City, QC). Coordinator and spokesperson for the Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (Popular Action Front for Urban Planning) from 1979 to 2016, he was also a candidate for Québec solidaire in three provincial elections. He is the author of three books on the right to housing.


Powwow Singers

Powwows feature distinct music that is recognized by many as the central, unifying feature of these culturally meaningful gatherings.


Canadian Place Names That Reference Geography

Canada has about 350,000 official place names. While many of these names honour people, a great many others reference physical or human geography. This list showcases the latter, highlighting names that point to the natural features of a place — take Montreal, for example — or how people interact with the land, be it through travel or settlement (as in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba). And, as with “Canada” itself, many of these names stem from an Indigenous word, or are themselves in an Indigenous language, such as Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories (see also Largest Cities in Canada With an Indigenous Name).


Editorial: Canadian Art and the Great War

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

Canadian painting in the 19th century tended towards the pastoral. It depicted idyllic scenes of rural life and represented the country as a wondrous Eden. Canadian painter Homer Watson, under the influence of such American masters as Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt, created images that are serene and suffused with golden light. In On the Mohawk River (1878), for instance, a lazy river ambles between tall, overhanging trees; in the background is a light-struck mountain. In Watson’s world, nature is peaceful, unthreatening and perhaps even sacred.



Chief is a word used to denote status or leadership upon an individual in a group, clan or family. The origin of the word is European; colonists used it to refer to the leaders of Indigenous nations during the era of contact. While different Indigenous nations have their own terms for chief, the English version of the word is still used widely to describe leaders tasked with promoting cultural and political autonomy. The term is also used by institutions and organizations that are not exclusively Indigenous to refer to heads of staff (e.g., chief of police, commander-in-chief, chief executive officer). This article explores the historical and contemporary uses of the term in the Indigenous context.



Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, leader of a First Nations confederacy, military leader in the War of 1812 (born circa 1768 in south-central Ohio; died 5 October 1813 near Moraviantown [Thamesville, ON]). Tecumseh was leader of the First Nations confederacy that was formed to resist American intrusion on Indigenous land in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. When the War of 1812 broke out between the United States and Britain, Tecumseh and the confederacy allied with the British. He was killed at the Battle of the Thames in 1813. Tecumseh is remembered as a respected Indigenous warrior and major figure in the War of 1812. While his death was the end of serious resistance in the Northwest, Indigenous people continued to fight for their land and rights.