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This Canadian moment symbolizes achievement & reconciliation


Here I stand on King William Island in August, 1999. Matheson Point. Behind me is Rae Strait. Three of us were about to cross that strait -- Louie Kamookak, Cameron Treleaven, and I -- to see if we could find a cairn built in 1854 on Canada’s Arctic coast.  We were bent on honoring the three men who had put it there: an Orcadian Scot (John Rae), an Inuk (William Ouligbuck), and an Ojibway (Thomas Mistegan).
Together, these three had marked a location overlooking the final link (Rae Strait) in what would prove to be the first navigable Northwest Passage. Is that a Canadian moment or what? To me it symbolizes achievement and points to reconciliation. As it happens, that moment -- which finds "white" and indigenous succeeding together -- is at the heart of Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage.
The book recognizes the contributions to Arctic exploration of the Dene, the Ojibway, the Cree and, above all, the Inuit, without whom John Franklin’s ships, Erebus and Terror, would still be lying undiscovered at the bottom of the Polar Sea. Slated to appear from 
HarperCollins Canada in September, the work encompasses both naval and fur-trade explorers, but also such figures as Thanadelthur, Akaitcho, Tattanoeuck, John Sacheuse, Ebierbing, Hans Hendrik, Tulugaq, and Tookoolito.
Louie Kamookak is the latest to join that sterling list. Those of us sailing Out of the Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada this September are thrilled that, circumstances permitting, Louie will join us in visiting the site of the Erebus. So, yes, autumn will find me still celebrating reconciliation with furious passion. Shall we start on Canada Day? Why not? Let the party begin!



Ken McGoogan
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Crossing Canada by train gave me three reasons to hate Calgary


We called it The VIA-Rail, 50 Canadians, Ocean-to-Ocean, Book-Tour Extravaganza.  By using voodoo magic, my book publisher, Harper-Collins Canada, had worked a deal with VIA-Rail to send me and my artist-photographer-wife, Sheena Fraser McGoogan, back and forth across the country by train to promote 50 Canadians Who Changed the World.  All I had to do was write a few articles for VIA-Destinations, a now-defunct magazine. No, I didn't inquire too deeply.
But with Canada 150 directly ahead, now is the time to reveal how that played out. Having boarded The Canadian in Toronto, we rocked westward into the night, bound for Vancouver and the Pacific. The Atlantic leg would happen later. Now, we would stop off in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Banff, and stay in each city at a classic railway hotel. The idea was Canadian history, right? I would talk to any media outlet that would have me, and then we would board VIA-Rail’s next Canadian. Hey, I said someone worked magic.
True, our train looked nothing like the Countess of Dufferin (pictured below), which is housed at the Railway Museum in Winnipeg. But we ate our meals in a dining car complete with friendly servers, four-person tables, and white-linen tablecloths. We slept in a private compartment. And if we wanted a better view of the countryside, we would make our way to one of the dome cars.
We whirled through a kaleidoscope of landscape, history, and memory. It was the rail-trip of a lifetime, and it taught me a few things. It taught me to hate Calgary, for example, where Sheena and I lived for two decades while raising our now-adult children. I shared three of those reasons in the city itself, while praising 50 Canadians at Pages on Kensington. Looking back, I see that those reasons stand up. 
The first reason I hated Calgary was Naheed Nenshi. We chanced to be in the city when Calgarians elected this brilliant, charismatic leader to a second four-year term. Why should Calgary get the Best Mayor in Canada, that's what I wanted to know. Meanwhile, in Toronto, we were suffering the death of a thousand cuts under a certain Mortifying Blowhard. Nenshi alone would have been sufficient to make me gnash my teeth with envy. Come to think of it, I'm still gnashing.
That brings me to my second reason. I hated Calgary because it has the C-Train, a Light Rapid Transit system that runs like a dream. A multi-stop C-Train is precisely what Toronto needs to run out Scarborough way. Instead, our new and slightly improved mayor remains committed to building a radically inferior and far more expensive subway line. Don't get me started. 
The third reason I hated Calgary was the superabundance of swimming pools. They are everywhere, wonderfully clean, always half-empty. By comparison, swimming in Toronto is like something out of The Hunger Games. Nasty, brutish, and hard to survive. So: Nenshi, the C-Train, the swimming pools. All these I found hard to forgive.
But at Pages, I didn’t say a word about the most hurtful thing of all. I couldn't even speak of Calgary’s proximity to the Rockies. Did I mention that in summer we camped and hiked in those mountains, and in winter we skied every weekend at Sunshine or Lake Louise. You want justified hatred? Think about that.
In fairness, I have to say that the Calgary Herald ran an insightful article about 50 Canadians. The CBC Homestretch and Global TV gave me prime-time exposure. And I saw a whack of old friends at Pages on Kensington. Yes, we adjourned to a still-familiar pub. My hatred of Calgary is not unmitigated.


Ken McGoogan
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Youngish White Dude says YES to indigenous peoples, visible minorities


I hate to create mysteries during our run-up to Canada Day. But while the book we’re loud-hailing is rightly called 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, it celebrates 49 human beings, give or take -- 19 women and 30 men. Given that the human race is split 50-50, still I felt not too bad about having achieved 38.7 per cent women.
Then Justin Trudeau came along and, with his first cabinet, hit 50 per cent. Talk about raising the bar. I'm not bitter, but will note only that he didn’t have to accommodate the first half of the 20th century.
Then came the voices in my head. What about indigenous people? What about visible minorities? How many of those do we find among your 50 Canadian world-beaters, mister? Just how inclusive are you?
Well, hey, I thought you’d never ask. Turns out we have a dozen -- out of 49, more than 24 per cent. In Canada’s total population, those who self-identify as
indigenous or belonging to a visible minority comprise nineteen per cent. So when it comes to being demographically representative, this dude is ahead of the game. Yes!
The book’s table of contents included no names, only one-line descriptions. My idea was to encourage guessing games -- and it worked, here and there. Now and then. Among a few folks. This time around, I’ll give you bold-face names and then the one-liners:
Sheila Watt-Cloutier: An Inuit activist links climate change to human rights
Irshad Manji: A spirited Muslim calls for an Islamic Reformation.
Douglas Cardinal: A pioneering architect builds on his indigenous heritage
Kenojuak Ashevak: An Inuit artist enriches world culture
Joy Kogawa: A Japanese Canadian clears the way for minorities
Deepa Mehta: A transnational filmmaker gives voice to marginalized women
Michaelle Jean: A Haitian immigrant proves that pluralism works
Jay Silverheels: A talented Mohawk blazes a trail for aboriginal actors
Oscar Peterson: First this Montreal jazzman took Manhattan
K’naan Warsame: A flag-waving rapper tackles trouble in Somalia
David Suzuki: An environmental warrior awakens the world to climate change
Russell Peters: The Canadian comedian makes the world laugh with us
And did I say 19 women? Voila: Louise Arbour, Maude Barlow, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Irshad Manji, Naomi Klein, Jane Jacobs, Kenojuak Ashevak, Alice Munro, Joy Kogawa, Margaret Atwood, Deepa Mehta, Michaelle Jean, Samantha Nutt, Joni Mitchell, Celine Dion, Sarah Burke, Hayley Wickenheiser, Brenda Milner, Sara Seager.
That still leaves our mystery inclusion, our number fifty. No, it is not Northern Dancer -- though I fought hard to include that peerless progenitor. He’s Canadian, right? Anyway, if you can’t stand the suspense, you’ll have to buy the book. 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. It’s available in better bookstores, and here online from Chapters-Indigo.

Ken McGoogan
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These five Canadians created the Digital Revolution


With Canada 150 upon us, I’ve been ransacking 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. Yesterday I turned up half a dozen Canadians, among them Margaret Atwood and Joni Mitchell, who spirited the Sixties into the 21st Century. Today I discover that five Canadians created the Digital Revolution.
Marshall McLuhan: Recognized internationally as the Prophet of the Electronic Age, McLuhan was an obscure English professor when, in the 1960s, he published two visionary books: The Gutenberg Galaxy and Understanding Media. He anticipated a “global village” of instantaneous communications. Look around: we all live in a World Wide Web.
James Cameron: After creating the blockbuster movie Titanic (1997), Cameron began developing  the digital 3D Fusion Camera System he would use in Avatar (2009). That movie, which relies heavily on computer generated animation, revolutionized the film industry when we weren’t looking. It replaced traditional 35 mm celluloid with digital 3D technology. Movies are different now.

Mike Lazaridis: In 1999, after creating a series of increasingly sophisticated mobile devices, this electrical engineer invented the Blackberry, the world’s first widely used smartphone. Today, more than 1.2 billion people use smartphones to access the World Wide Web, and many rarely use any other device to go online. Misplace your smartphone and you feel sick inside.
Douglas Cardinal: Best-known for creating the Canadian Museum of Civilization (aka the Canadian Museum of History), Cardinal pioneered the use of digital technology in architectural design. Drawing on his indigenous heritage, he created curvilinear buildings that drove him to develop Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD). Can you imagine these fancy new skyscrapers without it?
Don Tapscott: The author of Wikinomics and Macrowikinomics, the visionary Tapscott explorers and champions the collaborative innovations made possible by the Internet. He argues that the Millennials, born between 1977 and 1997,  are “digital natives” who are changing the way the world does business. 
You can find out more in 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, available online by clicking here (Chapters-Indigo). Oh, and if you worry that the book might be short of women or visible minorities, check back tomorrow.
Ken McGoogan
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These awful Canadians spirited the 1960s into the 21st Century


The 1960s get a bum rap, here in 21st-century Canada. All those awful Boomers who came of age back then have destroyed the economy, the housing market, job prospects, let's just say the whole shebang. But just imagine where we might be if the international “counter-culture” that emerged in the Sixties had never happened. With Canada Day 150 upon us, I’ve been ransacking 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. Here I find world-beaters who challenged authority, rejected consumerism, marched for women’s rights, investigated consciousness, and led the way “back to the land.” I discover Canadians who spirited the Sixties into the 21st century:
       Stephen Lewis. Embodying the anti-materialism of the 1960s, this activist-humanitarian created a foundation that leads the global war against HIV-AIDS.
Margaret Atwood. A feminist leader since the 1960s, she has been hailed internationally for exploring not just women’s issues but political oppression and the exploitation of nature.
David Suzuki. Since the 1960s, when as a young scientist he became aware of threats to the environment, Suzuki has been a leader in awakening the world to climate change.
Leonard Cohen. Having proclaimed early on that Magic Is Alive, this Zen-monk troubabour sang the spirit of the Sixties into his eighties: The Old Revolution, Waiting for the Miracle, First We Take Manhattan, Halleluleah.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau. After emerging onto the political stage in the 1960s, this fluently bilingual intellectual turned Canada into a global beacon of pluralism:  multicultural, multiracial, and multinational.
Joni Mitchell. Not only is she the Picasso of Song, but Mitchell has never ceased to speak out against the double standard applied to female musicians. And one of her lyrics has become an environmentalist refrain: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
Where in 2017 would we be without these half dozen Canadians and others like them?
Ken McGoogan
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Five Canada Day lessons: Sometimes you have to lie to your mother




With Canada Day looming, I’ve been revisiting my book 50 Canadians Who Changed the World.  A cursory inspection reminds me that these outstanding individuals have a lot to teach the rest of us.
 1. Don’t be afraid to wade in a swamp.  Because, as a boy, he felt like an outsider, David Suzuki took refuge in nature: “My main solace was a large swamp a ten-minute bike ride from our house.” The youth was fascinated by plant and animal life, especially insects. “Anyone who spotted me in that swamp would have had confirmation of my absolute nerdiness as I waded in fully clothed, my eyes at water level, peering beneath the surface, a net and jar in my hands behind my back.” Suzuki would build on those early experiments to earn a doctorate, become a science broadcaster, and awaken the world to climate change.
 2. If you really like a movie, go see it ten times.  As a fifteen-year-old, James Cameron was knocked out by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. At the local theatre in Niagara Falls, Ontario, he went to see it ten times. He decided that, instead of a comic book artist, he wanted to be a filmmaker. He borrowed his father’s Super-8 camera, started shooting film, and didn’t stop. In Hollywood, he helped lead the shift into the digital world. And in 2009, when he released the 3-D movie Avatar, he made digital technology the bedrock of the modern cinema experience.
 3. Sometimes you have to lie to your mother.  Just before she flew into Somalia, which was a war zone, Samantha Nutt left a series of post-dated postcards to be sent to her mother from Kenya. Having a wonderful time on safari. Seeing tons of lions, zebras, giraffes, and elephants. Wish you were here. At age twenty-five, she was researching an advanced medical degree on women’s health in failed states. What she discovered shocked her, and galvanized her into co-founding War Child Canada. By delivering aid to war-torn nations, this charitable, humanitarian organization changed the world.
 4. Do not dismiss your premonitions.  On December 30, 1981, while driving to the arena with a team mate, twenty-year-old hockey player Wayne Gretzky turned to his fellow Edmonton Oiler and said, “Geez, I feel weird. I might get a couple tonight.” Gretzky was chasing a record set in 1945 by Maurice “The Rocket” Richard: fifty goals in fifty games. With thirty-eight games behind him, Gretzky had scored forty-five. But on this night, he wrote later, “it was almost eerie the way things happened.” He registered four goals, “but then the magic suddenly left me.” He missed three point-blank chances. As the game wound down, he mounted one final rush. With seven seconds remaining, he took a cross-rink pass and then fired the puck “into the world’s most beautiful net.” Having scored fifty goals in thirty-nine games -- a record that has yet to be broken -- Wayne Gretzky went on to bring hockey into the mainstream of North American sport.
 5. When all else fails, go lie on a beach. When he was twenty-four, Guy Laliberte went to Hawaii for a holiday. He had been performing with a street festival in small-town Quebec, specializing in juggling, stilt-walking, and fire-eating. The year was 1983, and the provincial government had announced that it was funding projects to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the arrival of French explorer Jacques Cartier. While lying on a beach in Hawaii, watching the sun go down, Laliberte conceived of mounting a Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun). That vision, inspired by a Hawaiian sunset, would enable Laliberte to transform our conception of the circus and give rise to a global empire that today employs thousands of people from more than 40 countries.
 [50 Canadians is available here online and in all the best bricks-and-mortar bookstores.] 
Ken McGoogan
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Meet the Inuit activist who made climate change a human rights issue



In December 2005, Inuit author and activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier launched the world’s first legal action on climate change when she presented a 167-page petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Signed by sixty-two Inuit elders and hunters, it charged that unchecked emission of greenhouse gases from the United States had violated Inuit cultural and environmental rights as guaranteed by the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
Watt-Cloutier changed the world by making climate change a human rights issue. So I argued, rightly I think, in 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. I had organized my Outstanding 50, all born in the twentieth century, into six broadly inclusive groups. Watt-Cloutier I profiled as primarily an activist. In presenting the petition, she  drew on an exhaustive Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) prepared over four years by 300 scientists from fifteen countries. It attested that the Arctic is experiencing some of the most rapid climate change on earth. It predicted that the change would accelerate and produce major physical, ecological, social, and economic consequences, and that these would lead to worldwide global warming and rising sea levels. Some marine species would face extinction, and the disappearance of sea ice would disrupt and might destroy the Inuit’s hunting- and food-sharing culture.
 Identifying the Inuit as “the early warning system for the entire planet,” Watt-Cloutier put a human face on the facts, figures, and graphs. “Climate change affects every facet of Inuit life,” she said. “We have a right to life, health, security, land use, subsistence and culture. These issues are the real politics of climate change.” In 2008, when Time magazine hailed her as one of a handful of “Heroes of the Environment,” Watt-Cloutier said: “Most people can’t relate to the science, to the economics, and to the technical aspects of climate change. But they can certainly connect to the human aspect.” Her aim is to “move the issue from the head to the heart.”
The following year, while accepting an honorary doctor of laws from the University of Alberta, Watt-Cloutier reviewed how the Inuit “have weathered the storm of modernization remarkably well, moving from an almost entirely traditional way of life to adopting ‘modern’ innovations all within the past sixty or seventy years.” But rapid changes and traumas “deeply wounded and dispirited many,” she said, “and translated into a ‘collective pain’ for families and communities. Substance abuse, health problems, and the loss of so many of our people to suicide have resulted.”
Through all this, the Inuit drew strength from “our land, our predictable environment and climate, and the wisdom our hunters and elders gained over millennia to help us adapt.” Now, however, climate change has made the environment unreliable and capricious: “Just as we start to come out the other side of the first wave of tumultuous change, there is yet a second wave coming at us. We face dangerously unpredictable weather, unpredictable conditions of our ice and snow, extreme erosion, and an invasion of new species. These changes threaten to erase the memory of who we are, where we have come from, and all that we wish to be.”
Writing in 2012, I added a lot more. But obviously, I could not include anything from The Right to be Cold, a national bestseller Watt-Cloutier published in 2015. Seems to me that, along with 50 Canadians, we all should have that book on our bedside tables. 
Ken McGoogan
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How did Canada become multicultural, multi-racial, multi-national?


"Most developed countries tolerate plural identities. But what they struggle to accommodate, Canada embraces and proclaims." So I wrote four years too early. "This is partly the result of necessity: ours is a country of minorities. But it derives also from historical timing."
In the introduction to 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, published by HarperCollins Canada in 2013, I then clarified and elaborated. The original thirteen colonies of the United States of America adopted a constitution in 1787. Inevitably, that document reflected eighteenth-century ideas about the nation state: one nation, one state, one national identity.
As a result, the United States became proudly one and indivisible, and it fought a civil war to stay that way. Citizens of the U.S. have a single, over-riding identity: they are Americans. Canada, by comparison, did not even begin to emerge as a state until late in the nineteenth century. The country reached a political milestone in 1867 with Confederation. But even then Canada remained subject to the British North America Act, a document that Britain could repeal at any time.
Only in 1982, under Pierre Elliott Trudeau, did this country gain control of its own constitution. By then, Canada was too complex to fit into an eighteenth-century constitutional mould. Trudeau recognized that the country had become pluralistic: regional, multicultural, multi-racial, multi-national.
But wait!  I'm sparing you quotation marks, but I'm drawing from the book. And 50 Canadians Who Changed the World can still be found in better bookstores, among them Chapters-Indigo (which carries the paperback online at this link.) So maybe the timing is right for a few quick hits from the book. In the introduction, I continued:
Trudeau realized that, as a pluralistic state, Canada could become “a brilliant prototype” for the civilization of tomorrow. He convinced Canadians to reject the ethnocentric model (one nation, one state) championed by Quebecois nationalists -- and adopted in the 1700s by Americans -- and recognize that freedom is most secure when two or more nations co-exist within a single state. This pluralistic vision, rendered into reality by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, makes Canada unique among developed nations. That reality means individuals have room to grow, no matter their roots, no matter their complexities. It explains why so many Canadians have changed the world.
It also explains why, instead of arguing ideas, I decided to focus on individuals. That, I reasoned, is where the stories are. I quickly discovered a multitude of extraordinary individuals -- far too many. And so I adopted two basic criteria. First, because I hoped to paint a portrait of contemporary, cutting-edge Canada, I confined my selections to Canadians born in the twentieth century. This meant excluding remarkable figures from an earlier era, but opened up space for those changing the world today. Second, I wanted to focus on Canadians who have made a difference globally. This ruled out people who have worked miracles here at home, but have had little impact in the great wide world. A third criterion emerged as I wrote. 
But I'll produce examples as we approach Canada Day.


Ken McGoogan
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Scottish front pages highlight wet, rocky path through Brexit forest




Our guidebook described the hike to Steall Falls as "a pleasant walk with good views of the river." It did concede that the "grass/stone path can be slippery when wet." But as the rain came down, and we found ourselves scrambling up and down a rough, rocky trail that winds through a forest, we realized that we were struggling through the perfect metaphor for Scotland's post-election trauma. 
Which way to turn? What do the signs say? Judging from today's front pages, they aren't easy to read. The 
Scotsman tells us: "SNP admit independence / lost them election seats." But The Inverness Press & Journal delivers a counter-spin: "‘Brexit disaster will boost independence.’"
The Scottish Daily Mail declares: "Tories turn on Theresa." But the Scottish Daily Express claims: "Sturgeon on the Retreat."
The Daily Record tries hard for exhaustive clarity: "The Fate of May // Heaven help us/ because she can’t." But then it delivers the worst pun of the day: "Elephant Indy Room."
The good news is that we kept slogging and saw some spectacular sights. Not only that: as we arrived back at the car park, the sun came out. Visibility? All clear. Full speed ahead.


Ken McGoogan
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Smaller than the Crystal Serenity, yet too big for a Scottish port


As we approached Oban on the ferry from Barra, I mistook this ship for the Crystal Serenity, which is slated to sail through the Northwest Passage later this year. But no. It's the MV Artania, which was anchored offshore because it is too big to enter the port. This particular Motorized Vessel is 231 metres long and weights 44,348 tons. The Crystal Serenity is larger still, at 250 metres and 68,000 tons. Oban is a port city of 8,575 people, and is designed to handle great numbers of visitors. The Serenity, which carries more than 1,000 passengers, is slated to put in at Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, population 1,766. You do the math. I whole-heartedly support adventure tourism in the Arctic. It brings money to Nunavut, and also increases awareness of northern issues. But these numbers? The smart move might be to control ship size by limiting the number of passengers per voyage to maybe 250. Just a thought.


Ken McGoogan
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The 'most hated man in Scotland' is killing my buzz in the Islands


In the mid-19th century, he was “the most hated man in Scotland.” For sure he had competition, but Colonel John Gordon lived in a fabulous castle (see below) and was also known as Scotland’s “richest commoner.”  Here in the Highlands and Islands, Gordon’s ghost has been killing my buzz. That’s not because he was wealthy, but because he stayed that way by ruthlessly squeezing the lifeblood out of poor crofters eking out a living on his massive estates – among them, as of 1838, the entire island of Barra.
Today, we visited the scene of some of Gordon’s handiwork – an archaeological site called Balnabodach (above). You won’t find it in the usual guidebooks, or even on most maps, and good luck working with google. But after making one false downward-scramble off the eastern side of the one-lane highway that encircles Barra, and getting turned back by marshy ground, we tried again and managed to reach it.
People have lived in this location for centuries. But at Scotland’s first census, in 1841, Balnabadoch was home to eight households and twenty-six people.  They lived in typical Barra blackhouses, which had thick walls and single doors in one long side.  Families lived on the earth floor, and cooked and slept around the fireplace at one end.

In 1851, with the potato famine wreaking havoc, killing two islanders and, less acceptably, reducing the Colonel’s income, Gordon decided to solve the problem by evicting crofters and shipping them to Canada. He sent men here to Balnabadoch, where they forced farm families onto small boats that transported them to a ship waiting at Lochboisdale. According to oral tradition, one young woman was milking the family cow when Gordon’s agents hauled her off with nothing but the clothes on her back. By the time the ship reached Quebec, well, that is a subject for another day.
Ken McGoogan
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Stumbling across a Highland Clearance site is my idea of a good time


Did I mention my interest in Scottish-Canadian connections? Today we stumbled on the ruins of a tacksman’s house in Upper Bornish Clearance Village. This brought us face to face with a well-documented Highland Clearance that sent thousands to Canada. We were rambling around on South Uist, roughly ten kilometres north of Lochboisdale, where the ferry arrives from Oban. At the Kildonan Museum, after visiting the nearby birthplace of Flora Macdonald, we had picked up an archaeological guide pointing the way to notable ruins. It spoke rather grandly of a “Kildonan Trail,” but we found ourselves beating across pathless, marshy ground to the ruins of this little known village.
In the 18th century, the guidebook told us, Upper Bornish comprised half a dozen households, the people living mostly “in long houses shared at times with livestock.” The tacksman among them, the senior tenant, was the only one who could afford a separate byre for sheep and cattle. Decades came and went, people lived and died, and in August 1851, the poor farmers whose ancestors had toiled here for centuries were among those commanded to attend a public meeting at Lochboisdale, where a sailing ship called the Admiral stood at anchor.
According to an eyewitness, many of the people “were seized and, in spite of their entreaties, sent on board the transports.” The next morning, the writer adds, “we were suddenly awakened by the screams of a young female who had been re-captured in an adjoining house, she having escaped after her first capture. We all rushed to the door, and saw the broken-hearted creature, with dishevelled hair and swollen face, dragged away by two constables and a ground [local] officer.”
Those constables caught twenty more people who had fled into the hills and carried them aboard the Admiral, “in consequence of which four families at least have been divided, some having come in the ships to Quebec, while the other members of the same families are left in the Highlands.” This brutal incident was part of an extended clearance that saw roughly 2,000 people evicted from the Outer Hebrides. Those who survived the weeks-long voyage arrived destitute in Quebec, and most of them, assisted by previous arrivals, made their way to Upper Canada.


Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.

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