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By Gerald Friesen

Grandmother Andre informed tales in entrance of a campfire. Elizabeth Goudie wrote a memoir at school scribblers. Phyllis Knight taped hours of interviews together with her son. ultra-modern households depend on tv and video cameras. they're all making history.

In a unique method of that outdated factor, 'the Canadian identity,' Gerald Friesen hyperlinks the media reports of Harold Innis to the social historical past of contemporary a long time. the result's a framework for Canadian background as instructed by means of usual humans. Friesen means that the typical peoples' perceptions of time and house in what's now Canada replaced with ideas within the dominant technique of verbal exchange. He defines 4 communication-based epochs in Canadian background: the oral-traditional international of pre-contact Aboriginal humans; the textual-settler family of immigrants; the print-capitalism of the 19th and 20th centuries; and the screen-capitalism that has emerged within the previous few many years. This research of conversation is associated with designated political economies, every one of which contains its predecessors in an more and more advanced social order.

In every one epoch, utilizing the hot verbal exchange applied sciences, humans struggled to discover the political ability through which they can make sure that they and their families survived and, in the event that they have been fortunate, prospered. Canada is the sum in their endeavours. "Citizens and country" demonstrates that it really is attainable to discover which means within the nation's earlier that would curiosity, between others, a brand new, younger, and multicultural analyzing audience.

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Extra resources for Citizens and Nation: An Essay on History, Communication, and Canada

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A corner of the map was missing and one of the officials asked how it had come to be damaged. Aggan answered: someone had died who would not easily find his way to heaven, so the owner of the map had cut a piece of it and buried it with the body. With the aid of even a fragment, said Aggan, the dead man would probably find the correct trail, and when the owner of the map died, it would all be buried with him. His dreams of the trail to heaven would then serve him well. 19 What were the salient characteristics of the Aboriginal cultural order?

I am not persuaded by this argument. Nor, I suspect, was Innis. It is true that capitalism came late to northern North America. Indeed, like other peripheral areas of the world economy, as is apparent in parts II and III of this book, Canada did not become immersed in the global trading system until the nineteenth or, in some corners of this land, until the twentieth century. It is also true that during the early 1980s Alestine and Hyacinthe still found niches in their society where they could practise age-old activities for a few weeks each summer.

Adrian Tanner concluded from his experience among the Mistassini Cree in the 1960s that such divination ‘was conducted as an intellectual exercise which accompanied the collection of hunting data ... The kind of information divination gives,’ he writes, ‘is just that kind that cannot be known in advance from an examination of environmental signs. ’21 Relations between human and animal in the world of Genealogy and Economy 25 hunters were much closer than most contemporary Canadians would acknowledge or even imagine.

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