Department recognizes the 150th anniversary of Ontario as a province with special spring online course.

2017 is the 150th anniversary of Ontario as a province. In recognition the Department of History is offering an online survey History of Ontario between 1 May and 12 June. A map of Ontario

History 3801 SDE: Ontario History will examine the role of the province within Canada, and the role of Northwestern Ontario and other selected areas in the history of the province.

The course will be taught by Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu. An expert on the history of the province, he is also currently the Vice-President of the Ontario Historical Society, a Board member of the Multicultural Society of Ontario, and Vice-President and President Elect of The Champlain Society.

To find out how to register go to

Department of History and RESRG Present Master Classes Series at Bay Street Film Festival

7 September 2015 - Thunder Bay

2015 Bay Street Film FestivalThe Department of History and the Resources, Economy, and Society Research Group (RESRG) are pleased to present a series of free workshops at the Bay Street Film Festival between 10 and 12 September. Each session will be introduced by a member of the department and led by out-of-town experts.

Thunder Bay World War One Project Wins Award

At the Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Historical Society the Thunder Bay Public Library was awarded the 2016 Dorothy Duncan Award for its leadership in the World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project. The Department of History, its students, faculty, and alumni are active partners and participants in this project. WW1 Thunder Bay Centennial Logo

The Dorothy Duncan Award is presented to a non-profit organization, nominated by a First Nations Council or a Municipal Council, for outstanding service to its region. The Thunder Bay Public Library is recognized for its leadership in spearheading a community and regional partnership to commemorate the centennial of the First World War, including its impacts upon their city and region. Members of the partnership contributed photographs, documents and other archival materials to the development of an online exhibit depicting life in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario during World War I. The Library conceived the project and it hosts and administers the online exhibit.

The World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project is a four-year cooperative community partnership which includes a wide variety of organizations, educational institutions, historical groups and individuals. The many community contributions to the project have been crucial to the project’s success and have added valuable, personal context to the collections and resources, and they have strengthened a sense of community and investment in
the project and its content.

Founded in 1888, the Ontario Historical Society is a non-profit corporation and registered charity dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Ontario’s history for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

To learn more about the OHS’s Honours and Awards Program, or to submit a nomination, please visit or contact the Society’s offices by telephone or e-mail.

WW1 Thunder Bay Centennial Logo

Congratulations Graduating Award Winners

Graduating history students received a number of awards for their academic achievements at this year’s Convocation.

Anita Solomon received The Chancellor’s Medal which is awarded to the highest-ranking part-time student in an undergraduate degree. Dean’s Scholar Awards, given to graduating students with the highest standing, were also received by three students: Jasmine Hyslop (HBA History) from the Department of History, Kimberley Schultz (HBA History and English) from the Department of English, and Sarah Caldwell (History and Women’s Studies) from the Department of Women’s Studies.

Congratulations to our award winners and all graduating students!

Department of History Celebrates Award

The Department of History is pleased to announce that Adjunct Professor and alumnus Dr. Nathan Hatton’s book, Thrashing Seasons: Sporting Culture in Manitoba and the Genesis of Prairie Wrestling,has been awarded the Association for Manitoba Archives’ Manitoba Day Award for 2017.Cover of Thrashing Seasons

The award recognizes users of archives who have completed an original work of excellence which contributes to the understanding and celebration of Manitoba History. 

Dr. Hatton was presented his award on Tuesday, May 23 at a ceremony held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In Thrashing Seasons, Dr. Hatton provides a people’s history of Manitoba in the early 20th century with a focus on masculinity and ethnicity through the lens of a popular working-class sport.

History alumnus honoured with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Alumnus Tom Doherty with PM Trudeau

Photo of Tom Doherty hugging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the ceremony held in Ottawa.

May 11, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON

History alumnus Tom Doherty (BA'94) was one of two exceptional Lakehead University alumni who received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on May 3.

When Tom Doherty (BED, HBA and BA from Lakehead and MED from Western) received his award, he gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a great big hug.

“As a proud Métis, it is our culture to greet someone through embrace, and so I greeted him as any proud Métis would have,” Doherty said, adding that he became very emotional when receiving this teaching award.

Doherty currently works as the student retention lead at Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education in Balmertown, Ont. He is on a leave of absence from St. John School in Red Lake where he taught kindergarten to grade 9.

“I’m proud of all the great things my students achieve through the facilitated learning I provide,” he said.

Doherty added that it’s important for students to learn about Canada’s Indigenous cultures and traditions.

“I draw as much First Nation, Métis, and Inuit content into the curriculum as possible, which allows students to gain a knowledge base and appreciation of our First Peoples,” he said.

Doherty said attending Lakehead University and serving on the student union helped him realize his potential.

“Achieving the goals I set for myself as a Lakehead student gave me a sense of accomplishment. It taught me that no matter where you come from in life, with hard work and dedication nothing can stop you from achieving success,” Doherty said.

His desire to succeed empowered him to become a teacher. “I impact students by helping them achieve their dreams through action,” he said.

Kathy Cepo (BED from Lakehead) was nervous before meeting Prime Minister Trudeau, until she spoke with him. “He very quickly put me at ease and made me feel comfortable,” she said.

Cepo teaches science and chemistry to students from grade 9 to 12 at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in St. Thomas, Ont.

Five years ago, she and two colleagues started FIRST Team 4525 Renaissance Robotics, a competitive team allowing students to design, build, and program a new 120-pound robot each year that plays a unique game with robots around the world.

Approximately 10 per cent of students at St. Joseph’s participate on the robotics team, and 84 per cent of graduates from the team pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics.

“My time at Lakehead University affirmed that I made the right career choice,” Cepo said.

“From lessons learned in the classroom at the University to those learned during my practicums - I feel that I had a great start to my career.

“I highly recommend Lakehead University as a place to earn your Bachelor of Education degree. I met many students from diverse backgrounds in an area influenced deeply by nature and the environment,” she said.

“Lakehead’s Faculty of Education is pleased to congratulate Tom Doherty and Kathy Cepo, along with the other recipients of this prestigious award,” said Dr. John O’Meara, Dean of Lakehead’s Faculty of Education.

“Tom and Kathy’s commitment to – and passion for – teaching and learning is an example to all educators. This commitment speaks to the exceptional education offered at Lakehead University,” Dr. O’Meara added.

(adapted from Lakehead University media release)


Alumnus and Faculty Member Elected President of Alumni Association

The Department of History is pleased to announce that alumnus and former Chair of the Department Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu has been elected as President of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University. AALU Logo

An award winning author and historian, Michel S. Beaulieu graduated from Lakehead University with and HBA in English and History and a BEd in 2001. He completed an MA in History in 2003, before (reluctantly) leaving Thunder Bay to pursue a Ph.D. at Queen's University (2008).

Since his days serving as a LUSU representative on Senate committees, Michel has consistently been an active member of the community, volunteering his time within the university as well as regionally, nationally, and internationally. He is currently the Vice-President and President-Elect of The Champlain Society, Vice-President of the Ontario Historical Society, Vice-President of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, and sits on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations including the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.

Numerous awards have recognized his work within the community work and as a historian. These include a Northwestern Ontario Visionary Award (2016), Canadian Forces Liaison Council's Award of Excellence for Best Practices in Employer Support: Educational Institution (2015), the City of Thunder Bay's Heritage Award (2011), and the Alumni Association's Young Alumni Award (2010).

He has been a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2010, serving on numerous committees and as Vice-President since 2014.

More information about Michel (and how to contact him) can be found at

Professor Recognized with City of Thunder Bay Arts and Heritage Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ronald Harpelle who was recognized for his film work at the City of Thunder Bay’s 7th Annual Arts & Heritage Awards held on 16 February at Magnus Theatre.
The Thunder Bay Arts & Heritage Awards is an annual gala event organized by the City of Thunder Bay that recognizes and celebrates the influence, achievements, and support of local individuals, groups, and businesses associated with arts and heritage. Award categories represent a wide spectrum of Thunder Bay’s cultural sector from music, film, stage performance, literature, visual arts, photography and heritage to cultural organizations, venues, events, volunteers and supporters.

Department of History Member's Research Highlighted in Canadian War Museum Exhibition

23 October 2015 - Thunder Bay

Cover of Rosies of the NorthThe Department of History is pleased to announce that materials collected by Contract Lecturer Kelly Saxberg during her research for her National Film Board of Canada film, Rosies of the North, will be on display at the Canadian War Museum as part of an exhibit called World War Women.

The grand opening of the exhibit is this week and the exhibition runs until April 3,2016. More information can be found at

Please send questions to Michel Beaulieu at

Alumna Receives Book Award

7 July - Thunder Bay & Orillia

Alumna Crystal Sissons (HBA 2003, BED 2003) has been awarded The Ontario Historical Society's Alison Prentice Cover of Queen of the HurricanesAward for her book Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill (Second Story Press). Established in 1998, the Alison Prentice Award was created to honour the best book on women’s history published in the past three years. It was named after Dr. Alison Prentice, a distinguished scholar in the field of Women’s History and Studies in Education. Crystal received the award at the Society’s 127th Annual General Meeting held on 20 June at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto.