Canadian Geographic Magazine Features Museum Run By Alumna

The January/February issue of Canadian Geographic Magazine features an article about the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society (CKBHS). History alumna Sam Meredith is the Executive Director and Curator of the society. 

The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society, a Non-Profit Organization, is dedicated to the discovery, research, and preservation of the black history found in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and the city of Chatham.

Read the article below and find out more about CKBHS at

Canadian Geographic Magazine feature


History Department Helps Commemorate First World War With New Website

The Department of History has been part of an award-winning community partnership to commemorate the centennial of the First World War from 2014 to 2018.

Alumni, faculty, and students in the Specialization in Public History and Community Placement have been involved, working side-by-side with the individuals and institutions that comprise our incredible heritage and history community.

Led by the Thunder Bay Public Library, project partners have included the City of Thunder Bay Archives, City of Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee, the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, the Thunder Bay Military Museum, and the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society.

With hundreds of photographs, records, and stories the new site is a dynamic online exhibit depicting life in Thunder Bay during the war.

As recognized through awards from the Ontario Historical Society and the City of Thunder Bay, the project is an invaluable resource for teachers, used in the delivery of Canadian history in both elementary and secondary schools and in university programming.

The online exhibit can be found here. 

World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project Logo

Alumna Receives Government of Canada History Award

The Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies and History and the Faculty of Education are pleased to announce that alumna Kylie Burchat has been recognized as one of 20 Government of Canada History Award winners for 2017. 

The goal of the Government of Canada History Awards is to connect youth to their history by honouring outstanding students and teachers who show an interest in celebrating Canadian history. The awards are administered by Canada’s History, an independent national charitable organization whose mission is to promote greater popular interest in Canadian history.

Kylie completed her HBASc/BEd specializing in history and geography at Lakehead Orillia in 2017. The genesis of her award-winning submission, a grade six lesson plan exploring the difference between immigrants and refugees, had its roots in her history and education coursework while at Lakehead. 

Kylie is now enrolled in the MA program in History at Wilfrid Laurier University.   

More information about the Government of Canada History Awards can be found at http://gcawards.canadashistory .ca/History-Awards/Teaching- Award/Home

Film Receives International Film Festival Award

May 22 2018 - Thunder Bay

Guardians of Eternity, a film produced by Dr. Ronald Harpelle, directed by France Benoit, and shot Kelly Saxberg, has been awarded a "Golden Palm Award” in the Environmental Competition of the 2018 Mexico International Film Festival. The film was a primary Knowledge Mobilization component of an SSHRC Partnership Development Grant that examined the history and legacy of arsenic contamination at Giant Mine in Yellowknife.

The Toxic Legacies project is a partnership among researchers at Memorial University (John Sandlos and Arn Keeling) and Lakehead University (Ronald Harpelle), along with the Goyatiko Language Society, a Yellowknives Dene First Nation organization dedicated to the preservation of the Weledeh language, and Alternatives North, an environmental and social justice coalition in Yellowknife that conducts public interest research.

The film is available in English, French and Spanish. To view the film and find more information about the Toxic Legacies project, visit

History Major Named to Team Canada Wrestling Squad

Jacob Luczak (HBA History) has been named to the Team Canada squad heading to the Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Jacob Luczak and Nathan Hatton

A decorated wrestling star with St. Patrick High School, Jacob returned from Regina last year following his father's terminal cancer diagnosis. He joined Lakehead Thunderwolves Wrestling, winning gold medals at the Brock Open, the Western Open, and the McMaster Open, and silver at the USports national championship.

Read more about Jacob's journey at:

To help offset the costs a Go-Fund-Me-style fundraising campaign has been established at the Make A Champ website. To donate, visit, or contact him directly at 306-807-0057 or


Image: Jacob Luczak with department faculty member, and former wrestler, Dr. C. Nathan Hatton. Courtesy of C. Nathan Hatton

Department of History a sponsor of Doors Open Thunder Bay 2018

The Department of History is a proud sponsor of Doors Open Thunder Bay, an event taking place on Saturday, Sept. 8 between 10 am and 4 pm. Doors Open is an opportunity for people to explore some of Thunder Bay’s most unique structures and heritage sites. 

This year at the Paramount Theatre (24 Court St. S., there will be a series of screenings of Long Walk Home: The Incredible Journey of Sheila Burnford, an award winning film by faculty members Dr. Ronald Harpelle and Kelly Saxberg. The film is a biographical sketch of one of Thunder Bay’s most famous and remarkable authors. 

Along with the film will be a display of items from The Burnford Project, which is an initiative to index Sheila Burnford’s personal papers. Dr. Harpelle and his team of students have been working with the papers for four years and the papers will soon be available for public access through the Thunder Bay Public Library.

Screenings of the film will take place at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm and this is a free event. Sheila Burnford will also be inducted into the Walk of Fame in the Village Green at Victoriaville Mall on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11:30 am. 

These events are opportunities for students, faculty and the public to find out more about Sheila Burnford and The Burnford Project. Visit Doors Open Ontario for more information.

Doors Open Thunder Bay 2018

Department of History and RESRG sponsoring Vox Popular Media Arts Festival

In support of our research mandate and interests, the Department of History and the Resources, Economy and Society Research Group (RESRG) are proud to be a sponsor of 17 films with historical and/or Indigenous themes at this year’s Vox Popular Media Arts Festival.

The festival takes place at Trinity United Church Hall, 310 Park Ave. From September 13 to 17. The films are from across Canada and around the world. A complete list of films is available online at

The films range in style from animation, drama to documentary, and there is something for everyone.

Festival passes and day passes are available, but students, seniors and the unemployed are allowed to “pay what you can” for individual screenings. Consult the festival website for descriptions of the films, screening times and other information related to the festival.

Alumnus and Faculty Member Appointed by Minister of National Defence as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel

Photo by Cpl Miguel Moldez, Eagle’s Nest PA Cell. HLCol Michel Beaulieu, right, of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment has a chat with 38 Brigade Group Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant Stacie Nelles and 38 Canadian Brigade Group commander Col Geoff Abthorpe while watching EAGLE’S NEST 2018 Indigenous youth camp participants play soccer in Fort Williams First Nation on Aug 8.

Congratulations to Dr. Michel Beaulieu, Chair of Lakehead's Department of History and President of the University's Alumni Association.

The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, has appointed Dr. Beaulieu as the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.

Honorary Colonels are vital to fostering esprit de corps within their communities. Through their established relationships and reputations, they build and develop community support by enhancing the public profile of the Army. Honorary Colonels are seen to be guardians of Army traditions and history, promoting regimental identity and ethos, and supporting commanders in various ways.

Beaulieu has a long been a supporter of the Canadian Armed Forces, playing an active role in a number of initiatives focused on historical and contemporary issues.

These have ranged from commemorative projects, to the exploration of educational and employment opportunities for reservists. Under his leadership as Chair, the Department of History was honoured by the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) in 2015 with its Award of Excellence for Best Practices in Employer Support: Educational Institution (Manitoba).

New Exhibit on Early Photography at the Lakehead

17 September - Thunder Bay

“Behind the Lens: Early Photography at the Lakehead” is a new exhibit as part of an ongoing partnership between the Department of History and the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society to bring museum exhibits to the Thunder Bay Campus. 

Photographs provide a valuable window into the Lakehead’s early years, but less attention is paid to the photographers themselves. Learn more about Jennie Leach, Fryer’s Studio, J.F. Cooke, George Ryerson Evans, and Fred Creech.

To see the new display, go to the third floor of the Ryan Building. It is located in the main hallway directly across from room 3025.

New Book Published on Thunder Bay and the First World War

A new book written by Lakehead University faculty members and alumni explores the role the region and its people played during the First World War and, for better and for worse, why and how they fought, how they addressed the problems the war created, where they differed from elsewhere in Canada, and what impacts the conflict had on their community and their lives.

Thunder Bay and the First World War, 1914- 1919 is co-authored by Michel S. Beaulieu, David K. Ratz, Thorold J. Tronrud, and Jenna L. Kirker and published by the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society. It is a narrative history shaped, in large part, by what remains of the voices of those from the period—the letters and correspondence produced by soldiers, nurses, governments, organizations, and families. Their stories are augmented, particularly on the home front, by the remaining archival records. It is the story of a community at war.

As part of the City of Thunder Bay's commemoration this November of the hundredth anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War, the book will be launched on Friday, November 2 at the O’Kelly Armoury (317 Park Avenue). It will begin at 7 pm and will also feature the Royal Canadian Air Force Band and historical displays.

Cover of Thunder Bay and the First World War