It has been almost a year since the last bulletin. We hope that you are all well and that you will continue to send news, posts and announcements.

Members of the CNHH panel on “Making Connections with the Public: Alternative Approaches to Learning History” prepared for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association in London Ontario, which was cancelled due to COVID-19, have agreed to resubmit the same proposal for 2021 Annual Meeting of the CHA at the University of Alberta.

At the CHA Annual Meeting held at UBC last June, the CNHH sponsored a panel session entitled “Learning from Development/Development from Learning: Aid and Education, 1945-1975.” The panel, chaired by David Webster and with presentations from David Meren, Kevin Brushett, and Jill Campbell-Miller, focused on intersections between education, international development, and foreign aid within Canadian history between the 1950s and 1980s. A recording of this panel session can be found on our website at from-learning-aid-and-education-1945-1975/#description-tab.

The CNHH also hosted the Sixth Annual Meeting and Workshop in Vancouver on June 6, 2019. We were happy to coordinate with the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) who invited their members to attend. In addition to sharing news from the network, attendees also discussed how the Network could be useful for organizations looking to preserve their history on the West Coast. This led to a fruitful exchange with the BCCIC. Plans are in the works to create a webinar for NGOs on maintaining and preserving their documentary history in collaboration with the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) at Carleton University.

Sarah Glassford now holds the position of Archivist in the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library, responsible for both institutional records of the university and materials relating to the history of southwestern Ontario (with a focus on Windsor & Essex County). Among other things, she hopes to acquire materials relating to local branches of humanitarian aid organizations. With co-editor Amy Shaw, Sarah looks forward to the expected May 2020 publication of collection of essays about Canadian and Newfoundland women during the Second World War, which includes two chapters about women’s overseas humanitarian work through Red Cross and Mennonite relief agencies. Entitled Making the Best of It, the collection will be part of the UBC Press/Canadian War Museum military history series.

Kevin Brushett co-organized last Fall a colloquium at the Royal Military College in Kingston on “The People’s Conference: The Transnational Legacies of 1919. La conférence des peuples : les héritages transnationaux de 1919 ». Many papers addressed questions of humanitarian aid.

Dominique Marshall presented papers on “Histoires de vie et archives privées dans l’histoire de l’aide humanitaire: questions d’éthique et de droits de l’homme”, Accès: Perspectives des historiens et des archivistes”, Colloque de l’ACFAS, Gatineau May 2019 ; and the history of the Ethiopian Red Cross and the history of the Red Cross and disability at the conference on the 100th anniversary of the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, June 2019.

Ryan Heyden, PhD Candidate, Department of History, McMaster University
Interests: Ryan Heyden’s dissertation titled “The German Red Cross and Humanitarianism in Divided Germany, 1945-1989,” focusses on the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, DRK) in both East and West Germany after 1945. He examines how the German Red Cross in the East and West challenge historians’ understandings of divided Germany’s postwar reconstruction and development from the occupation period to the peaceful revolution. This project examines themes of humanitarianism after genocide, the relationship between East and West Germans, and the role of the two Germanys in the postwar world. Here he deals with several important issues: the confrontation with the Nazi past, Germany’s development and re-evaluation of socialism and liberal democracy in the 1960s through organs like the Jugendrotkreuz (Youth Red Cross), the relationships the DRKs forged beyond Europe, and the organization’s role in facilitating relations across the Berlin Wall. He won the Ezzo Cappadocia Prize in European History from his university for his Master’s research and is currently funded by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, McMaster University, and holds a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD; 2018 Language Fellowship). He is also participating at the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy in July 2018.

Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta
Interests: I’m a sociology professor at the University of Alberta who has applied for a SSHRC Insight grant to delve into the history of WCM and the activities of its Canadian missionaries on their return to Canada during eh second world war. I’m currently the holder of an Insight titled “Narratives of International Faith-Based Humanitarianism,” for which I and two colleagues have interviewed over 60 people from the global north who identify as Christians engaged in emergency relief and development work in Africa. I’m very interested in the history of Canadian engagement with the global south, whether in the service of faith commitments or as a secular, rights-based endeavour. (For what it’s worth, I’m also former WUSC co-operant).

Seraphina Cha Mikyung, PhD Candidate
About: Cha (Seraphina) has worked for 30 years with movements at the regional and international levels as social activist and NGO consultant. As a PhD Candidate, Cha conducts research about International Cooperation on Aid and the future of Open Digital Archives. Cha also does work on labors, human rights, and international migration.

The Humanitarian Archival Rescue Project in collaboration with ASC has been busy acquiring more fonds: of note is a substantial amount of papers from the Archives of the Canadian Red Cross (the transfer is documented here: library-accepts-deposit-of-canadian-red-cross-materials/), together with a handful of personal archives from CIDA retired workers.

Additionally, the BCCIC invited the CNHH to give a presentation at their AGM, which happened to be the 30th anniversary of their organization. Kevin Brushett and Jill Campbell-Miller spoke via teleconference in October. Dr. Brushett focused on a general history of international cooperation in Canada, while Dr. Campbell-Miller used the organization’s own documentary history to put together a historical overview of the BCCIC. A blog about this event, originally posted on the BCCIC’s website, can be found at: a-peek-back-and-a-look-forward/.

The papers of the late Meyer Brownstone, collected by the CNHH for ASC, were at the centre of an Oxfam Canada event in the Fall of 2019 to honour the work of their former Director. The CNHH published this blog about it: brownstones-legacy/

V. RESEARCH FROM MEMBERSMany members of the CNHH were contributors to a new volume published in open access form by the University of Calgary Press in August, A Samaritan State Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid, edited by David Webster and Greg Donaghy. A summary of a book launch, held in November at the Bill Graham Centre of Contemporary History, can be found at For the occasion, the authors wrote an article for the Conversation : “Neither hero nor villain: Canada stuck in the middle of the pack on international aid”: hero-nor-villain-canada-stuck-in-the-middle-of-the-pack-on-international-aid-124452

Collaborative work with NGOs has continued. Thanks to a MITACs grant, Carleton History doctoral candidate Helen Kennedy will, in the coming four months, co-produce micro-histories with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), the Lebanese Disability Hub, the Latin America Working Group, the Multi-Cultural Council of Saskatchewan and IMPACT. Helen blogged about the ongoing project here:

Undergraduate research assistants Anne-Michèle Lajoie and Elizabeth Reid have worked with Alternatives and WUSC respectively to help with oral histories and archival projects. An account of the Alternatives work can be found in a blog written by Anne-Michèle : de-solidarite-internationale/

Carleton’s course in the history of humanitarian aid, in the Fall of 2019, produced five original histories of development and aid, based in the collections hosted by ASC at the request of the CNHH: personal collections of CIDA employees, the Canadian Red Cross, MATCH, and the CIDA educational collection. The account of the work done on the Canadian Red Cross can be found at:

Entrevues et documentation pour l’histoire d’une aventure montréalaise de solidarité internationale by Anne-Michèle Lajoie

“A Very Fortunate Life” by Roger Saint-Vincent by Mike Molloy

CNHH Sixth Annual Meeting and Workshop by Lydia Wytenbroek

The International Year of the Child celebrates 40 years by Sandrine Murray

The History of the BCCIC: a Peek Back and a Look Forward by Gurleen Grewal

Carleton University’s MacOdrum Library accepts deposit of Canadian Red Cross materials.

A Samaritan State Revisited, Book Launch, November 19, 2019 by Greg Donaghy

Oxfam celebrates Meyer Brownstone’s legacy by Sandrine Murray

Announcing MITACS Accelerate Project by Helen Kennedy

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Tenth Bulletin of the CNHH.