History by the Minute: A Representative National History or a Common Sense of the Majority?

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008


A number of times over the past century, there have been struggles in the United States over what is and is not included in the history curriculum. These struggles have primarily been over who is represented in the teaching of history. In Canada, however, this debate has not been as prevalent. For example, Historica’s Heritage Minutes is a national project that is designed to present Canadians with a common sense of national history and in the eight years since it was first introduced it has not received similar scrutiny. In this article, we use an emergent coding scheme to examine this project to investigate exactly whose history is being told and whether or not it is representative of Canadian society. We feel that while the Heritage Minutes are sometimes over representative of the dominant cultural traits in Canadian society, they do present a multicultural view of Canada.