Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Sairah Nepean, Ontario

Fair address: Ottawa Regional Fair

Project: From Stallions to Steel: Rethinking the Canadian Pacific Railway

Established in 1881 and finished in 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has been, and always will be, one of the most crucial constructions that has happened in Canada. This project explores the cultural, political and scientific aspects of the CPR.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

At first, I thought trains were somewhat interesting, but I didn't realize how much more there was to learn. In doing this project, I looked at culture, geography, politics, the arts and literature of the Victorian period, and science. Thinking about the CPR taught me to look more deeply when making historical analyses.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

One of the most important lessons I learned is that history is constantly needing to look at the diversity of the people involved in making history. For example, many historical texts only give a small recognition to the Chinese migrant workers who built the railway. Through this project, I have learned to look at a single event from different points of view.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Even though I (and many of my classmates) are from immigrant families, we feel that we are accepted into Canadian culture. We are encouraged to be fully engaged citizens. But it seems that during the railway building, people such as migrant workers were more likely to be taken advantage of. They were recruited to come to Canada, but never respected. And in general, there was such a distinction between social and economic classes.

  • Nandini

    Nicely presented video!
    14/07/2016 12:42:18 PM

  • Melisha

    I truly enjoyed your video.
    07/07/2016 11:04:53 AM

  • Caleb de Boer

    Great work!
    06/07/2016 11:55:41 AM

  • Sarah de Boer

    Well done Sairah, considering the butterfly effect of what may have at one point been historical footnotes but that were, and are, so much more. Very best wishes to you!
    06/07/2016 11:54:44 AM

  • Calista

    Well Done!
    06/07/2016 9:31:36 AM

  • Judy

    Awesome video!
    06/07/2016 9:23:01 AM

  • Lisa Tailor

    Extremely well presented video!
    05/07/2016 12:45:16 PM

  • Jill McCaw

    Well done Sairah...I enjoyed your comparisons of the past and present
    05/07/2016 9:35:15 AM

  • Arun

    Well done Sairah!
    30/06/2016 9:23:46 AM

  • Richard

    Nicely Done!
    29/06/2016 1:30:10 PM

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Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.