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.

  • sayan sivanathan

    Great Video depicting the CPR and its importance to the Canadian Culture
    13/06/2016 10:50:48 AM

  • Daniel Chapman

    I found Sairah's presentation very informative,,, a lot of facts that many Canadian's are not even aware of specific to the importance of CP RAIL and how it linked the country from ocean to ocean.
    13/06/2016 10:29:14 AM

  • suren

    Very informative. Well done.
    13/06/2016 10:19:07 AM

  • Cecelia L, YC, ON

    Very well-edited and fascinating video. I didn't know half of these things before watching your amazing video! Super creative and it definitely provided everyone with an interesting perspective and a deeper understanding of your topic. Congratulations and good luck!
    11/06/2016 10:17:24 PM

  • Nadia Z

    I like how you introduced many different settings in your project and how you identified each one
    11/06/2016 9:25:41 PM

  • Nadia Z

    I like how you introduced many different settings in your project and how you identified each one
    11/06/2016 9:24:56 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.