Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


March 7, 2017

The shortlist for the BC Book Prizes is out (see it here) and it highlights some pretty interesting history that was published in the province last year.

The list includes Gently to Nagasaki, Joy Kogawa's meditation on historical atrocity; Mark Leiren-Young's account of Moby Doll, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World; a history of the Gitxsan people, Mapping My Way Home, by longtime tribal leader Neil...

March 3, 2017

I have a couple of websites to recommend.

Lana Okerlund is a Vancouver book editor, writer and history buff who has begun blogging on the history of bookselling in BC at "A Most Agreeable Place." Apparently she set out to answer the question "What was the first bookseller in Vancouver?" and the result became this blog. (The answer to the question, by the way, is Seth Thorne Tilley who provided the pen, ink and paper for the city's first...

February 28, 2017


The day after the Oscars the district of North Vancouver held its own awards night. The gowns were less formal but at least the awards went to the correct recipients, of which I was one.

The Community Heritage Awards are presented annually to recognize efforts to promote heritage conservation in the community. Last night most of the awards went to homeowners who had...

February 17, 2017


Often when one is out walking in the city one encounters sites where history is buried not so far beneath the surface, sites of significance to First Nations people and therefore, usually, sites of injustice.

For example. I took this photograph last weekend on the False...

February 10, 2017


Every day the Dictionary of Canadian Biography posts a feature biography on its website and this past week one of the articles was about Vancouver's own Joe Fortes, perhaps to mark Black History Month. (That's him above in about 1918; courtesy of Vancouver city Archives ...