V edycja Ogólnopolskiego Konkursu Wiedzy o Kanadzie


Discover Canada 2018





Prosimy dokładnie przeczytać tematy esejów oraz ustosunkować się do wszystkich aspektów określonej problematyki sugerowanych

w pomocniczych pytaniach.


W czasie półfinału zostaną wylosowane trzy tematy, z których uczestnik wybiera jeden.


  1. Why are the Aboriginal people reluctant to recognise the 150th anniversary of Confederation in the same manner as the mainstream Canadian society? Write an essay that answers this question by referring to at least three views of Indigenous scholars, artists or activists. Mention examples of policies, laws, regulations or government’s actions that are criticised and the ones that are praised by the Indigenous People. What are the Indigenous people’s expectations from the Canadian government and suggestions towards improving the situation of the Aboriginal People of Canada.


  1. The Fraser River, which is the most important natural artery of British Columbia, was a source of food and transportation route for Indigenous peoples long before the arrival of first European newcomers. Its valleys were characterized by a wide diversity of vegetation and spawning beds for various salmon species. Yet, with the exploration associated with the fur trade, the Fraser watershed was used as a fur trade route only to become eventually subject to non-native settlement, fast-growing industry, large-scale agriculture, logging, mining, and demand for natural resources. In effect, these historical pressures had a devastating impact upon the biodiversity of the watershed, causing environmental stress, such as loss of wetland and stream habitat as well as disappearing runs of salmon. Write an essay discussing the transformation and industrialization of the Fraser River basin. Examine essential expeditions that led to the settlement of the Fraser watershed. How did the river influence the industrial development and settlement of the area? Simon Fraser’s exploration of the river was one of the most difficult in North America. Why? How did the fur trade contribute to the settlement of the region? What were the pressures that transformed the Fraser watershed? Name and investigate the impacts created both by First Nations and early settlers onto the aquatic and forest environments of the Fraser River and the impacts of the present-day society on the watershed. What groups of Indigenous peoples were affected and how? What happened to Indigenous peoples’ traditional lands? What was the role of the river during the Fraser River Gold Rush? What industries followed the gold rush of 1858?


  1. Examine the website of the Canadian Arctic performing artists and their Qaggiq Project (https://www.qaggiavuut.ca/) which aims at the decolonization of the Inuit culture and language through the performing arts. Write an essay in which you give a brief overview of  the complexity of the Inuit artistic expression,  including the variety of genres used by the performing artists.  To support your examination of the topic,  select three examples of Inuit performing arts which you consider unique in the representation of the Arctic world.
  2. William Notman (1826–1891) was a prominent 19th Canadian photographer whose photographs are regarded not only as “vivid works of art” but also as a visual archive of Canada’s early history. Consult the art book online exhibition entitled William Notman. Life and Work  by Sarah Parsons and the material on Notman entitled: “The Photographic Studio of William Notman: The Man and the Studio” in the Virtual Museum of Canada. Write an essay in which you explore the representation of Canada’s 19th century social and cultural history on the basis of Notman’s photographic art. Does Notman represent the diversity of Canadian society and richness of Canadian culture? What aspects of Canadian culture and society are the focus of his art? Provide a general overview of the topic and use six (6) Notman’s photographs to support your analysis.


  1. In the 1930s, Canada was severely affected by the Great Depression after the crash of the US stock market in October 1929. The industry suffered as the values of stock decreased at a rapid rate and demand for goods and services dropped. As a result, the prosperity of the 1920s came to a halt and numerous companies went bankrupt. The Western Provinces were affected by a major ecological disaster called the Dust Bowl. Due to heavy unemployment, Canadians suffered unprecedented levels of poverty and relied on government relief and charity for daily survival. Since Canada accepted an unnecessary flood of immigrants just before the 1930s, the unemployment crisis manifested itself as resentment towards immigrants and minorities, which resulted in an increasing xenophobia spreading throughout the country. Identify and discuss key social and economic changes in Canada during this period and explain their main causes. Write an essay that analyses how changing economic and social conditions and patterns affected Canadians and immigrants. What events triggered the economic recession in Canada? What was the Dust Bowl? What were the government reactions to the worst economic crisis in Canada’s history? Why were the unemployment relief camps established? Where did discontent grow rapidly among young men in Canada in the 1930s? What was the Regina Riot in 1935? Who benefited from the Dirty Thirties? Which minorities became a target of discrimination? Why did Canada take recourse to a strong use of exclusionary immigration policies? How did Canada recover from the Great Depression?


  1. Canada is well known today as a multicultural society with a government that highly values its minority cultures. Has it been so throughout the history and what can be predicted for its future? Write an essay that discusses the impact of minority cultures in shaping Canadian culture by providing three examples of different artists, writers, politicians or other representatives of three minority cultures who have become influential figures in Canada. Draw examples from the Canadian multiculturalism policies and immigration law that have supported the growth of diversity in Canada, as well as from the unsupportive and discriminatory policies or laws directed towards the minority cultures in this country. Finally, discuss how you envision the future Canada in view of the current government’s approach to the issues of diversity, immigration and minority cultures.


  1. Pauline Johnson, the daughter of a hereditary Mohawk chief and an English mother, the author of The White Wampum (1895), Canadian Born (1903), Flint and Feather (1912) and Legends of Vancouver (1911), was the first Native Canadian woman poet, entertainer, performer and journalist.  Her Mohawk name “Tekahionwake” (double wampum” or „double life” in the Mohawk language) conveys her mixed race background. Both her life and her texts represent the complex nature of her heritage, “a story of duality”. She criticized harshly the colonial ideas about Indigenous population, land ownership and religion (“The Cattle Thief”),  as well as the stereotypical representations of Native peoples in the mainstream “white” texts (“A Strong Race Opinion. On The Indian Girl in Modern Fiction”). At the same time,  however, she was expressing her strong loyalty to the British Empire (“Canadian born”),  and sometimes did not refrain from using colonial vocabulary to describe Native people. Write an essay which examines the duality of her literary and artistic work. Take into consideration the three texts mentioned in this question. You are also encouraged to explore other materials related to this topic.