The Government of Canada History Awards

Scholarship Value: $1,000
Awards Available: 225

Participate now in the Government of Canada History Awards for students. Grade 10 and 11 students from across Canada are invited to answer one of five challenging questions with their own essay answer. Read the five questions here and pick the one that most interests you! There is up to $225,000 in prize money available to students who enter the essay contest. A maximum of 225 prizes of $1,000 each will be presented. Read the rules and regulations here for all the details. The deadline for entries is April 17th, 2015.

The 2015 Government of Canada History Awards consist of five challenging questions about Canada’s past. The questions were developed with teachers, historians, and educators from across Canada.

The competition is open to Grade 10 and 11 students from across Canada. Each student must select one question from below and answer it in essay format. Essays should be between 800 and 1200 words in length. Consult the full Rules and Regulations for all the details.

Remember you must document your answer with proper footnotes or endnotes and show where you have done your research. The contest is open now so get writing. Click on each question to receive more details and links to resources supporting each question.

The 2015 questions are:

1. Historians often use letters written by soldiers at the front, soldiers’ diaries, war photographs, and official documents that have been declassified. What kinds of cautions and limitations do they need to be aware of when using sources like these to write history? Is one kind of evidence better than others?

2. Métis leader Louis Riel was executed in 1885 after directing an armed rebellion against the government of John A Macdonald. Interestingly, like Macdonald, his image has been used on a Canadian postage stamp. According to Canada Post policy guidelines, such recognition is given to “to recognize outstanding contributions to Canada." Do Riel and Macdonald equally deserve this honour?

3. Did the First or Second World War have a greater effect on the lives of women in Canada? Support your answer with evidence.

4. From the Franklin expedition to the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918 to the present day, how has interest in Arctic exploration changed and how has it affected the lives of those in northern communities? Explain your answer.

5. Canada’s current flag marks its 50th anniversary on February 15th, 2015. The Maple Leaf was only unveiled after a lengthy parliamentary debate led by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and opposition leader John Diefenbaker. Looking at their arguments, did the flag reflect the society of the time and does it still reflect Canadian society today? Defend your answer.

Entries must be submitted online. Entries emailed or mailed will not be accepted. Hand written essays will not be accepted. Essays submitted must be the original work by the student specific to this competition. Essays may not have been previously submitted or published for any other contest or award. Each entry should be the work of a single student. Group submissions will not be accepted. All essays will be reviewed for plagiarism which will result in immediate disqualification.

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