The Secret Life of Canada

CBC Podcasts

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The Secret Life of Canada is a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't.
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S2: The Indian Act

44:42 | Jun 25th

What is the Indian Act and do we still need it? Today the Secret Life team looks at the roots of this complicated policy, which after 143 years is still embedded in Canadian identity, from the policy that led to the Act and how it still impacts Indig...Show More
S2: The Golden Boy

46:51 | Mar 26th

Just how did a Greek god become a beacon for gay men in the Prairies? In this episode, Falen and Leah look into some of earliest known queer spaces in the Prairies, how they came to be and why they were so important. If you don't think of Winnipeg as...Show More
S2: The province of Jamaica

50:07 | Feb 19th

This episode we take a look at early Caribbean migration to Canada and reveal which islands could have become Canadian provinces. We also dive into the history of Black railway porters and how they and their wives made Winnipeg a hub of labour activi...Show More
S2: Water

51:10 | Jan 22nd

Can the foundation of Canada be traced back to Indigenous trade routes? In this episode Falen and Leah take a trip across the Great Lakes, they talk corn and vampires, and discuss some big concerns currently facing Canada's water.
S2: Shout out to Atuat Akittirq

03:06 | Jul 9th

As Nunavut marks 20 years as a territory, Leah and Falen shout out mother, grandmother, educator, knowledge keeper and award winning artist Atuat Akittirq.
S2: Shout out to Gay Asians of Toronto

04:39 | Jun 4th

As Pride celebrations kick off across the country, Leah and Falen shout out the Gay Asians of Toronto (GAT). Formed in 1979, this organization is thought to be the first LGBT group for non-white queer people in Canada.
S2: Chinatown

28:11 | May 28th

Most major cities across Canada have a Chinatown - but how did they start, and why? This episode, a look at the early history of Chinese people this side of the Pacific, and the historic Chinatown in B.C. that predates Confederation. (Hint: it's not ...Show More
S2: Shout Out to Dr. O

03:59 | May 7th

Meet Dr. Oronhyatekha, or Burning Cloud as he was known in Mohawk. Oronhyatekha grew up on Six Nations reserve and attended residential school where he trained to be a cobbler - but life had bigger plans. Hear how he became one of the first Indigenou...Show More
S2: The Medicine Line

40:30 | Apr 25th

This episode we look at the thing that literally defines Canada - the border. What happened to First Nations when the border was drawn right through their land? And as American "draft dodgers" came north, why did thousands of Canadians volunteer to f...Show More
S2: Shout Out to Bernelda Wheeler

03:31 | Apr 2nd

Meet Bernelda Wheeler, the "First Lady of Indigenous Broadcasting in Canada". The broadcaster, journalist, actor and activist inspired a generation of Indigenous journalists.
S2: Shout Out to Your Grandma

13:50 | Mar 8th

In a special shout out for International Women's Day, The Secret Life of Canada asked listeners to share stories about the matriarchs hidden in their family histories. These women may not have been written about, or have won awards, or have achieved...Show More
S2: Shout Out to John Ware

05:11 | Feb 5th

Meet John Ware, the Black cowboy who helped build Alberta's ranching industry and became a legend for his skill as horseman. Please be advised this episode contains strong language.
S2: Shout Out to Madhu Verma

03:45 | Jan 8th

Many Canadians may not have heard of Madhu Verma but her almost fifty years of social activism has greatly shaped the current landscape of Fredericton, N.B. and Canada's East Coast.
S2: Shout Out to Eleanor Collins

04:08 | Dec 18th, 2018

Meet Eleanor Collins - Canada's first lady of jazz and the first Black person in North America to host a nationally broadcast television series, "The Eleanor Show" which began in 1954.
S2: Your questions answered! (Bonus from Toronto Live show)

09:12 | Dec 11th, 2018

Want to know where we get our ideas? Why Toronto was the original no-fun city? Check out the Q&A from our live show at the Hotdocs Podcast Festival in November 2018.
S2: Toronto vs. Everyone (Live!)

45:05 | Dec 4th, 2018

It's our first live show! Recorded in front of an audience for the Hotdocs Podcast Festival, we try to answer the age-old question: why is Toronto the city Canada loves to hate? Featuring special guests Jane Luk, Kris Siddiqi, Brandon Hackett and mus...Show More
S2: The Gold Rush

32:57 | Nov 27th, 2018

There is no doubt that the Klondike Gold Rush was an iconic event. But what did the mining industry cost the original people of the territory? And what was left when all the gold was gone? And what is a sour toe cocktail?
S2: Shout Out to Private Buckam Singh

03:19 | Nov 6th, 2018

Meet Private Buckam Singh, of one of the first Sikh Canadian soldiers. During WWI he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. In 1916 he served with the 20th Canadian Infantry Battalion in the battlefields of Flanders. His resting place in Ki...Show More
S2: You don't wanna sleep here (Halloween Special)

31:35 | Oct 30th, 2018

Is Canada a haunted place? In this bonus Halloween episode Falen and Leah travel to some of Canada's more obscure haunts. From one of Canada's oldest universities to a former asylum in Quebec to a number of haunted theatres across the country. Leah a...Show More
S2: Shout Out to C.D. Hoy

03:39 | Oct 15th, 2018

Meet C. D. Hoy of Quesnel, B.C. His work wasn't discovered until 1995 when archivists found his photography. He left behind thousands of pictures that offered a rare look at life during the turn of the century through the eyes of the marginalized.
S2: Bay Blanket

37:30 | Oct 1st, 2018

The Bay Blanket. These warm blankets are as iconic as Mariah Carey's lip-syncing, but some people believe they were used to spread smallpox and decimate entire Indigenous communities. We dive into the history of The Hudson's Bay Company and unpack th...Show More
S1: Shout Out to Tom Longboat

02:06 | Aug 27th, 2018

Meet Tom Longboat, an Onondaga long distance runner born in 1887 on Six Nations. Tom became one of the most celebrated athletes of all time, despite his struggles and encountering racism throughout his career.
S1: The Secret Life of Canadian Snacks

21:08 | Aug 27th, 2018

Canada is full of its own weird and wonderful snacks. From Pizza Pops to ketchup chips, we dive into the history of Canadian food.
S1: Shout Out to Irene Uchida

03:01 | Aug 27th, 2018

Meet Irene Uchida. A Japanese Canadian scientist, she was one of thousands of Japanese Canadians who were imprisoned as part of the Japanese Internment during WW1. Dr. Uchida went on to become a groundbreaking geneticist, transforming maternal and fe...Show More
S1: Shout Out to Fred Sasakamoose

03:21 | Aug 27th, 2018

Meet Chief Running Deer, Fred Sasakamoose of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, the first Indigenous player in the NHL.
Season One Wrap Up

01:28 | Aug 27th, 2018

Season 1 is done, and we're taking some time off to work on season 2!
S1: The Secret Life of Statues

26:29 | Aug 27th, 2018

What do you have to do to get a statue in Canada? We put some of our most lauded historical figures on trial and deliberate their pros and cons. Who should be torn down and who should stay up? From the Famous Five to Terry Fox, we look at some of the...Show More
S1: The Secret Life of the North

35:35 | Aug 27th, 2018

Nunavut has the largest landmass out of all the provinces and territories in Canada - and yet, it is an area that many of us know the least about. In this episode, we look at the forced relocation of the Inuit, the Eskimo Identification System, and t...Show More
S1: Shout Out to Jackie Shane

04:00 | Aug 27th, 2018

Meet Jackie Shane, the singer and trailblazer that came to prominence during Toronto's bustling Yonge Street music scene during the '60s.