Category: Education Project

Education ProjectResearch Project
Mark your calendars! We will be launching the latest instalment of our research and education materials during Calgary Pride!

Announcement and release of our Research and Education Materials for Alberta followed by Story Time with local guests Shane Onyou and King Neptune

September 1st, 2023 @ 6pm

Join us virtually on Facebook Live or in-person at Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary, Alberta

 This is a FAMILY-FRIENDLY event. Please RSVP if you plan to attend!

AwarenessEducation Project

National Indigenous Peoples Day is an important occasion in Canada that recognizes and celebrates the rich cultural heritage, contributions, and resilience of Indigenous peoples. This day provides an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and honour the diverse Indigenous cultures that have shaped the nation.  

What is National Indigenous Peoples Day and how did it start?  
National Indigenous Peoples Day, formerly known as National Aboriginal Day, is celebrated annually on June 21st in Canada. It is a day to acknowledge and commemorate the diverse cultures, traditions, languages, and histories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.   

The origins of National Indigenous Peoples Day can be traced back to June 21, 1982, when the National Indian Brotherhood (now known as the Assembly of First Nations) called for the establishment of a National Aboriginal Solidarity Day. The proposal gained widespread support and was subsequently endorsed by various Indigenous organizations across Canada. In 1996, the Governor General of Canada declared June 21st as National Aboriginal Day, providing an official recognition of the cultural richness and significance of Indigenous peoples. In 2017, the name was changed to National Indigenous Peoples Day to reflect the inclusive nature of the celebration.   

How can we honour our 2-Spirit community members on this day? 
Within Indigenous communities, the term “2-Spirit” encompasses diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, and spiritual roles. The 2-Spirit community holds a unique and valued place within Indigenous cultures and traditions.  

Here are some meaningful ways we can honour and support our 2-Spirit community members on National Indigenous Peoples Day:   

  1. Education and Awareness: Take the time to educate yourself about 2-Spirit history, culture, and contributions to Indigenous communities. Read books, watch documentaries, or attend virtual events that focus on the experiences and perspectives of 2-Spirit individuals. If you are an educator, consider checking out our lesson plan on the Adoption of the 2-Spirit Term 
  2. Amplify 2-Spirit Voices: Use your platform, whether it’s through social media or in your community, to amplify the voices and stories of 2-Spirit individuals. Share their achievements, challenges, and experiences, and highlight their contributions to art, literature, activism, and other fields. Centering their voices helps combat marginalization and promotes inclusivity.  
  3. Support 2-Spirit Organizations: Donate or volunteer with organizations that specifically support the 2-Spirit community. These organizations work tirelessly to provide resources, advocacy, and support services for 2-Spirit individuals. By contributing your time or financial resources, you can help empower and uplift the 2-Spirit community.  
  4. Attend and Participate in 2-Spirit Events: Look for 2-Spirit-centered events happening in your area or online. Attend workshops, ceremonies, or cultural gatherings that focus on 2-Spirit identity and the celebration of their unique contributions. By actively engaging with these events, you can show your support and solidarity.  
  5. Respect and Recognition: Ensure that you approach conversations and interactions with 2-Spirit individuals with respect and cultural sensitivity. Use appropriate pronouns and honour their self-identified gender. Recognize and value their perspectives, experiences, and expertise.  
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As 2022 comes to a close we’d like to acknowledge our achievements this past year. It was a busy year for the Canadian Pride Historical Society with many milestones achieved and foundations laid for our continuous progress on our Pride History Research and Education Projects. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers we have much to celebrate as we go into 2023. 

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We have news! 

We have developed a new Lesson Plan Feedback Form to solicit feedback from individuals who have used our lesson plans. This feedback will be used to improve our lessons plans to ensure they are accurate, engaging, and accessible.

In addition, we have developed a PIMS Guide which provides step-by-step instructions on how to use our Pride Information Management System (PIMS) as well as some helpful hints and tricks for your searches.

Education Project

Alec Butler – Playwright

Alec Butler is a playwright, author, filmmaker, and activist who identifies as two-spirit, non-binary, and intersex. They embrace the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and DIWO (Do-It-With-Others) style in their films, writing, directing, editing, and performing in them. Author of the GSRD novella Rough Paradise in addition to the plays Medusa Rising, Cradle Pin, Shakedown, and Black Friday, which earned a Governor General’s Award nomination.

Angela James – Athlete

In 2010, Angela James became one of the first openly gay athletes, first woman, and second black athlete to ever be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Among her numerous accomplishments, she guided the Canadian women’s hockey team to four world championships, earning her the nickname “the Wayne Gretzky of women’s hockey”.

Antoni Porowski – Cook & TV Personality

Antoni, was born in Canada to Polish emigrants, is an outspoken advocate for GSRD rights everywhere, particularly in his family’s native Poland, where he serves on the board of the Equaversity Foundation, which was founded to facilitate international funding to help Poland’s GSRD population.

Dan Levy – Multi-Media Talent

The CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek, which Dan Levy developed and co-starred in with his father, famed comedian Eugene Levy, is where he’s best known for his performance as David Rose. In 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Shitt’s Creek won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series. Additionally, it made history by becoming the first comedy series to ever take home all seven of the top Primetime Emmy Awards; Levy received four of them, a record-breaking number for one individual in a single year. He has also received recognition for his efforts to advance GSRD inclusivity; he was awarded the Davidson/Valentini Award by GLAAD in 2019. (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).

Elliot Page – Actor

One of the most well-known actors in Canada, Elliot Page is a thoughtful, passionate, and intellectual talent. Page started as a seasoned young performer in Canadian feature films and TV shows, and by the age of 18, had won two Gemini Awards. After giving a compelling performance in the American independent Hard Candy, Page went on to land prominent roles in X-Men: The Last Stand, and the cult classic Juno. Page received an Oscar nomination and an Independent Spirit Award for Juno. Page is recognised for his environmental activism, support for GSRD rights, and a grounded, socially concerned presence.

George Hislop – Politician

Gay rights advocate George Hislop was the first openly gay candidate for municipal government in Canada. He was an organiser of We Demand, a gay rights protest held on Parliament Hill in August 1971, and he co-founded the Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT) in 1971. He delivered speeches about homosexuality and gay liberation at rallies, gatherings, and conferences.

Jenna Talackova – Model

After having previously competing in the Thailand-based 2010 Miss International Queen event for transgender and transsexual women. After being chosen as one of the Top 65 hopefuls to compete in the contest, a person who remembered her from Miss International Queen informed the Miss Universe Canada organizers, and the organization disqualified Talackova on the grounds that the pageant regulations required participants to be “naturally born” women. Following that, Talackova contacted attorney Gloria Allred, who took the case and urged the pageant’s administrators to reconsider their choice and let Talackova compete. Before the matter went to court, the group changed its mind.

Jim Egan – Author

Egan was the first Canadian to publish lengthy articles that were written from a gay perspective. He was also one of Canada’s first openly gay politicians. Egan is best known for a legal battle he and his partner, Jack Nesbit, undertook in 1988 against the Old Age Security Act’s spousal allowance benefit. It marked a significant judgement in favour of GSRD rights in Canada when the Supreme Court read in that sexual orientation is a protected basis of discrimination in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Tegan & Sara – Pop Duo

Tegan and Sara Quin, who are identical twins, were born September 19, 1980, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tegan and Sara have created ten studio albums in addition to a bibliography titled High School. Among their many accolades and accomplishments are three Juno Awards, two GLAAD Media Awards, two Western Canadian Music Awards, and in 2018, the sisters received the National Arts Centre Award, the esteemed Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Education Project

We may be a smidge biased, but one of the best months of the year is quickly approaching this October – LGBTQA+ History Month. Let’s take a look at the brief history of this month-long celebration, wrapping up with a few ways you could participate with your schools or businesses.

History of the History Month

LGBTQA+ History Month is a month-long celebration of the remarkable and unique history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and asexual/aromantic (LGBTQA+) community as well as the contribution of the civil rights movements to the advancement of gay rights. Rodney Wilson, a history teacher at a Missouri high school, originated the celebration in 1994. A motion brought up by the National Education Association’s General Assembly the following year added LGBTQA+ History Month to the list of celebratory months. October was chosen as the month of observance as National Coming Out Day already existed as a holiday on October 11. Also, the anniversary of the first march for gay rights in Washington took place on October 14, 1979.

LGBTQA+ History Month offers the chance to discover a great deal about the history of the LGBTQA+ movement, as well as what initiatives will be effective in fostering communities and promoting role models that best represent and address the concerns of the LGBTQA+ community.

The Equity Forum started selecting 31 LGBTQA+ important figures in 2006 and dedicating the month to highlight each of them. Each year, icons are chosen based on their accomplishments in their chosen fields, their reputation as national treasures, or their strong support of LGBTQA+ civil rights; icons may be living or departed. With this annual holiday, organizers have thus far honoured nearly 500 icons.

Ways to Celebrate

  • Learn about LGBTQA+ history in your classes. Include the LGBTQA+ Icon of the day in class; post the daily poster, read a quick history to start the beginning of a class or day.
  • Host an event. Hold an unveiling of your LGBTQA+ History Month exhibit. Find posters and Icon Bios from www.lgbthistorymonth.com, invite local speakers, educators, or local community members to attend or participate in a forum.
  • Write an article. Submit an article to your school’s daily bulletin, or to the school newspaper or newsletter.
  • Approach your administration. Compile a list of famous LGBTQA+ Icons with bios and pictures from the resources and archives on this site. Send these items with a letter and urge your school’s administrators to consider LGBTQA+ inclusion in the history curriculum.
  • If you don’t have a student group, start one! Thousands of schools have created gay-straight alliances and LGBTQA+ organizations; you can too. Host a LGBTQA+ History Trivia Night for a Welcome Mixer.
pile of notebooks with modern cover design
Education Project

As schools are coming back and everyone is starting to get settled into their routines, we wanted to share a compiled list of some awesome Pride and GSRD books for students of all ages! Share this list with the educators and parents in your life, or pick up a few for your home library.

Elementary School

My Shadow is Purple

Scott Stuart

My Dad has a shadow that’s blue as a berry, and my Mum’s is as pink as a blossoming cherry. There’s only those choices, a 2 or a 1. But mine is quite different, it’s both and it’s none.
By the best-selling author of children’s books, Scott Stuart, comes a heartwarming and inspirational story about being true to yourself and moving past the gender binary.

Except When They Don’t

Laura Gehl

Because of their gender, children are often taught by different people what toys they should play with, what interests they should have, and who they should be. This book challenges gender stereotypes, and kids are encouraged to rethink what they’re told defines “boy” and “girl” activities and to be who they truly are.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

Theresa Thorn

This sweet, simple explanation of gender identity can help children understand themselves and others more. It Feels Good to Be Yourself offers young readers and parents alike the vocabulary to address this important topic with care thanks to its kid-friendly language and beautiful artwork.

The World Needs More Purple People

Kristen Bell, Benjamin Hart

What is a purple person? Great question. I mean, really great! Because purple people always ask really great questions. They bring their family, friends, and communities together, and they speak up for what’s right. They are kind and hardworking, and they love to laugh (especially at Grandpa’s funny noises)! A purple person is an everyday superhero! How do you become one? That’s the fun part! Penny Purple will lead you through the steps. Get ready to be silly, exercise your curiosity, use your voice, and be inspired.

 Middle School


Alex Gino

Melissa, previously published as George until April 2022, is a children’s novel about a young transgender girl written by American author Alex Gino. The novel tells the story of Melissa, a fourth-grade girl who is struggling to be herself to the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees Melissa as George, a boy.

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

Ashley Herring Blake

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a “New Life Plan”: 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.

Her “New Life Plan” seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.

The Best At It

Maulik Pancholy

Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather, Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it.

Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain. While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge…. But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?

High School

 It’s Not Like It’s a Secret

Misa Sugiura

This charming and bittersweet coming-of-age story featuring two girls of color falling in love is part To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and part Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like the fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself–the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California, she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy…what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Rubyfruit Jungle

Rita Mae Brown

A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes — and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.

Symptoms of Being Human

Jeff Garvin

 Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

We Are Okay

Nina Lacour

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Education ProjectFunding

This past summer our Chair and CEO Jonathan Niemczak provided a virtual lunch and learn presentation to Red River College Polytech and Norton Rose Fulbright law firm on the history of the Pride Movement in Canada. The presentation covered the various national events throughout Canada from the 1950s to the 1980s that were pivotal to the national Pride Movement as well as an overview of how the term Two-Spirit came to be and further resources for people to explore the Canadian Pride Movement.

If your organization would be interested in having Jonathan present to your organization and provide them with a greater understanding of why we have Pride, please contact us at [email protected].

Education ProjectResearch Project

On June 3rd, 2022, the Canadian Pride Historical Society (CPHS) launched its extensive Research and Educational Materials which document the historical account of the Pride Movement in Canada. CPHS’s Research and Educational Materials is the cumulation of two years of extensive research and development of education resources for use in schools and for the general public. The Research and Educational Materials can be accessed via CPHS’s interactive website. This launch is part of CPHS’s commitment to provide a historical account of the Pride Movement across Canada and locally. Please see the video for the recording of the Research and Educational Materials launch for Manitoba which took place on June 3rd, 2022, 5:30 pm CT, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).

As part of the launch event, the CPHS took part in the 2022 Pride Winnipeg/Fierté Canada Pride parade with a walking group.

CPHS believes that every Canadian should have access to the history of Pride Movements in Canada with the goal of inspiring conversations about the Pride Movement. The CPHS believes conversations through the sharing of Pride knowledge, research, and stories of Pride’s past, will ensure the future of the Pride Movement.  Presently in Canada, a centralized national database and/or detailed historical account of the Pride Movement in Canada does not exist.  In addition to creating a Pride historical account, CPHS has developed national and local pride historical materials and educational resources for current use by educators, teachers, and the general public, which are also available via the society’s website.

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Check out our most recent status update on our Research and Education Projects for April 2022.

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