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THE SECRET LIFE OF CANADA: Transcripts | Listen

The Secret Life of Canada is a podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't. Join hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson as they reveal the beautiful, terrible and weird histories of this land. Season 6 premieres on February 22, 2024.

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The Secret Life of Canada is a podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't.

Join hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson as they reveal the beautiful, terrible and weird histories of this land.

Season 6 premieres on February 22, 2024.

Season 6

Episode 1: Sorry not Sorry

Canadians are always apologizing, or are they? We are back for a sixth season and in this episode [1:29] Leah and Falen discuss how they use the word “sorry” and why [4:20] and take a deep dive into the theory that it comes from the country's British foundations. [8:33] We learn that the British and French brought dueling with them as a way to resolve conflict. [20:00] Then we look at how the word is connected to conflict resolution, which Indigenous people already were doing before contact [21:44] and examine the many apologies of the Canadian government [25:05] and try to find out whether or not Canadians actually apologize any more than anyone else. Here are links to previous episodes mentioned in this episode: Kanesatake 300 Years Later, Part 1: https://link.chtbl.com/eUDOXoMZ Kanesatake 300 Years Later, Part 2: https://link.chtbl.com/jeMsG6HU For other links, references, transcripts and more about this episode, visit us at: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

Access the transcript for this episode here

Season 1:

Episode: The Secret Life of the North

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 best and worst.

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: The Secret Life of Canadian Snacks

Canada is full of its own weird and wonderful snacks. From Pizza Pops to ketchup chips, we dive into the history of Canadian food. To find transcriptions for episodes of The Secret Life of Canada Season One, please click here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/the-secret-life-of-canada-season-1-transcripts-listen-1.6756290

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: The Secret Life of Statues

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 the dog slaughter perpetuated by the Canadian government. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

 

Season 2: 

Episode: Bay Blanket

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 the very complicated story of the iconic striped blanket. For books and films referenced in this episode please visit our website at cbc.ca/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: You don't wanna sleep here (Halloween Special)

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 and Falen seek out what hides in these historical haunts. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: The Gold Rush

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? For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: Toronto vs. Everyone (Live!)

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 music by Matt Reid. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: Water

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. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: The Province of Jamaica 

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 activism in Canada. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: Chinatown

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 in Vancouver.) For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: The Indian Act

What is the Indian Act and why Canada still have it on the books? 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 to how it still impacts Indigenous identities today. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: Your Letters

A mailbag episode! You asked and we answered your burning history questions which took us to the Cowichan sweater, Cheezies, the legacy of Hawaiian Canadians in B.C and one guy named Portuguese Joe. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode: The Nanny

Who has been looking after Canada’s kids? We find out that Indigenous women and women from all over the world took on this job, and none of their stories follow the plot line to Sound of Music. From Confederation to present day, has anything changed for these workers? For books referenced in this episode please visit our website at cbc.ca/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

 

Season 3: 

Episode 1: Season 3 is self-isolating

We’re not trying to mess with a global pandemic, so we'll be back on March 31st. Until then, here's a repeat of our most important episode and something we feel everyone needs right now: snacks. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 2: Crash Course on Friendship Centres

We’re baaack! Leah and Falen switch things up and introduce the Crash Course — snack-size history lessons on a range of topics. First up: the history of Friendship Centres, an essential part of urban Indigenous life across the country. (Because let’s face it, we’re already nostalgic for physical gathering spaces.) For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 3: Sasquatch in the Gift Shop

In the first full episode of Season 3, Leah and Falen explore the truth behind two very old stories. Sasquatch and Ogopogo are legendary creatures of land and sea — but how exactly did they go from sacred figures in Indigenous oral histories to terrifying beasts and dopey-looking mascots? For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 4: Crash Course on "Uncle Tom"

Today we try to figure out the true story of Uncle Tom, with the help of Dr. Cheryl Thompson. You may know “Uncle Tom” as a derogatory term. Or from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. But the name’s also linked to Josiah Henson, who escaped to Canada through the Underground Railroad. So which one is right? For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 5: Where is Japantown?

Why isn't there a Japantown in every major city across Canada? This episode, we look into early Japanese Canadian history and figure out the “Asiatic Exclusion League” is not what we thought it was. Then, with the help of Lisa Uyeda from the Nikkei Museum we connect the dots between internment during the Second World War and the huge fallout for multiple generations. And what happened when theatre artists Julie Tamiko Manning and Matt Miwa, found out their families were both sent to Tashme — the largest internment camp in B.C. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 6: Crash Course on Black Nurses

In this Crash Course we look into the surprisingly young history of Black nurses in Canada and why many of these women had to travel to the U.S. for their education. We also take a look at the story of the Black Cross Nurses and how Black nurses went from shutouts to leaders in a matter of decades. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 7: Crash Course on Dr. James Barry and Victoria's Transgender archives

How we should think and talk about Trans and Non-Binary people who lived well before those terms existed? In this Crash Course, we explore that question through the story of Dr. James Barry, a celebrated military surgeon. With the help of Dr. Aaron Devor, Chair of Transgender Studies at the University of Victoria, we also learn how Victoria B.C. ended up with the world's largest Transgender archives. For more information about the archives visit www.uvic.ca/transgenderarchives For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 8: S3: Kanesatake 300 Years Later (Part 1)

Anniversaries can be a strange thing in Canada, depending on who you are and which side you're watching from. It's been 30 years since an event you may know as the Oka crisis; but that's not where the story begins for this podcast. In this first part of a two part episode, Leah and Falen look at the 300 year lead up to the “crisis” on Mohawk land. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 9: Crash Course on Superheroes!

From Captain Newfoundland to Shaman and Alpha Flight, what can some of the most iconic Indigenous and Canadian Superheroes tell us about our history? Turns out, quite a lot. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 10: Kanesatake 300 Years Later (Part 2)

On July 11 1990, the so-called Oka Crisis erupted near the small resort town of Oka. The 78 day conflict between the Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk Nation) the Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec) and the Canadian Army would go on to change the course of history. In this second part of a two part episode, Falen and Leah go beyond the sensational photos and headlines to find out what happened during 78 days of resistance at Kanesatake. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 11: Crash Course on L. M. Montgomery (a.k.a. Maud without an E)

Today we look into the life of Lucy Maud (L.M.) Montgomery, creator of iconic characters like Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon. The lesser-known story is that of the writer herself, who had many struggles within her own life, especially with her mental health. Today we are going to talk about that. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 12: The Mounties Always Get Their Land (Part 1)

The Mountie is one Canada’s most enduring symbols. Found on souvenirs from keychains to dish towels, our national police force are icons to the rest of the world. Weird, right? In this episode, we try to figure out how this happened and talk about: the image of the Mountie in early Hollywood, what Irish and Indian resistance to British rule has to do with it, and why young Canada felt a greater need for policing in the West. With the help of Dr. Winona Wheeler, we dive into the early years of the North-West Mounted Police (precursor to the RCMP) and look at their complex relationship with Indigenous people that, for better or worse, continues to this day. *Warning, strong language and content. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 13: Crash Course on British Home Children

Over 100,000 “home children” were sent from the U.K. to Canada to work as labourers, from 1869 through to the 1940s. We find out who they were and what happened once they arrived here. Plus, Alan Dilworth tells us the story of his grandfather, Tom Selby, who arrived in Canada at the age of 8. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 14: The Mounties Always Get Their Land (Part 2)

In 1919 almost half the working population of Winnipeg walked off the job in the largest strike in Canadian history. The events that followed led to the creation of a new police force called the RCMP. In part two, we continue to learn about early policing in Canada and why the RCMP are not our country’s only police force. We connect the dots from past to the present to find out why many Black and Indigenous communities still have a distrust of the police. We’ll talk about the concept of the “Carceral State,” continue our journey into old Mountie films and make way too many references to the TV show Law & Order and the Mission Impossible franchise. Then, with the help of guests, Sonya Ballantyne, a filmmaker and writer from Manitoba, and Toronto artist and activist Syrus Marcus Ware, we’ll learn about the grim history of “starlight tours” as well as the modern day abolitionist movement. *This episode contains strong language and content. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 15: Crash Course on Trees

When did the Apple tree arrive in Canada and why do some trees in B.C live over a thousand years? A quick peek into some of the history kept by our land’s oldest living knowledge keepers — trees. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 16: You should know The Indian Film Crew

In the late 60s the National Film Board decided it was time that First Nations got to be behind the camera and in charge of how they were seen. Although short lived, the Indian Film Crew would create films that changed how the NFB operated, as well as the face of Indigenous filmmaking in this country. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 17: Crash Course on Canada's First Mosque

Al Rashid Mosque — the first mosque in Canada — opened in Edmonton in the late 1930s, but getting it built was no small feat. It happened thanks to the determination of a group of Lebanese Muslim women, led by Hilwie Hamdon, who brought Albertans of all faiths together to help make history. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 18: Project Habakkuk, Jasper's top secret ice ship

This is the story of how Geoffrey Pyke, a Jewish inventor from the U.K. came up with one of the most mind-boggling plans to win the war. Namely: to build a ship made out of ice. Code name: Habakkuk. Then, what happened when Canada tried to build a test vessel in secrecy, using the labour of conscientious objectors. With special guest, Erin Brandenburg For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 19: Crash Course on Mohawk ironworkers

For over a century, Mohawk ironworkers have been shaping our skylines. Leah and Falen look into the contributions these workers have made in Canada and beyond, including their crucial role in the aftermath of 9/11. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 20: The Indian Pavilion at Expo 67 (Part 1)

You may have heard of Expo 67 — Canada's biggest flex during its centennial year — but do you know the fascinating history of the Indian Pavilion? It was separate and distinct from the Canada Pavilion, and it was primed to make that distinction matter. In the first part of a two part episode, Falen takes Leah on a minirail tour around the Expo grounds. (Content warning: clowns.) For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 21:  Crash Course on the "Whiskey War"

Did you know that Canada and Denmark “battled” over a small, barren island in the far north for decades? Among their weapons: Canadian whiskey and Danish schnapps. In today’s crash course, the strange but true story of "a cheeky little spat" known as The Whiskey War. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 22: The Indian Pavilion at Expo 67 (Part 2)

When Expo opened its doors on April 28, 1967, it was a gleaming futuristic spectacle; a chance for Canada to prove itself on the world stage. But one irreverent pavilion was set to tell its own side of the story — complete with truths the visiting public (including the Queen) were not expecting. Today Falen leads Leah on a tour of the “Indians of Canada” pavilion. She also speaks with two hostesses who were there to help make history. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 23: Crash Course on animals — only in Canada

How did an ice age determine what animals and insects are only now found on the land we now call Canada? Leah and Falen go way, way back to find the answers. See also: "Ours To Save," a special report from the Nature Conservancy of Canada and NatureServe Canada. Link: https://bit.ly/33dpT6H For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

 

Season 4: 

Episode 1: The Boy in the Picture

They are some of the most shared images connected to the Canadian residential school system. A pair of photos from the late 1800s, taken a few years apart, feature a young Indigenous boy. Often published without his name and with the title "Before and After'' because he is wearing what looks like traditional clothing in one and European clothing in the other. Who is this boy? Where is he from and what happened to him after he was taken away from home? We go deep into the archives to piece together the details and find out that not everything in these photos is as it appears. With guests Louise BigEagle and Paul Seesequasis. *Warning, strong language and content. To see the pictures of Thomas Moore Keesick and to find the resources mentioned in this episode visit: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 2: The Punjabi Market

How did Vancouver end up with the oldest Little India in North America? We take a look back at the history of South Asian people in British Columbia to learn how the Punjabi market formed and why the next generation of community members is trying to preserve this one of a kind neighborhood. With guests Naveen Girn and Gulzar Nanda. To see pictures of the Punjabi Market and learn more about this episode visit: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 3: The Fruit Machine

For decades, Canada attempted to purge queer people out of the public service and the military. We look into why it all started during the Cold War, what the fear of the Soviet Union had to do with it and how the invention of a homosexuality test nicknamed “The Fruit Machine” was supposed to aid in the RCMP’s investigations. Spoiler alert — it didn't work. With guest Gary Kinsman. *Warning, strong language and content. To learn more about this episode visit: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 4: Pro-Wrestling

Why are there so many Canadians in pro wrestling? We take a deep dive into carnival and sideshow history to find out why Canada became one of the centers of early pro wrestling. We look into the fun and problematic past of performance wrestling and conduct a very scientific poll to find who the top Canadian favorites are. With guests Scarlett Harris and Nug Nahrgang. Find Scarlett Harris’s book "A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler" here: https://www.fayettevillemafiapress.com/product/a-diva-was-a-female-version-of-a-wrestler/. For more visit us at www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 5: The Halifax Donair

How did the donair become the official food of Halifax? We find out how it travelled to Canada and transformed after getting here. We learn about its inventor and that famous sweet sauce recipe. Then, we discover all the good and bad versions of the donair across the country and learn why Edmonton may rival Halifax over its love of this street food. With guests Omar Mouallem and Lindsay Wickstrom. Link to the Book of Donair: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/book-of-donair-everything-you/9781772761542-item.html Link to The Last Baron: https://gem.cbc.ca/media/absolutely-canadian/s21e23?cmp=sch-the-last-baron Visit us at: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

Episode 6: Shanawdithit

Throughout the years, the Beothuk people have been written about as an “extinct” nation, whose numbers were few at the time of European contact to Newfoundland. By 1828, they were all gone except one woman named Shanawdithit. She is now known as "the last Beothuk" but was she? In our final episode of the season, we look at one of the longstanding myths that Canada loves to tell itself — that Indigenous people are no longer here. With guest Yvette Nolan. For more about this episode visit us at : www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/inappropriate-questions-transcripts-listen-1.6740372

Access the transcript for Episode here.

 

 

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