June 4, 2020

OTTAWA, ON – June 4, 2020 – Ottawa and Calgary-based firm Know History Inc. is honoured to be one of three winners of the 2020 Canadian Historical Association Prize in Public History. The company won for its work on the Historic Métis Communities Video Project, done in partnership with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO).

This is the second time Know History has received an award for this important project: in February, the company became the first Canadian firm to win the U.S.-based National Council on Public History’s 2020 Excellence in Consulting Award. Know History is the first privately held research firm to win the Canadian Historical Association Prize.

“This project is a wonderful example of the role public history plays in supporting an understanding of the past that is necessary for reconciliation in Canada,” says Margaret Froh, President of the MNO. “These videos are not only creative and engaging, they also tell the history of Métis in Ontario from the perspective of Métis—whose voices have often been overlooked in traditional history books and published records.”

The Historic Métis Communities Video Project uses documentary storytelling to bring the voices of Métis knowledge holders from each of the seven historic communities in Ontario into the classroom for the first time. Part of a toolbox designed by the MNO, with financial support from the Province, the series helps fill a void in the availability of Métis-specific educational resources for students in grades six through 10. When the videos are released later this year, they will support the Métis, First Nations and Inuit enhancements that are being made to the Ontario Social Studies and History Curricula.

Know History conducted thousands of hours of archival and image research and 28 community-based oral history interviews to craft unique storylines for each video, which were produced in association with SandBay Entertainment. “Documentary filmmaking is our passion,” says Sarah Fodey, Partner, SandBay Entertainment. “This series is a powerful example of how documentary storytelling can spark dialogue, build a sense of shared humanity, and foster deeper understanding of complex histories.”

“We’re honoured to be recognized by our colleagues here in Canada for our work,” says Ryan Shackleton, Director, Know History. “But more importantly, we’re thrilled to collaborate with Indigenous governments and organizations like the MNO to document and share, with audiences at home and around the world, the many histories that make up our country.”

Congratulations to our esteemed co-winners, the Refugee Boulevard team and Canadian War Museum!

About Know History

Know History (knowhistory.ca) was established in 2011 and has completed more than 200 projects for clients across Canada. With offices in Calgary and Ottawa, the company’s highly qualified historians specialize in researching, presenting and documenting Canada’s history through a variety of services, including archival research, cultural resource management, oral history interviewing, traditional knowledge studies, historical geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, registries and membership lists, and social network analysis.

For more information about the MNO, see metisnation.org.

For more information about SandBay Entertainment, see sandbayentertainment.com.

Contact: Connie Wren-Gunn, 613-700-8677, connie@knowhistory.ca

Image credit: Credit: Duncan Cameron / Library and Archives Canada / C-094168