Background by the author to Five Ages of Canada: A History From Our First Peoples to Confederation
There are many books about the history of Canada. However, the large majority deal with a particular era, person, or region. Mine covers what I consider to be the five most important eras that brought us to Confederation in 1867. Also, those books that deal with the entire history of Canada are largely based on research and many are academic tomes — which are not everyone’s favourite reading — I am a retired Canadian Diplomat not an academic historian.
I have tried to tell the story to Confederation to the extent possible on what I learned travelling, with my wife, our country coast-to-coast (five major road trips in our Canadian Roadtrek camper van during the past five years) visiting numerous historical sites and museums. For example: I began learning about the fur trade at the Fort William Historical Park, in Thunder Bay, on Lake Superior. At Port au Choix on the west coast of Newfoundland I learned a lot about the First Peoples of Canada.
Also, I wanted to tell the story of Canada succinctly, with photos, relating events in just sufficient detail to tell the story while stimulating readers to want to know more, and thus to carry out their own research or visit our historic sites.
I should add that Part One: The First Inhabitants (beginning with the Palaeo-Indians) is a story not widely told outside of academic books. Also throughout my book I write very sympathetically and supportive about our First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and point out that without them our Road to Confederation may have been quite different.