Nature’s Past – Episode 22: A Century of Parks Canada

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Nature’s Past Episode 22 – click to play | right click, ‘save as’ to download


On May 19, 2011, Parks Canada celebrates its 100th anniversary, commemorating its founding in 1911 as the world’s first national parks service. Preceding the creation of the National Park Service in the United States by more than five years, the federal government of Canada created a new unit within the Department of the Interior, known as the Dominion Parks Branch, to oversee and administer the country’s forest reserves and a nascent assemblage of western national parks. Over the course of the next century this government agency would, as Canadian historian Claire Campbell writes, “convince Canadians that in their national parks resided the true wealth of a kingdom.”

In recognition of this occasion, the Network in Canadian History and Environment sponsored the publication of a new edited collection called A Century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011 that explores episodes of Canada’s national parks history from coast to coast to coast. This book is the first to be published in NiCHE’s Canadian History and Environment series in partnership with the University of Calgary Press as an open access publication. Listeners can download a digital copy and order a print copy today from the book’s website.

This book features the work of leading environmental history researchers who met to circulate papers covering a range of topics in Canadian national parks history, including wildlife management, archaeology, Aboriginal peoples and parks policy, population displacement, auto-tourism, and hunting.

On this episode of the podcast, we speak with the editor of A Century of Parks Canada, Claire Campbell, and two of the contributing authors, George Colpitts and Gwynn Langemann.

Please be sure to take a moment and review this podcast on our iTunes page.

Works Cited:

Music Credits:

Other Contributor(s): 
  • Claire Campbell
  • George Colpitts
  • Gwynn Langemann

Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 22: A Century of Parks Canada” Nature’s Past. 16 May 2011


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Sean Kheraj is the director of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and associate dean of programs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at

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