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Canada: A People’s History

Year 2000
Run Time 150min
Genre Documentary

Dramatic and gripping, this popular series illustrates pivotal moments in Canada’s history, bringing a compelling intimacy to grand, historic developments. From the stories passed down through oral tradition to the first encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans, through the battles that engulfed the continent and the formation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, to the modern era of feminism, multiculturalism and globalization, this captivating series brings to life the moments that have shaped our nation, telling Canada’s story through the eyes of the people who lived it.

Canada: A People’s History won the Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series and attracted over 14 million viewers. It is a collaborative production between the CBC and Radio-Canada and is available in both English and French.

Students can explore Canadian history further by delving into the series’ award-winning website (, which features behind-the-scenes footage, games, puzzles, lesson plans and links to other historical resources.

Each 105 minute episode is made up of several 10-to-15-minute segments, which can be shown independently. For a more detailed breakdown of the topics covered in each episode, please see


SERIES 1: 15,000 B.C. to 1800 A.D. For centuries, the territory now known as Canada is home to over 50 Indigenous nations, each with unique traditions and culture. In the 16th century, European explorers arrive, creating Canada’s first colonies, and forever changing the landscape and the lives of the First Peoples.

SERIES 2: 1670 to 1873 By the 1800s, British exploration opens the West to settlement, laying the foundation of a new nation, but also displacing and devastating Indigenous inhabitants. Confederation soon follows, with the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

SERIES 3: 1873 to 1940 Canada’s early years are fraught with economic depression, rebellions and tension between English- and French-speaking Canadians. Immigration, rapid growth and sociopolitical change follow, ending abruptly with World War II, a pivotal moment in Canada’s quest for autonomy that comes at the enormous cost of 60,000 lives.

SERIES 4: 1940 to 1990 The end of the Great Depression and the flames and ravages of World War II give way to a new era of peace, progress and prosperity, as well as free trade, globalization, feminism, Indigenous land claims, multiculturalism, Québec nationalism and the explosion of computer technology.



Hubert Gendron, Mark Starowicz, Gene Allen


Mark Starowicz




History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Languages

English, French

Canadian Distributor