What's a Canadian?

People like to argue about what a Canadian is. With a partner, try to explain one of the quotes below and what it says the speaker thinks about being Canadian.

"It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos."- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

"What is a Canadian? A Canadian is a fellow wearing English tweeds, a Hong Kong shirt and Spanish shoes, who sips Brazilian coffee sweetened with Philippine sugar from a Bavarian cup while nibbling Swiss cheese, sitting at a Danish desk over a Persian rug, after coming home in a German car from an Italian movie… and then writes his Member of Parliament with a Japanese ballpoint pen on French paper, demanding that he do something about foreigners taking away our Canadian jobs." Anonymous

"The only thing we are really sure of is that we are not Americans." Pierre Berton, author, "My Country" Canada: Pictures of a Great Land 1976

"Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad." Arnold Edinborough

"In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations - it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir." Stuart Keate

"This fastest of all games [hockey] has become almost as much of a national symbol as the maple leaf or the beaver." Lester Pearson

"None dare call us Sheep." Slogan of the Rhinoceros Party,1963

"The US is our trading partner, our neighbour, our ally and our friend… and sometimes we'd like to give them such a smack!" Rick Mercer, This Hour Has 22 Minutes

"I still say the history of Canada is in shoeboxes under people's beds." Joyce Beaton, social historian and publisher, Quoted in The Muskoka Advance 28 Jan 1990

  • With that same partner, pick ONE thing that you think is a critical part of being Canadian.
  • Make a PowerPoint presentation about that one thing explaining what it is and why it is so critical to understanding Canadians. (Unlike most PowerPoints, DO have lots of text on each slide, and do NOT use fancy transitions. This presentation will not be be presented but posted on the Net.)
    • Make at least 10 slides. (10)
    • Each slide should have one or more pictures. (10)
    • Each slide should have descriptive, thoughtful, and intelligent text (10)
    • Your pictures may only come from legitimate, legal sources (such as these). (Possible -5)

Your slideshow will end up looking something like this (though on the right topic): Click here.

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