The MHSO stages workshops for students of various ages, teachers, independent researchers, community historians, and members of heritage and cultural organizations. The workshops provide instruction in research methods and historical interpretation. Some workshops are presented via webinars. The Society charges a nominal fee.
Please contact the MHSO directly for more information regarding the workshops and their availability, and to provide background on associated projects to allow the Society to tailor the sessions to participants’ specific needs.
Collecting Voices: Oral History Workshop
The MHSO Collecting Voices workshop provides participants with a foundational understanding of oral history and an introduction to the process of undertaking oral history interviews. The workshop addresses practical and ethical standards for the creation and use of oral histories, and it offers advice based on the Society’s extensive experience. Participants listen to interview clips from the MHSO’s oral testimony collection and then apply what they have learned by conducting interviews, with other workshop participants, using digital voice recorders. The workshop is regularly delivered to secondary school, college and university students, often as a complement to specific programs or courses – for example, the Museum Management and Curatorship Program at Fleming College in Peterborough and the applied research methods course, Nearby History: The Method and Practice of Local History, in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. It is also intended as an introduction and ‘how-to’ for community groups undertaking oral history projects.
Inspector Relic Workshop
The MHSO Inspector Relic Workshop is an interactive session geared to students in Grades 7-10. The workshop uses oral history interviews, historical photographs, newspapers, and documents from the Society’s archives. Students are presented with primary source material and are asked specific questions designed to guide them through a process of historical reconstruction and interpretation related to various themes in the study of migration and ethnicity. For instance, through an examination of the life histories of a number of refugees from Czechoslovakia, Chile, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Somalia, they gain a deeper understanding of the political context for, as well as the human tragedy of, refugee experiences. Similarly, their comprehension of the struggles of immigrants to make a decent wage in Canada and to achieve social justice is heightened through engagements with the life histories of labour and civil rights activists, Fortunato “Lucky” Rao and Harry Gairey. A prime focus of the workshop is oral testimony since it allows students to glean the diverse experiences of ‘real people’ through their own voices.