WWII DOL – Canadian perspective on the Holocaust

The main cause of the Holocaust started when Adolf Hitler was appointed German chancellor on January 30, 1933, setting in motion what would become the Nazi genocide against Jewish people. Negativity about Jews quickly spread across the world and when it got to Canada, government policies were made stating that Jews were a potential threat to the nation’s health. Canadians supported the policies and Canada was becoming less welcoming towards the Jewish. The Jewish didn’t feel safe, they were especially vulnerable in Quebec and swastika clubs were organized in Ontario. AToronto’s Christie Pits Park during a baseball game on August 16, 1933, a rare act of Nazi-inspired anti-Semitic violence broke out. Fights exploded after a local pro-Nazi youth group unveiled a flag with a swastika. The opposing Jewish club and fans were infuriated by the act. Luckily there were no fatalities, but it was a warning to the Jewish Canadians that they had only escaped their fate by one generation. Canada then placed Jews in the “least desirable” immigrant groups and people thought the more Jews the country had, the more problems they would have. So, between 1933-1947 only 5,000 Jewish refugees were permitted to enter Canada, the poorest record among western countries. This new placement is also one of the causes to the rejection of the MS St. Louis on June 7, 1939. Fleeing from the German Nazis, 907 Jewish refugees were denied entry to Cuba, numerous Latin American countries, and the United States on the St. Louis, before finally getting denied in Canada. Only a few Canadian citizens asked the government to provide sanctuary for the refugees, but their request was quickly refused. The ship was sent back to Europe where 254 of the 907 passengers were murdered in the Holocaust.  

Now, thankfully, Canada is no longer like that; we do not dismiss refugees in need, and there are no policies that discriminate anyone. Throughout the 1930s there were only about 170,000 Jews in Canada, compared to the minimum of 308,995 according to a 2001 census; over the span of 60 years, the Jewish population has increased by 181.76%. This, and other more accepting immigration policies, has changed Canada socially and economically for the better. 

This event contributing to making Canada more economically autonomous because, even though most Canadians would hate to say this back then, the Jewish people helped our economy a lot. Wanting to fight more for their people and less for their country about 17,000, roughly one-fifth of the country’s Jewish male population, enrolled in the Canadian army. 421 Canadian Jewish soldiers were died in service and 1,971 received military awards. They fought with us even though they thought we were against them; that built up our army’s reputation and the army itself, and it is something we continue to build on today. 

Best link

Canada and the Holocaust

Desmos Portrait

Desmos portrait

A way I used creative and critical thinking during the process of creating my self portrait was adding all the possible equations that I could use onto the graph and finding which one I thought would work best for the part of the picture that I was wanting to make. Once I found one equation that worked for a part of my picture, I continued to use that equation for the rest of that section.

The functions and relations I used for each section:

Eyes: circles

Head: linear equations, cubic equations, quadratic equations, and circles

Ear: circles, quadratic equations, and square root functions

Hair: quadratic equations, circles, square root functions, and linear equations

Mouth: square root function and quadratic equations

Body: trig functions (sin), circles, quadratic equations, and linear equations

I moved them around and changed their shape by changing their x or y intercept.

When first getting started I was having challenges with worrying about not having enough functions because I was using the same equations for everything and I wasn’t sure how to incorporate other functions into my work.

Once I looked at all the function I had and started changing their shapes I was able to see how I could include them into my portrait. For example I wanted to include a trig function into my portrait but I wasn’t sure how I would be able to incorporate the wavy lines into my portrait but when I started to change the size and I stretched out the waves I was able to add it into the shirt of my picture.

When I was finding out different ways to change the equations and of writing my equations got help on how to properly write the equations because the way that I was writing the equations I was having x isolated when y should always be isolated.

The strategies that I used were to stick with what worked for parts I had worked on already, but to try new things for parts of the portrait that I didn’t start yet. For example for most of the hair I used quadratic equations, but for the body I tried using trig functions.

this assignment helped me understand that it is very easy to change the outcome of a graph just by changing a minuscule detail in the equation. An example of this is when I was writing my equations I had to go into the ten-thousandth of a decimal to make sure the lines matched up, and even then the lines weren’t perfectly in line. I am also a perfectionist so I would restart the same section just because the line was slightly off. Overall I really enjoyed this assignment and it helped my improve my graphing skills.


Fay Wray Speech

 Dangling from the giant hand of King Kong, while airplanes fire their machine guns at the beast, the damsel in distress of the 1933 King Kong was portrayed by the Canada born Fay Wray.  Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir was written by their daughter Victoria Riskin and is the story of the love between Fay and her husband Robert Riskin. Before it gets to their love, it tells of the journey to Fay’s fame and all the struggles that came with it. Being one of the first scream queens, Fay Wray represented Canada in the movie industry in the 1920s. Coming from a family in poverty, her hard work and determination shines through in her successes and shows the heart of a true Canadian. 

On September 15, 1907, on a small plot of land in a house built by her father, in Mountain View, Alberta, a little girl by the name of Vina Fay Wray was born. Fourth child of Joseph Wray and Elvina (aka Vina) Marguerite. Her father, Joseph, started a sawmill that became quite successful. Her and her family were happily living in, what Joseph called, Wrayland. That happiness soon faded; before she turned three, her mother, Vina, was sent away for months to an asylum due to mental health problems. Fay and her siblings got separated due to the fact Joseph couldn’t work and take care of a family on his own. When Vina was finally released, the first thing she did was reclaim her children. The sawmills success plummeted which forced them to move away so Joseph could find work. Hopping from job to job Joseph was never able to find a sturdy job and he refused to let his wife work. Now a family of eight, it was becoming harder and harder to provide. Eventually, under all the pressure, Joseph left, leaving Vina to provide for her six children. Fay’s brothers woke up early in the morning, bought as many papers as they could for 5 cents, and then sold them for 50 cents; paper sales and a few dress sales where what the family of now seven were living off. Most nights they had nothing to eat but bread soup.  

At the age of fourteen, Fay was shipped off with a 21-year-old man on a train bound to Los Angles in hope of succeeding in the difficult movie industry in 1921. She was determined to make it big out in big Hollywood and took any role she got, from small commercials, to playing a clown, she did it all. It wasn’t until 1923, two whole years of living in Hollywood and playing small roles, that Fay got her first leading role in the film Gasoline love. From there, her career took off. Once she had made enough, she used her earnings to buy her family a house in Hollywood and supported them in comfort. After this she knew that her family was going to be okay, and her determination payed off. Seventy years later, she went back to the small town of Cardston where she was born as their most famous citizen. The Kaini First Nations elders anointed her with an official Indian name, Little Beaver Women. Making her home town and nation proud, she came back to her first home to remember where she came from.  

Hard work pays off, and no matter where you come from, you can make it big somewhere and somehow. As a Canadian female in the 1920s, Fay was a minority in multiple areas, but when she set her mind to something, she was able to do it. It was hard for her to start off, but she pushed through those hard times. So, if there are difficult times in your life, look at them the way Fay Wray thinks of them when she says “it was good for us I suppose. Those kinds of times produced qualities in us that make us better for having had them.”  

How Sir John A. Macdonald Used His Power

If you had the power of being the first leader for a new country how would you use it? Sir John A. Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada and he used power for the greater good, of himself. He was manipulative and made many empty promises. He has been known for “charges of racism and sexism,” and for these reasons is why Macdonald’s name and likeness should be removed from the public sphere (Symons).

Imagine being a woman in the late 19th century and you were told that there may be a chance for you to vote. A promise had been made and you were told that your prime minister “believed that women, as a whole, were conservative,” and you thought finally, you would be able to have your say in politics (Gwyn). Then, out of the blue, you were told that the promise that had been made to you was never meant to be kept. This is what happened to Canadian women in the late 19th century. Macdonald had made a promise to the women and it’s “true that Macdonald was interested in attracting their votes,” but “even if the small number of women who might qualify all cast their ballots for him, Macdonald would have lost the votes of an incomparably larger number of men” which is all that mattered to Macdonald at the time, votes. He only wanted women to be able to vote because then he thought he would get more votes for himself, but when he realized that by allowing women to vote he would lose the votes of men, he retracted his proposal. He would’ve lost more votes of men than he would’ve gained from women, so he didn’t want to risk it. This shows how he wasn’t making the proposal for equality for women, but for his own benefits and therefore should be removed from the public sphere.

Now, on one hand, “there is abundant evidence of [Macdonald’s] habit of genuine kindness to many people – men, women, and children regardless of age, occupation, status, faith, culture, or race,” but that is just how he was mostly seen in the public eye (Symons). On the other hand, “Canada’s first prime minister, was an architect of Indigenous genocide,” (Ballingall). Macdonald mistreated many Indigenous people and created residential schools. The decision to open residential schools was “one of the most problematic in our history,” where it took children from their homes, away from their families, forbade them to speak their native language, and forced them to learn a religion that was not their own. When justifying the idea, Macdonald referred to the Aboriginals as “savages” and if one was to learn from their parent they would be “simply a savage that can read and write”. With residential schools having at least 6,000 children die while in school, “almost everybody was fine with the expectation that the native way of life would soon be extinct,” (Hopper). Not only did Macdonald say these diminishing words about Indigenous in the first place, he also said them openly in public. He was publicly discriminative towards Indigenous people without hesitation and should be removed from the public sphere for it.

Sir John A. Macdonald, the manipulative “architect of Indigenous genocide,” who “famously set out to ‘kill the Indian in the child’,” has no place in the public sphere as the great public figure he is seen as today (Dimaline). These are just a few amongst many mistakes and poor decisions that Macdonald has made that we do not acknowledge. The removal of Macdonald in the public sphere will lessen tensions in the relationship between the Indigenous. Knowing how he used his power for himself and the people must be taught to get a full understanding of Sir John A. Macdonald as the First Prime Minister of Canada.


Work cited

Gwyn, Richard J. “Canada’s History.” 6 Jan. 2015. Sir John A. Macdonald has been caricatured as a drunkard and a crook. But without him there would be no Canada.


Ballingall, Alex. “Sir John A. Macdonald: Architect of Genocide or Canada’s Founding Father? .” The Toronto Star , 25 Aug. 2017.

Hopper, Tristan. “Sure, John A. Macdonald Was a Racist, Colonizer and Misogynist —but so Were Most Canadians Back Then.” NationalPost, 10 Jan. 2015.

Dimaline, Cherie. “Why John A. Macdonald’s Name Doesn’t Belong on Canada’s Schools.” Today’s Parent, 24 Aug. 2017.


This Is It, My Last In Depth Post

Throughout the process of this project, there have been many paths I could have taken. There are three mains paths that I see I could have taken; the first path was  learning from a teacher that I knew who knows sign language but doesn’t teach it or use it in their day to day lives. The second path was taking a class and learning with other beginners from someone who is used to teaching but it wasn’t one on one. The third path was learning from a family friend who is part of the deaf community and uses sign language everyday. I think I chose the best path which was the third one; learning from someone who depended on sign language for their day to day life gave them a deeper understanding of the language and made my learning more in depth. Learning from someone who wasn’t submerged into the community wouldn’t have gotten me to delve deeper into my work and learning through a class wouldn’t have gotten me the one on one work I needed and wouldn’t have let me focus on what I wanted to learn.

For my final project I plan on presenting on the stage. I will be signing on stage while there are translations on a PowerPoint behind me. on the PowerPoint it will have one side with the English translations, and the other with the ASL translation. It will just be a brief overview on what I have learned, sharing just the topics and no examples. After my presentation I will try my best to not speak if I know how to sign it and I will allow people to come up to me and ask me simple questions. Hopefully that will give people a better understanding on what I have learned.

Fay Wray

“There had been no money in their tiny home, no man to provide for them, six hungry mouths and some days nothing to feed them but bread soup.” (3) 

What I found interesting about this quote was how I would always confuse the word bread soup for bread and soup. To me this just shows how I didn’t realize how bad things were back in the 1910’s when there wasn’t a prominent male figure providing. When I read it I see bread and soup, as in two separate things, but when rereading it and reading bread soup, I realize how they only had pieces of bread in warm water and called it bread soup.

Canada – Country, Nation, or Post-national State

” There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. Those qualities are what makes us the first post-national state.” -Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (2015). This is the controversial statement that I will be discussing along with answering the question of “Is Canada a nation, simply a country, or a ‘post national’ state’?”. I disagree with this statement because I think Canada is a nation, not a post-national state, but before I can say that, I have to give my idea of what I think a post-national state is; to me post-national means that there is no care for borders and we put other cultures above our own in order to be truly diverse. The question “what if borders were erased and the entire world became ‘transnational?'” came up in an article from The Vancouver Sun – The dangers of a post-national Canada (the article that I will be referring to), which to me the word transnational  would be a better word to describe what Trudeau is talking about. Now I am not saying that we are a transnational state either. If we were a post-national state, as Trudeau claims, then we would have no care for the US-Canadian border; there would be security into the US, but none coming back. Also, if we put other cultures above our own, than really there would be no true Canadian. Which, personally, if someone asks me my nationality, I proudly say Canadian.

The way Trudeau describes it, I hear more multicultural. The former head of the University of B.C.’s Centre for Applied Ethics, Michael McDonald, claims that “being Canadian is like being a member of a community, or a big family. ‘Some are born into the family and others are adopted.”‘ and I think this statement best describes Canada. In a family/ community everyone is different, but we share the same values; maybe not everyone, and maybe not all the time, but enough that we can still can work cohesively together. There will still be people who don’t have the same values as the majority but since they are still part of our family/ community we still respect them. Having this respect for one another, shows “Canada’s particular style of nationalism is […] part of what makes the country attractive to immigrants” and helps with our multiculturalism. Our diversity, respect, and openness to people makes us look like our style of nationalism is ‘healthy’ from the outside and “healthy nationalism encourages diverse people to cooperate” which may be why people always see us for those qualities.

Based off of the evidence that I have read from articles, I return to the fact that I think Canada is a nation. I could argue for the fact that Canada is a country, a piece of land with physical borders governed by a single government, because that is true, but when reading Mcdonald say Canada is like being in a family, and how some are born into it and others are adopted, to me perfectly describes Canada as being a proud nation.

Sign Language – In Depth Post #4

“English and ASL are two completely different languages. You would be able to explain something in 20 minutes in ASL that would take an hour to verbally explain.” -Abby Sienko. In my last meeting with my mentor she brought up a lot of points on how you can’t directly translate from English to sign language. These points came up because I had written my script for my presentation and when she was helping me translate it, the signs came out very different. For example: when you say “for my project I learned sign language” it translates into “MY PROJECT I LEARNED WHAT? SIGN LANGUAGE.” this is an example that shows how there is no direct translation between the two and the reason for that is there are no ‘to be’ verbs in sign language.

During this meeting I think the top three hats that I used were the red hat, the black hat, and the green hat; I also think that these are the hats that my mentor used. I used the red hat when I was reading the translation my mentor did of the script I had written. I had the feeling of uncertainty because with the new translation I was going to have to change the layout for my final presentation. When that feeling on uncertainty came up, I switch into my black hat and thought about how I could adapt my presentation to fit this new translation. Then finally when I had a new general idea of what I could do I asked my mentor if she thought it was a good idea; my mentor is very good with pushing me to problem solve but helping me along the way, so she asks questions to get me thinking. Now I have a better idea of what I am doing for the visual part of my presentation and my goal for my next meeting is to have some of it done and show my mentor.

Sign Language – In Depth Post #3

Due to snowing weather conditions I have been unable to meet with my mentor in person but “since sign language is a visual art” as said by my mentor, we were able to hold our meeting over FaceTime. In our last meeting she taught me colours and family signs. Since there are gender signs, the family signs took up most of our time but it was very valuable to learn. In sign language, from the nose up is masculine, and from the nose down is feminine. So to review what I have learned so far is the alphabet, numbers 1-10, colours, 5 Ws, and family signs. I have also learned a few random signs so we can communicate during the lesson. Instead of adding short clips of every sign I’ve learned in each meeting into each blog post, I was thinking as part of my final blog post that I would create a short YouTube video of all of the signs I have learned and post the link on my final blog. Also I will add a video of my presentation and link that as well but to a separate post.

During this meeting with my mentor I used numbers 4, 5, and 6. Some new information I gained centered around the family signs and how nose and above is masculine and nose and below is feminine. In this day and age where gender can be a tricky subject I asked how you would sign that to probe further into the topic. This then led into a discussion of a new point of view and alternative perception. She said that there are a few LGBTQ+ sign language courses where they teach you how to sign without using genders. For now she has taught me if there is no gender then you sign in the middle of your face or nose area.

It was notably harder to have an effective meeting when circumstances kept me from meeting with my mentor in person, but it gives me another challenge in my road to learning.

Romeo and Juliet – Puppy Love?

Based on our reading so far, I agree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’” because within a span of about twelve hours Romeo and Juliet have met, kissed once, spoke for a total of maybe half an hour at most, and have decided to get married. In the time that the play was set, there would be no romances like this at all, most of the time the woman would have an arranged marriage with someone their family chose, and they would have to end up loving each other. Now a days if one got into a relationship, they would be in that relationship for several years before getting married. A recent survey polled 4,000 recently married couples, on average, the couples had been in relationships for 4.9 years before tying the knot. That’s almost five years of getting to know someone to make sure they are the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Romeo and Juliet barely know each other and are basing their “love” off appearances and the few exchanges of romantic words. This is seen through the first things Romeo says “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! / Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,” about Juliet when he sees her on the balcony (2.2.3-4). He is describing her beauty, and just seeing her beauty makes him say “It is my lady, O, it is my love!” even though they barely know each other (2.2.10). The odd thing about this is that after he calls her his love, he expects her not to love him back by saying “O, that she knew she were!” and he expects her not to know he loves her (2.2.11). I think this shows how Romeo himself subconsciously knows his relationship with Juliet should be nothing more than a fantasy, but he still wants it to be real.

Kulich makes some very valid points, but he is basing his statements around work and responsibilities, not love. If anyone at any age decided to get married to someone, they met less than 24 hours before, then they too would be called childish. It is true that in 1595, with parent permission, a male could get married at the age of 14 and a female at the age of 12, but it was not recommended. Kulich has taken Romeo and Juliet being called “infatuated children” very literally and has taken it as them being called children because of their age. In reality though, it is their actions that are being called childish, not them themselves.


Lepore, Meredith. “This Is How Long Most Couples Date Before Tying the Knot.” Brides. 30 Aug. 2017. Brides.com. 20 Feb. 2019 <https://www.brides.com/story/this-is-how-long-most-couples-date-before-getting-married>.

Miller, Julie. “Life in Shakespearean Times – 1595.” Prezi.com. 21 Apr. 2014. 20 Feb. 2019 <https://prezi.com/a6wtkbf67vec/life-in-shakespearean-times-1595/>.