Daniel Francis

Daniel Francis is a writer and historian. He is the author of two dozen books, including The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture (Arsenal Pulp Press). He lives in North Vancouver. Read more of his work at

Birth of a Nation

Lacking in drama and embarrassingly undemocratic, Canada’s origins owe a lot to old-fashioned politics and not much to European battles or transcontinental railways. more »


Acts of Resistance

"Resistance to wars is as much a Canadian tradition as fighting them." Daniel Francis discusses alternative histories, anti-draft demonstrations and the divisive nature of war. more »


Folly of War

Daniel Francis reviews All Else Is Folly, a "useful antidote" to the patriotic narrative that hails World War I as Canada's "coming of age." more »


Time for a Rewrite

Aboriginal people are creating a new version of Canada, and non-Aboriginals can lend a hand or get out of the way—Daniel Francis on the new Canadian narrative. more »

Columns 1 Comments

Rum Row

From Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars. more »


Park In Progress

Daniel Francis asks why a high-speed commuter route runs through Stanley Park, Vancouver's precious urban oasis. more »


Toronto The Good

Daniel Francis reviews Toronto: Biography of a City, a book bound to irritate readers who live outside Toronto—the "centre of the Canadian universe." more »


When Treatment Becomes Torture

Daniel Francis discusses Canada's failing mental health care system and its long history of mistreatment. more »

Columns 2 Comments

We Are Not a Nation of Amnesiacs

"Canadians have long been convinced that we do not know much, or care much, about our own history, but a new study suggests that this truism is not true." more »


Who Cares Who Ate John Franklin?

Daniel Francis on John Franklin, John Rae and the Globe and Mail's enthusiasm for cannibalism. more »


Magical Thinking

The canoe as a fetish object, a misreading of Canadian history and a symbol of colonial oppression. more »


The Canadian New Age

A review of the Vanguard of the New Age, Gillian McCann's book about the Theosophical Society, which mixes western spiritualism and eastern mysticism. more »


Identity in a Cup

Is it the icons of Canadian pop culture—hockey fights, Tim Hortons coffee, Don Cherry’s haberdashery, Rick Mercer’s rants—that reveal the deepest truths about us? more »


Come to the Cabaret

The Penthouse, the notorious Vancouver night club, shares a history with several of the city's missing women cases. more »



Because of its status as the city’s tallest structure, the World Tower attracted a fair share of attention over the years, but nothing equalled the much-publicized attempt by Harry Gardiner, “The Human Fly." more »


Memoir Of A Time Traveller

A review of Voyage Through the Past Century by Rolf Knight. more »



Huan Tran

It's a Free Country, Isn't It?

During the 1950s the RCMP used a machine to identify federal employees who were homosexuals. The name of this bogus device? The "fruit machine," of course. more »


Warrior Nation

The Great White North gets rebranded and gains some military muscle: goodbye peacenik, hello soldier. more »

Columns 4 Comments

Boob Tube

Richard Stursberg’s memoir of his years in CBC programming raises the question: How did someone with no sympathy for public broadcasting get the job in the first place? more »

Columns 4 Comments


Artray photo, Vancouver Public Library: VPL 84847. Used with permission.


Daniel Francis explores the photographer as Vancouver's most interesting historian. more »


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