Hamilton Big Ideas Blog Post

Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence society

“Plannin’ for the future see him now as he stands on the bow of a ship heading for a new land / In New York you can be a new man.”

This quote shows how the “American Dream” influenced society at the time. There was a belief that in the New World,  you had control over your future, and this gave many pseudo-Americans the drive and ambition to make a name for themselves.

Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and societies 

“When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden / Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden / Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick / And Alex got better but his mother went quick”

This shows how Hamilton’s position in society as someone in poverty impacted his relationships with his parents. His father left when he was very young, presumably to do with the fact that he was “debt-ridden.” Also, disease was more common among the lower classes, so his relationship with his mother was cut short.

Collective identity is constructive and can change over time

“Will they know what you overcame? / Will they know you rewrote the game?”

In this quote, the “they” refers to the Americans, and it is asking if America can understand the struggles of Hamiliton. This shows a change in identity because the world is a very different place from the seventeen hundreds.

The physical environment influences the nature of social, political, and economic change.

“Then a hurricane came and devastation reigned / a man who saw his future drip, dripping down the drain”

When this song talks about the hurricane that hit St. Croix, the economic status of the island was negatively impacted, and he realized that he was running out of options.

Independent Investigation #1

To what extent did Indigenous law evolve through contact with Europeans?

Image result for woodcut indigenous law

Lady justice with her scales
For this inquiry project, I focused on three main groups: the Wendat and Wyandot people (also known as the Huron-Wendat), the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois people), and the indigenous peoples of Manitoba. I selected these groups because they played an important role in the founding of Canada, and there was a lot of information that was readily available. In this project, I focused on laws and governance, and I utilized Canadian, European and Indigenous sources for my project.

This topic is important because it demonstrates the impact of European civilization on indigenous people and their culture. It shows that through the implementation of European law, some groups (like the Wendat) lost significant parts of their history, culture, and population. Also, it shows the disparity that indigenous people face in a justice system that fails to recognize their culture.


The Wendat People
Pre-contact Wendat people lived north-west of Lake Ontario. They were divided into clans, based on a common female ancestor. Marriage within the clan was forbidden, much like inter-family marriage today. The members of these clans would help each other out in times of conflict and war. Governance took place on three levels, much like our system of municipal, provincial and federal. The government consisted of the village, the clan, and the Confederacy. Village councils meet regularly, and were divided into everyday matters, and matters of war. Chiefs were in charge of these councils, and chiefdom was limited to the most wealthy families. If someone committed a crime, it was usually up to the victim’s family to punish the offender. The main crimes were: murder/assault, theft, witchcraft, and treason. Feuds between families were avoided by the exchange of gifts. As stated by anthropologist Bruce Trigger, “Huron law did not permit society as a whole to punish individuals.”(http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1889, accessed 11-04-2018).
Through contact with Europeans, the culture of the Wendat people was almost lost. The population was decimated because of diseases and conflicts, and the Haudenosaunee people violently assimilated a large portion of the Wendat. However, a few groups fled, including a group that we now know as the “Wyandot” or the “Wyandotte”. This group first fled to what is now Detroit and ended up on a reserve in Oklahoma. They still identify themselves by clan and follow a similar council-based structure. However, the Wyandot people have lost a substantial amount of their culture and heritage. The Wyandot people are under the jurisdiction of the American criminal legal system, and some argue that this system fails to take into account the culture and history of oppression that Indigenous people face. This results in disproportionately high rates of indigenous incarceration and this is considered one of the many biases and disadvantages that indigenous people face.

Native Americans are the unseen victims of a broken US justice system

Image result for woodcut the wendat

The Iroquois war
The Haudenosaunee
Pre-contact Haudenosaunee people lived Southeast of Lake Ontario. They were united by the Great Law of Peace, which is both a narrative and constitution that describes certain ceremonies and the history of the confederation. Like the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee traced their lineage to a single female descendant, and several of these lineages would form a clan. Clans were represented by a Clan Mother and a delegation of eight to ten people at the Confederacy and governed by a chief, chosen by the Clan Mother.
During the time of the fur trade, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy set out to absorb other indigenous groups into their culture. This was a method of increasing the strength of the group. It was known as “extending the longhouse” in the Haudenosaunee culture. While this may seem cruel in today’s culture, this was a norm for indigenous people at that time.
During the years leading up to the American Revolution, the Haudenosaunee formed numerous treaties between different groups, including the French, English, and the Two Row Wampum. During the American Revolution, the Haudenosaunee fought with the British, in exchange for guaranteed land parcels. Many villages were burned, and after the war many Haudenosaunee relocated.
The Haudenosaunee still exist as a thriving, self-governing nation today. They have an organized confederacy and have carried over a large part of their culture, like the clan system as well as the roles of chiefs and Clan Mothers. The Haudenosaunee are fighting for rights they may have once taken for granted. In one case, “Grand Chief Michael Mitchell crossed the border, declared goods, but stated he would not pay duty” (the Canadian Encyclopedia, 11-04-2018). This shows that the laws and cultural norms of the Haudenosaunee have been impacted by countries created by Europeans.

http://www.haudenosauneeconfederacy.com/courtcases.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Law_of_Peace

The Indigenous People of Manitoba
The pre-contact indigenous people of Manitoba used a set of unwritten laws and cultural conventions to govern their daily life. In the Ojibway and Cree tribes, Elders were relied upon to mediate disputes, much like today’s arbitrators. The indigenous people of Manitoba were individually responsible for the execution of the law. As stated in the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission of Manitoba, “A murder in the Eagle Hills in 1775–76 illustrates the practice. According to Matthew Cocking, the Hudson’s Bay Company trader at Cumberland House, who had heard the story from “Pedler Henry,” a quarrel had occurred among the Beaver Indians of the Eagle Hills (probably Crees in the area northwest of present-day Saskatoon). Cocking’s report is worth close attention:
That no account has been received [sic] from the Beaver Indians, only from the reports of others they are not expected to come down even in the Summer, on account of a Quarrel having happened between them and some others last Winter. That an Indian was shot by another the first of this Winter at the upper Settlement, the Indian killed having murdered his Wife last Summer was the reason of the other’s taking the same revenge, the Woman being his Sister: Tis supposed that the affair will stop here….” This account demonstrates how one “Beaver Indian” personally took “revenge” for the murder of his sister. Also, the injured party had the opportunity to settle the dispute if they decided to accept gifts from the offender.
The indigenous people of Manitoba lost a lot of their cultural practices and political autonomy with the passage of the Indian Act. Crimes that occur on reserve and in the traditional territory of the indigenous people of Manitoba are under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Justice System, and traditional mediation techniques that involve tribal elders are ignored. Also, the Canadian government has often tried to undermine the sovereignty of indigenous groups, denying them rights like voting unless they agreed to assimilate into European culture. However, reconciliation efforts are taking place in Canada, and with these efforts, indigenous people are regaining some of their sovereignty. There is still much to be done, and as a culture, we need to move forward and re-institute some of the original law practices of the indigenous people of Manitoba.

Image result for manitoba indian reserves map old





Thanks to the efforts of indigenous people, their culture and laws have survived through centuries full of oppression and opposition. It is impossible to create on broad statement on the evolution of indigenous law in Canada and the United States, as there are many different tribes, circumstances and alliances that dictated the evolution of indigenous laws and governance. However, European culture has implemented a justice system that replaced many traditional methods of justice.  These changes have impacted Indigenous culture as a whole, and will continue to influence their culture, as well as our culture as Canadians.


In Depth Blog Post #11


So, the last time I met with my mentor, I had the opportunity to glaze and decorate chocolate ganache cakes. I really enjoyed this experience because I had the opportunity to learn something new. I will definitely use these skills in creating my final project, a mirror glazed cake. A challenge that I have faced recently is that I am trying to cut sugar out of my diet, so this has restricted my baking at home. I am continuing to bake in the bakery, and I am considering applying for a position at another bakery once In Depth is over.


1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor exposes me to new learning opportunities by having me take on new tasks. These tasks include assembling French macrons, baking, frosting and decorating ganache cakes, assembling items for high tea, etc.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

To reinforce this learning, I usually repeat this task a substantial amount of times to allow myself to learn by practicing. The opportunity for me to do this stems from the fact that my bakery makes a lot of products en masse, and this repetition allows for stronger learning.

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Some opportunities that exist that might accelerate learning are the opportunity that I have to observe my mentor bake. This allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the tasks that I’ve been assigned, because I have an opportunity to learn from her actions.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

When I’m with my mentor, we usually talk about baking-related concepts. For example, we discussed the variations and temperament of French macrons, and how climate and altitude can impact the baking.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Something that is going well in my mentoring relationship is that I feel like I am learning a lot, and my mentor is contributing to this influx of knowledge. I an really enjoying my position in the bakery, and feel that I am gaining valuable experience and practical knowledge.

6. What are you learning about one another?

I feel like I am learning more about my mentor’s personality. For example, she has a vision for her creations, and this allows her to create wonderful baked goods. She also has a specific taste and values cohesion in baked goods. Also, she is an extrovert and entrepreneur.


17th Century Letter

To Cecil, my beloved sister

I hope this letter finds you well.

How’s life in London? How are you enjoying being married? Was it everything that you imagined? How’s the weather? Does it compare to the dark, soupy fog that settled in valleys and covered the Highlands. And what are living conditions like? I have often heard that the streets leave much to be desired, with the streets grimy and filthy, and full of crime. Do you ever regret moving there? I know it was necessary for your husband’s business, but I much prefer life in the country. The clean, fresh air, and self-sufficiency that you could never have in the city.

Well, not quite self-sufficient. It’s hard to scrape together a living as an old, unmarried spinster. I have been working as a wise woman, selling folk remedies at the town market. In my spare time I embroider fancy handkerchiefs with little roses, but even with the long, long hours that I work, it’s barely enough for a chicken, or a piece of meat.

Oh well, I wouldn’t give up my life for the world. The old pastor always tells us to be happy with what we have, because it is what God has given to us, and He is wise and all-knowing. I think that I am much happier as a spinster, even though it’s safer as a married woman.

Did you hear of the Pendle witches, from Lancaster? Old spinsters, maybe a few years younger than me. You know, I could be next. I’m scared of passion that the English have when it comes to persecuting those who are not like them. I’ve seen women, like myself, save for the fact that they had a limp or a mole. I can only hope that I remain unobtrusive enough to pass through the year without some immoral accusations being slandered against our family’s name

From your dearest sister,


Socials Document of Learning: Wheels of the Revolution

I choose the Stonewall Riots for my revolution.

  1. https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1BWB0eETAGVkdsImBNSFw6xtVqLVA9sHffBkOCYLvTqo/edit?usp=sharing
  2. A connection that I can make to another revolution is the formation of organized activism groups in the 1950’s-1960’s civil rights movement (the SCLC and NAACP). The formation of activism groups allowed for organization and structure, making their activism targeted and more impactful. This relates to my Wheel of the Revolution because LGBTQ people also formed civil rights groups to organise resistance, closely mirroring that of the African American rights movement.
  3. My wheel represents the LGBTQ community fighting to gain justice. It starts in a time where there is a lot of stigma and injustice faced by LGBTQ people and ends with rights and protections for them. I do believe that this wheel will keep on turning, and this will lead to equality for not just LGBTQ Americans, but for people who face injustice and criminal charges within their own country. All in all, the consequences where positive and benefited the LGBTQ community, especially in America. The Stonewall Riots continue to resonate across North America, and they have led to many changes social, political, economic, and technological changes.

Something that I had a lot of success with this week was baking a chocolate ganache cake with the bakery. (Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures as I don’t use my phone at the bakery out of respect for my mentors). It was challenging at first, especially coating the cakes in ganache, but I felt that I improved over the course of the session, and it is something that I hope to make again.

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

I haven’t had any major challenges, but keeping on top of my baking schedule hasn’t been easy because of field hockey and other schoolwork.

2. What is working well? Why?

An aspect of my mentorship that I consider to be working well is how mutually convenient to both sides. I volunteer in a bakery, and it is very easy for me to come at a convenient time. Also, the bakers at the bakery have been really helpful in showing me what to do, and assigning me tasks. I really appreciate all the effort that they’ve put into mentoring me. In summation, I am very happy with my position at the bakery, and my mentorship is running smoothly.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

I could be working on my technique to making meringues. I will ensure this happens by re-writing my schedule to include more meringue-making practices.

Blog Post #2: Sources

What is the story of my copy of Heidi and the book in general, by Johanna Spyri?


What type of source is it? It is a primary source.

Who created it? It was written by Johanna Spyri.

When and where was it purchased? It was purchased by my great-grandmother in 1978, somewhere in Vancouver.


What other event or developments where happening when this source was being created?   In 1881, the year it was first published, electricity and new technology was starting to revolutionize the western world.

How might they have influence the source? The plot of Heidi clearly shows a divide between two separate worlds: the bustling town of Frankfurt and the rural countryside.


What do you notice that is important about this source? This source is important to me because it has a history in my family. My great-grandmother gave it to my grandmother in 1978, and my mom gave it to me.

What is interesting? I’m not sure I completely comprehend this question, but what I find interesting about this book is how long it’s been around for, and the fact that it’s one of the best-selling books ever written.

What can’t you explain? I can’t explain why this book is still so popular, and why we find a book about a little mountain girl so charming.

Inferences about perspective:

What groups might the creator have belonged to?

Johanna Spyri was from an affluent, literate family, and may have spent time in the Swiss alps, considering the vivid imagery found in the book.

Why do you think they made the source? I think Johanna Spyri was influenced in creating Heidi by her childhood, as well as her passion for writing.

Who was their audience? According to a subtitle on one of the older versions, it was for “children, and those who love children”.

How might the background/values of the creator and audience have influenced this source? The values of the author may have influenced this source through the use of Christianity. It is one of the themes in Heidi, and may have not been included if the author was of another faith.

Inferences about Inquiry question:

What can you learn form examining this source? From examining my source, I have learned more about the history and background of this book.

Does it help you answer your inquiry question? Yes, examining my source has helped answer my inquiry question.

Does it confirm, extend, or contradict what you know? I would say that it extends what I know. I was already semi-aware of Johanna Spyri’s background, but this research furthered it.

What does it not tell you? I am still unaware of where my great-grandmother bought this copy of Heidi.

What further questions do you have? At the moment, I have one question, where did my great grandmother buy this copy of Heidi?


Historical Thinking Review

Based on our conversations in class today, your prior experience, and the “Guideposts to Historical Thinking” handout, which historical thinking question do you believe is the most important to consider for a vibrant and challenging Social Studies experience this year? Why?

The question that I’ve chosen to accompany my exploration of the Socials 9 curriculum is “How can we better understand the people of the past?” I have chosen this question because I am very interested in different worldviews and I would like to push myself to be more empathetic and strive to “avoid presentism”. However, if I am to accomplish this, I need to think critically about this idea (presentism) to fully understand it and avoid merely accepting it. I wish to also improve on my empathy so I can turn my gaze to the modern world and apply what I’ve learned to help myself understand others.

In Depth post #3: Week Five

Status Update:

In my previous post, I talked about how my relationship with my mentor was going, so this week I will be focusing on how I am progressing as a baker.

I very recently made a batch of French macrons for Valentine’s day, and I was pleasantly surprised with the result. They were sweet and crispy, and overall very delicious. I found that the egg white was more stable while being whipped into a meringue if I added a splash of white vinegar (which can be substituted with lemon juice or tartar powder).

I have found that the recipe I’ve been following has the oven at to high of a temperature, so I plan on turning down by 30 degrees. Another problem that I’ve run into is that the recipe I’ve been using for the French macrons, and all the recipes that I’ve found so far, contain some kind of nut flour. TALONS has a no-nut rule, so I may have to look at substituting the nut flour for something else.

1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

Something that is going particularly well in my mentoring session is the rate at which I am learning. I am finding myself growing as a baker, and I am constantly able to take on new responsibilities. For example, at the bakery where I am being mentored, I often am baking the cupcake mixes that will be used during the week.

2.  What relationship challenges did you face?  Address some of the sub- questions below

a. Were you communicating effectively with one another? Explain

I find that my mentor and I are communicating relatively effectively. For example, when she is explaining something to me, I am able to understand the technical baking vocabulary that she is using, and instantly understand what she is asking me to do.

However, I would describe myself as a little shy and timid, so I struggle to make small talk with my mentor. I find that I am getting better at it though, and I hope to keep improving.

b. Were you candid and open in your communication? Explain

c. Did you take care to check out assumptions with each other? Explain

I am often checking out assumptions with my mentors, and the team that I bake with during my mentorship. For example, when I am unsure of what to do, I can ask someone that is in my general vicinity, and they will assist. Also, when my mentor assigns me a task, she always checks that I understand and know what I am supposed to be doing.

d. Were you actually listening to each other? Explain

Yes, my mentor and I where actually listening to each other. I find in a situation like baking, which interests and engages me, I have little desire to be off-task or unfocused, and it is easy for me to listen and understand what my mentor is saying. I imagine that it may be similar for her, but I do not know for certain.

3. What learning challenges emerged?

A learning challenge that emerged while I was working on in-depth was the fact that I am a perfectionist. In baking, accuracy and an eye for detail can be helpful, but an overactive one can be limiting. I find that I am often worried that I will mess up, and the batch that I am making will become usable. Baking in Cakes n Sweets, where I am doing my mentorship, makes it even worse, as they are a business and I do not want to waste any of their resources.

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

I am dedicated to finishing what I started, and this holds me accountable. Also, I am very grateful that my mentor has chosen to mentor me, so I own it to her to finish what I started.

4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

A logical challenge that affected my communication with my mentor was the fact that she went to Hawaii for a week, so that impacted our communication in that she wasn’t there to answer my emails. Another challenge that is impacting our communication is that my mentor and I sometimes have conflicting schedules, so we are unable to meet.

a. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

Some factors that impacted our ability to interact affectively were the fact that I am quite quiet, so I should probably come out of my shell more.

5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring  interactions?

Three strategies I could use to come out of my shell are:

  • Make small talk
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Engage the other bakers in conversation

6. What is the action plan for implementing each of the three strategies?

  • To make small talk, I could ask how their weeks are going, and what they’ve been up to.
  • To not be afraid to ask for help, I can remember to calm down and remind myself that no one will judge me.
  • To engage other bakers in conversation, I can talk about what high schools they went to, and ask them about why they wanted to become bakers.

How do our emotions influence our perceptions of the world around us?

In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the author shows how emotions, particularly love, influence our perception of the world, and ultimately our actions. For example, when Titania becomes infatuated with Bottom, she is willing to give up the changeling boy, and does not seem to care about him. Before she became enamored, she expressed an opposing opinion, and said “Set your heart at rest: / The fairyland buys not the child of me” (II. I, 121-122). When Titania is in this love-crazed state, she acts out of character, and relinquishes a child that she was willing to give up all of fairyland for. In this instance, Titania acts rashly because of her emotions, and her views have been altered because of her love for Bottom. This is one of the many examples where Shakespeare expresses his belief that emotions can influence our perceptions of the world around us.

Another example of a character’s perception in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream being altered by emotion is when Helena follows Demetrius into the woods. She is making a wise decision, and that is pointed out by Demetrius, who says “You do impeach your modesty too much, / To leave the city and commit yourself / Into the hands of one that loves you not;” (II. I, 214-216). He is telling her that she is to trusting, and has gotten herself in to a dangerous situation. If Helena was not in love with Demetrius, then she would not have gone in to the forest with him, putting herself in harm’s way. Her love has blinded her to the need common sense and safety, demonstrating how emotions can influence people’s perception of reality.