Canadian Multicultural History

New Internet Site Promotes Multicultural History

With students throughout the world using the Internet in increasing numbers, a new Canadian web site will allow them to examine Canada's diversity through access by computer. The site was launched recently at the Multicultural History Society of Ontario's headquarters in Toronto by Ontario Lieutenant Governor Hilary Weston.

Global Gathering Place, as the web site is called, is a joint venture of the Multicultural Hisotry Society and the University of Toronto's Centre for Instructional Development. It was designed by the university's Leslie Chan. The project was founded on the recognition that, in a multicultural country, Canadians' sense of identity comes from our shared histories. It is intended to provide a new dimension to helping students understand issues of human rights, equality, citizenship and the threats posed by discrimination and racism. Although the site is dedicated to supplement Social Studies programs in Ontario Grades 7 to 12, its content will be of interest to teachers and students acrdoss Canada, as it will to the millions throughout the world who have computer contact with the Internet.

As Global Gathering Place develops, it will provide for teachers a substantial data base of multimedia research material, including documents, interviews, photographs, movies and charts. Teachers and students across Canada are encouraged to contribute material they have collected.

The Multicultural History Society of Ontario, founded in 1976, celebrates, preserves and documents Ontario's multi-ethnic heritage and culture. Housed in a large, old Victorian house on the campus of the University of Toronto, the centre's aim is to make history come alive. In spite of limited financial resources, a dedicated staff and volunteers have kept the society alive and well. The building contains what is probably Canada's finest collection of resource literature on multiculturalism. It participates in community events, including organizing exhibits both on its own premises and at locations such as the Royal Ontario Museum. It co-sponsors an annual awards dinner. It has played a vital role in the compilation of the Encyclopedia of Canada's People, to be published in the near future. At intervals, it publishes Polyphony, a magazine that chronicles the province's ethnocultural communities and this fall will bring out an issue on the Chinese in Ontario.

The Internet address of Global Gathering Place is: