Publication Year

Great White Hope

From: National Dreams


There have been writers, politicians, intellectuals who believed that it was its northernness which made Canada distinct. The "cult of the North" gained coherent expression for the first time shortly after Confederation. Wanting the country to be more than just an expedient political arrangement, the Firsters conspired to provide for it a high-minded destiny. The myth of North is appealing because it promises to unite us, to dissolve all our differences in a great white hope for the future. Much more likely, however, is that the myth will lose some of its tenacity as contact increases between northern and southern parts of the country.


Daniel Frances

Daniel Francis is an historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture , National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver (winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award), Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror and Imagining Ourselves: Classics of Canadian Non-Fiction. His other books include A Road for Canada, Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver's Sex Trade, Copying People: Photographing British Columbia First Nations 1860-1940, The Great Chase: A History of World Whaling, New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada, and the popular Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He is also a regular columnist in Geist magazine, and was shortlisted for Canada's History Pierre Berton Award in 2010. Daniel lives in North Vancouver, BC.