Betsey Baldwin is a public historian and co-owner of Public History Inc., a historical research firm in downtown Ottawa (www.publichistory.ca). With this firm since 1999, she has worked to inform the history of dozens of Indigenous claims related to treaties, reserves, education, and other matters, in policy, claims and litigation environments. Betsey works for First Nations and Indigenous organizations, and provincial and federal clients. She has delivered expert testimony at Federal and Provincial courts, and for the Specific Claims Tribunal. Betsey believes that a shared basis of historical knowledge is one of the foundations to grievance resolution and reconciliation, and she hopes that in some measure her career serves this purpose. Also committed to the importance of public discussions of history, Betsey is the 2018-2019 president of the Ottawa Historical Association, a group that organizes six annual public lectures on topics of history. Her September 2018 OHA Presidential Address was “200 Years of Treaty Annuities,” examining the long-standing meanings of annual treaty payments that have been paid to Treaty First Nations since 1818. Betsey has a PhD from uOttawa. She is a part-time professor at uOttawa, where she teaches Public History and Indigenous History.
Andrew Burtch is the Canadian War Museum’s post-1945 Historian, a position he has held since 2006. As curator of Gallery 4: A Violent Peace, he is responsible for all questions relating to conflicts from the beginning of the Cold War to the present day. He has worked to develop temporary and permanent exhibitions about the Afghanistan war, the Cyprus peacekeeping mission, the Korean War, military medicine, war and media. These include The Cold War Turns Hot (permanent exhibition upgrade, June 2013), Korea 60 (temporary exhibit, June 2013-January 2014), 11 Women Facing War (temporary exhibit, February-April 2013), Kandahar-The Fighting Season (temporary exhibit, November 2012-September 2013), New World Disorder (permanent gallery expansion, 2017-present) and more. In addition, Burtch is responsible for the museum’s oral history program, which he coordinates with colleagues and partners beyond the museum. He served as the Acting Director, Research at the Canadian War Museum from 1 April 2014-30 April 2015. His book Give Me Shelter: The Failure of Canada’s Cold War Civil Defence received the 2012 CP Stacey Award for military history. His first exhibition, Afghanistan: A Glimpse of War also won the Canadian Museums Association Award for Outstanding Achievement for exhibits in 2008. Burtch graduated with a Master of Arts in History from Western University in 2004 and a Ph.D. in History from Carleton University in 2009.
Ashley Clarkson, M.A.
Officer of Education and Interpretive Programs
City of Ottawa
Ashley Clarkson has an educational background in Public History with a focus on oral history and museums studies specifically. Her degree in public history helped secure contracts in places such as the Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage where she curated a temporary exhibit based in oral history, entitled Survival and Resilience: A Tribute to World War II Veterans. She also assisted on various other projects, such as a SSHRC funded project at Concordia University called SpokenWeb based on oral history and poetry. This project lead to a co-authored publication with Steven High entitled, “Playing with Time: Oral History and Literary Studies in the Spoken Web Project” in Amodern. Her past research explored how audiences engage with oral history at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and led to her publication “Memories of Migration: Turning Immigrant Shed into Living Immigrant Museum” in The International Journal for the Inclusive Museum. Her past experience, and interest in how to best educate audiences in museums, led to her current work with the City of Ottawa as the Officer of Education and Interpretative Programs. In this position she is responsible for the development, delivery, evaluation and promotion of education and interpretation activities at Fairfields Heritage House and The Nepean Museum including, but not limited to, guided tours, public events, school programs, workshops, outreach activities and other public programs. Exhibitions and collections are essential for museums, but educational programming and discovering innovative ways to engage audiences with these elements are crucial for the sustainability and growth of our museums and heritage sites.
William McRae is officer of government relations and issues management at Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.
Originally from Northern New Brunswick, William moved to Ottawa in 2008 to pursue his studies in civil engineering at the University of Ottawa. Soon realizing that engineering was not for him, he decided to specialize in history instead, a passion from his childhood. After graduating with a B.A. in History and Lettres Françaises along with a B.Ed., William began his career at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. He began working as a guide and eventually landed a position in the curatorial department. He travelled Canada to complete major oral history projects on mining and metallurgy, as well as on Canada’s space industry. He acted as assistant curator in the designing of the From Earth to Us Gallery in the renewed, award-winning, Canada Science and Technology Museum. William now works for the Corporation’s Public Affairs department as officer of government relations and issues management. The job is varied, which compliments his multitude of interests in and outside of work, including politics, climate change, sports, and music, to name a few.
Anthony Michel is a senior advisor in the Department of Global Affairs Canada, in the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion. His current policy development work supports Canada’s commitment to advance inclusion and respect for diversity through multilateral advocacy and strategic interventions in peacebuilding, international development assistance and human rights. Previously, he was a senior policy analysist at the Department of Canadian Heritage in strategic policy, where he was a subject matter expert on Canadian identities, citizenship, commemoration and digital policy. Anthony has a PhD in history from Carleton University, with research interests in inclusion, diversity, recognition, representation and identities. With his wife, he lives, works and has raised three children in Ottawa on traditional Algonquin territory.
Jenna Murdock Smith is a senior archivist at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), where she has worked in the government records program since 2008. She holds an MA in Public History from Carleton University. From 2013 to 2014, she worked as the lead on LAC’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) file, where she was responsible for providing strategic advice to senior management on LAC’s support to the TRC. Jenna is currently responsible for records related to the health portfolio, which touch upon various federal responsibilities for health including the creation of federal health policy, health regulation, scientific research, and indigenous health. She specializes in government records appraisal and disposition.