79 episodes

The Secret Life of Canada is a podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't. Join hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson as they reveal the beautiful, terrible and weird histories of this land. Season 4 launches February 3, 2022, with episodes releasing twice a month.

The Secret Life of Canada CBC Podcasts

    • History
    • 4.6 • 1.7K Ratings

The Secret Life of Canada is a podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't. Join hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson as they reveal the beautiful, terrible and weird histories of this land. Season 4 launches February 3, 2022, with episodes releasing twice a month.

    S4: The Punjabi Market

    S4: The Punjabi Market

    How did Vancouver end up with the oldest Little India in North America? We take a look back at the history of South Asian people in British Columbia to learn how the Punjabi market formed and why the next generation of community members is trying to preserve this one of a kind neighborhood. With guests Naveen Girn and Gulzar Nanda.

    To see pictures of the Punjabi Market and learn more about this episode visit: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 32 min
    S4: The Fruit Machine

    S4: The Fruit Machine

    For decades, Canada attempted to purge queer people out of the public service and the military. We look into why it all started during the Cold War, what the fear of the Soviet Union had to do with it and how the invention of a homosexuality test nicknamed “The Fruit Machine” was supposed to aid in the RCMP’s investigations. Spoiler alert — it didn't work. With guest Gary Kinsman.

    *Warning, strong language and content.

    To learn more about this episode visit: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 40 min
    S4: The Boy in the Picture

    S4: The Boy in the Picture

    They are some of the most shared images connected to the Canadian residential school system. A pair of photos from the late 1800s, taken a few years apart, feature a young Indigenous boy. Often published without his name and with the title "Before and After'' because he is wearing what looks like traditional clothing in one and European clothing in the other.

    Who is this boy? Where is he from and what happened to him after he was taken away from home? We go deep into the archives to piece together the details and find out that not everything in these photos is as it appears.

    With guests Louise BigEagle and Paul Seesequasis.

    *Warning, strong language and content.

    To see the pictures of Thomas Moore Keesick and to find the resources mentioned in this episode visit: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 44 min
    S4: Crash Course on Nora’s Place in Hogan’s Alley

    S4: Crash Course on Nora’s Place in Hogan’s Alley

    When vaudeville performer Nora Hendrix ended up in Vancouver in the early 1900s, she became a fixture in Hogan's Alley, the neighborhood at the center of Vancouver's Black community. By the time she died at 100 years old in 1984, she had led the community and raised a large family. This included her grandson who would live with her in Hogan’s Alley from time to time. His name was Jimi Hendrix.

    To learn more about Hogan’s Alley and to watch the Black Strathcona series visit blackstrathcona.com

    • 11 min
    S4: Crash course on beavers

    S4: Crash course on beavers

    Beavers are everywhere, on our money, crests, and keychains. So, why do some people see them as a nuisance? We take a look back at the story of the animal who was almost wiped out to build the early Canadian economy and how these “ecosystem engineers” are a key in helping fight forest fires due to climate change.

    • 7 min
    S4: Crash course on Mary Ann Shadd

    S4: Crash course on Mary Ann Shadd

    Abolitionist, activist, teacher and trailblazer Mary Ann Shadd wore many hats in her extraordinary life. We take a look at the story of the first Black woman in North America to publish a newspaper and one of the first female journalists in Canada.

    Mentioned in this episode: The Indigenous connection to the Underground Railroad by CBC's Unreserved where Falen speaks with historian Roy Finkenbine. Check it out at cbc.ca/1.6061957

    Visit us for more at www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.7K Ratings

1.7K Ratings

Yytre ,

Essential—and fun—listening!

Leah and Falen do an amazing job of making Canadian history (including the uglier parts) fascinating. I never considered myself a history buff, but The Secret Life of Canada has taught me so much AND inspired me to find out more on multiple occasions. These two hosts bring storytelling skills and lived experience to the show, making it interesting and accessible. I highly recommend this podcast—via this review and in real life!

elizhb ,

Essential listening

This podcast should be played in history classes

spinning chair ,

Love this podcast

Love learning about Métis,First Nation and Inuit peoples of Canada thanks. And now I’ve been on the podcast

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