92 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 6 coming early 2024!

The Secret Life of Canada CBC Discover & Learn

    • History
    • 4.7 • 221 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 6 coming early 2024!

    S6: Sorry not Sorry

    S6: Sorry not Sorry

    Canadians are always apologizing, or are they? We are back for a sixth season and in this episode [1:29] Leah and Falen discuss how they use the word “sorry” and why [4:20] and take a deep dive into the theory that it comes from the country's British foundations. [8:33] We learn that the British and French brought dueling with them as a way to resolve conflict. [20:00] Then we look at how the word is connected to conflict resolution, which Indigenous people already were doing before contact [21:44] and examine the many apologies of the Canadian government [25:05] and try to find out whether or not Canadians actually apologize any more than anyone else.

    Here are links to previous episodes mentioned in this episode:

    Kanesatake 300 Years Later, Part 1: https://link.chtbl.com/eUDOXoMZ
    Kanesatake 300 Years Later, Part 2: https://link.chtbl.com/jeMsG6HU

    For other links, references, transcripts and more about this episode, visit us at: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 32 min
    The Secret Life of Canada returns with Season 6!

    The Secret Life of Canada returns with Season 6!

    Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson are back with a brand new season of conversations about the country you thought you knew. Catch our premiere episode on February 22, 2024 with new episodes biweekly.

    • 2 min
    BONUS | The story Falen never thought she’d tell: On stage at Hot Docs

    BONUS | The story Falen never thought she’d tell: On stage at Hot Docs

    Falen Johnson took to the stage at the Hot Docs festival to speak candidly about her experience of growing up on Six Nations, a place that was both idyllic and complicated — especially when it came to water and the lack thereof.

    • 8 min
    S5: Crash course on losing the Shanghai Restaurant

    S5: Crash course on losing the Shanghai Restaurant

    In this episode we talk about lost buildings across Canada. Falen and Leah look into the history of the now torn-down Shanghai Restaurant, owned by the Lee family for over 70 years and a long-time staple of downtown Winnipeg and find out if the #99 Wonton in sweet ketchup sauce is as good as former customers say it is?

    Featuring Raymond Biesinger.

    For more about this episode visit us at : www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 11 min
    S5: The Potlatch Ban

    S5: The Potlatch Ban

    In 1921, Chief Dan Cranmer held a secret Potlatch — a ceremony celebrated by many First Nations along the Pacific Northwest. But because the ceremony had been banned by the Canadian government, authorities arrested people and confiscated many ceremonial items. These items then ended up in private collections and museums all over the world. This episode traces the winding journey of the ripple effects of a ban that lasted almost 70 years. We sit down with Dan Cranmer's son Bill Cranmer from the U'mista Cultural Centre to learn about his father’s story and the long process of repatriation by the Kwakwaka'wakw people of these precious items. We also speak with educator Sara Florence Davidson to talk to her about the book Potlatch as Pedagogy, what she has learned through the Potlatch and how her father, Haida artist Robert Davidson, worked to reclaim ceremony and artistic practice after the ban.

    With guests Chief Bill Cranmer and Sara Florence Davidson.


    For links and more about this episode visit us at: www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 38 min
    S5: Crash Course on Bread and Cheese

    S5: Crash Course on Bread and Cheese

    Bread and Cheese. More than just two of Falen and Leah’s favourite foods. Did you know it’s also a day? In Falen’s community of Six Nations, every Victoria Day weekend people from the community get in line and walk through the local arena to get a big squishy slice of bread and a giant hunk of orange cheese. Delicious? Yes. But why?

    For more about this episode visit us at : www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
221 Ratings

221 Ratings

Grizzly Bear Mom ,

Excellent Pod!

Californian here. This pod entertains and informs about so many varied aspects of Canadian life and culture - stories I haven’t heard elsewhere. Kudos to the hosts!

Alcanadanow ,

Best Canadian Podcast 2023

This is the best Canadian podcast of 2023 and I’ve been saying this since 2019. Using historical facts to inform modern discourse, I never fail to learn something!

STHOMEBB ,

Love every episode

Only thing wrong with this podcast is that new episodes frequently enough. Our history is embarrassing but we have to expose the truth so as not to repeat. Great work!

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