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The Secret Life of Canada
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The Secret Life of Canada

Author: CBC Podcasts

Subscribed: 7,590Played: 117,046


The Secret Life of Canada is a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't.
56 Episodes
Free teaching resources have been developed for select episodes of The Secret Life of Canada! If you — or someone you know — teaches high school history, geography, civics or Indigenous Studies, visit to learn more.
Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Falen, your host for the current season takes you straight into the Indigenous stories of this land, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing you to the storytellers, culture leaders, and community shakers from First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities across the country. This episode, Mayflower 400: A deep dive into American Thanksgiving explores the merchant ship that was carrying more than 100 people, seeking a new world.
Meet Irene Uchida. A Japanese Canadian scientist, she was one of thousands of Japanese Canadians who were imprisoned as part of the Japanese Internment during WWII. Dr. Uchida went on to become a groundbreaking geneticist, transforming maternal and fetal health around the world.
Meet Jackie Shane, the singer and trailblazer that came to prominence during Toronto's bustling Yonge Street music scene during the '60s.
Nunavut has the largest landmass out of all the provinces and territories in Canada - and yet, it is an area that many of us know the least about. In this episode, we look at the forced relocation of the Inuit, the Eskimo Identification System, and the dog slaughter perpetuated by the Canadian government.
Meet Tom Longboat, an Onondaga long distance runner born in 1887 on Six Nations. Tom became one of the most celebrated athletes of all time, despite his struggles and encountering racism throughout his career.
Canada is full of its own weird and wonderful snacks. From Pizza Pops to ketchup chips, we dive into the history of Canadian food.
What do you have to do to get a statue in Canada? We put some of our most lauded historical figures on trial and deliberate their pros and cons. Who should be torn down and who should stay up? From the Famous Five to Terry Fox, we look at some of the best and worst.
Meet Chief Running Deer, Fred Sasakamoose of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, the first Indigenous player in the NHL.
Season One Wrap Up

Season One Wrap Up


Season 1 is done, and we're taking some time off to work on season 2!
Want to know where we get our ideas? Why Toronto was the original no-fun city? Check out the Q&A from our live show at the Hotdocs Podcast Festival in November 2018.
S2: Bay Blanket

S2: Bay Blanket


The Bay Blanket. These warm blankets are as iconic as Mariah Carey's lip-syncing, but some people believe they were used to spread smallpox and decimate entire Indigenous communities. We dive into the history of The Hudson's Bay Company and unpack the very complicated story of the iconic striped blanket. For books and films referenced in this episode please visit our website at
Meet C. D. Hoy of Quesnel, B.C. His work wasn't discovered until 1995 when archivists found his photography. He left behind thousands of pictures that offered a rare look at life during the turn of the century through the eyes of the marginalized.
Is Canada a haunted place? In this bonus Halloween episode Falen and Leah travel to some of Canada's more obscure haunts. From one of Canada's oldest universities to a former asylum in Quebec to a number of haunted theatres across the country. Leah and Falen seek out what hides in these historical haunts.
Meet Private Buckam Singh, of one of the first Sikh Canadian soldiers. During WWI he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. In 1916 he served with the 20th Canadian Infantry Battalion in the battlefields of Flanders. His resting place in Kitchener, Ont., is now the only known WWI Sikh Canadian Soldier's military grave in Canada.
S2: The Gold Rush

S2: The Gold Rush


There is no doubt that the Klondike Gold Rush was an iconic event. But what did the mining industry cost the original people of the territory? And what was left when all the gold was gone? And what is a sour toe cocktail?
It's our first live show! Recorded in front of an audience for the Hotdocs Podcast Festival, we try to answer the age-old question: why is Toronto the city Canada loves to hate? Featuring special guests Jane Luk, Kris Siddiqi, Brandon Hackett and music by Matt Reid.
Meet Eleanor Collins - Canada's first lady of jazz and the first Black person in North America to host a nationally broadcast television series, "The Eleanor Show" which began in 1954.
Many Canadians may not have heard of Madhu Verma but her almost fifty years of social activism has greatly shaped the current landscape of Fredericton, N.B. and Canada's East Coast.
S2: Water

S2: Water


Can the foundation of Canada be traced back to Indigenous trade routes? In this episode Falen and Leah take a trip across the Great Lakes, they talk corn and vampires, and discuss some big concerns currently facing Canada's water.
Comments (20)


Hello, I'm an English learner and i have to say thanks to you, listening to your podcast i can get fun and learn at the same time (sorry for my mistakes haha)

Dec 31st

Monica Kootenay Lange

A fascinating, informative episode. I live in subalpine forest in BC, and I witness the harvesting of the forests everyday. Logging trucks are a common sight. Thank you for encouraging me to learn more about the harvesting of Old Growth and especially Yellow Cedars. This is a topic close to my heart as a nature lover and community food security promoter.

Dec 2nd

Greg Kucharski

i love this podcast for shearing untold history of canada but ... propagating far left ideas of defunding the police is wrong.. im pretty sure we dont want to have big cities without a police. that would create total anarchy and would endanger everybody.. what we need is more funding for proper training for police and correct selection and evaluationof candidates to the force. training should include social studies and many psychological aspects like conflict de escalation

Nov 19th

Ken W

Where is part 2?

Oct 28th

Samp 75


Sep 9th

Samp 75

This is such an informative and educational podcast. Great research.

Sep 9th

habib mes

very heartbreaking to know about the calamities of the indigenous owners of the canadian land and how they were forced by the christians to convert to catholicism and leave their home land giving the worst modal of hypocrisy through the dishonesty of the priests.SHAME ON YOU FAKE PRIESTS. As for the british and the french colonialism it is the same story : spreading terror, hatred and injustice wherever they go.SHAME ON YOU COLONIALISTS AND ON YOUR DIRTY MISSION.

Jul 11th
Reply (1)

Ronald whitlock

Great Show!

Jun 16th


is anyone else having trouble playing this episode? I keep getting an unknown error

Jun 14th

Lyna Johnston

Thanks for ths episode.After moving to the Vancouver area I have leaned much about the horrible treatment of the Japanese, Chinese and Indigenous communities. There are some great museums in Steveston BC that documents their history in BC and the fishing industry.

May 13th

Scott Hiles

great information yet the giggling gets to be too much.

Mar 20th

Emily Dawn Pearcey

I am sad that this doesn’t have the original podcasts 😭

Aug 23rd
Reply (2)

Om Eyehead

class act

Jul 11th

Mmm Taylor

that was great information. makes me feel connected as a Canadian Born Jamaican

May 30th

Angel Segura

Great episode. Interesting facts. Majestic job.

Apr 25th

Sierra C

my podcast ended right in the middle of a sentence!

Apr 4th

Jodie Smith

Can we please make the province of Barbados and Jamaica happen?

Feb 19th
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