Sharing Canadian Culture. Creating Digital Stories.

Newsletter December 2016

Dear Educator,

I’m thrilled to welcome you to Ancestry Project. Thanks for signing up and reading. Stay tuned as the newsletter will be published again when the full program launches in January 2017.

Mike Simpson
Ancestry Project


  • Preview of project development in December
  • New Ancestry Project blog posts
  • Ancestry Project on social media
  • Interesting Reading from the Web


In December I will continue producing the educational material for the project. I’m hard at work on writing, producing media, and creating lesson plans and handouts. Ancestry Project will launch with interesting sample materials in the first week of 2017.

If you are interested in booking Mike for a free presentation in downtown Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area  – get in touch. Mike will offer presentations to schools, community groups and libraries throughout December, January, and February. You can contact Mike with your request via his contact page.



“From Family Tree to Education Program: Why I Started Ancestry Project” is the first blog post on the site. I wrote about the inspiration and motivation behind AP. I’m an ESL teacher and designer / media producer interested in e-learning and education tech. One of the primary motivations behind the Ancestry Project was to create an online program that would engage a community of users.
Read More

“Voices into Action: Activism Meets Education” is a post about a unique online education program that seeks to counter bigotry in many forms. If you have ever thought about bringing more serious topics into the classroom, this project may be for you.
Read More


Ancestry Project is on Facebook.
Like / Follow the Ancestry Project Facebook page.


There are so many interesting articles that might be of interest to Ancestry Project subscribers but I think the following are highly worthy of your time and attention. From New York Times, National Film Board, and Globe and Mail

Syrian refugees in Canada are profiled in Part 3 of the New York Times excellent series entitled “Refugees Welcome.” “Worry and Wonder as a Syrian Child Transforms” documents the struggles of parents, and ease of children, in the adaptation process. The series is a fascinating look, through text and photography, at the lives of some of Canada’s newest immigrants.
Check out more of “Refugees Welcome:” Part 1, Part 2

Viola Desmond civil rights pioneer to become face of the Canadian $10 bill. From the NFB: “We learned this week that Viola Desmond, the woman who insisted on keeping her seat at a Halifax movie theatre in 1946, will grace the new $10 banknote. Get to know this inspiring civil-rights pioneer with Journey to Justice, a feature doc that pays tribute to brave Canadians who took racism to court.”

Gord Downie was honoured by the Assembly of First Nations in Quebec, for his work on The Secret Path, a graphic novel and album that tells “the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after running away from a residential school near Kenora, Ont.”

John Leguizamo’s article about ethnicity and latino history in America, was published in the NY Times in October. In “Too Bad You’re Latin” John writes: “The dominant narrative is that we have just “illegally” crossed the border or are “fresh off the boat.” In fact the Spanish are evidence of America’s first original sin: We were mistreating indigenous people here long before the British brought slaves to the colonies.””

See you next time

Thanks for reading the first edition of the Ancestry Project newsletter. When I contact you next in early January I will be sharing more news and launching the educational content on the AP website. I can’t wait to share it with you.

All the best, happy holidays, and see you in 2017!

Mike Simpson