so i am finally Inspired enough and have enough time (haha who knows) to start writing (read: batting around ideas for) a Dominion Day Sequel about Western Canada and I’m debating about how to frame it. Unlike DD there is no one single date to focus on here nor is there one single event that results in union, and I’m struggling to figure out how exactly to divide up this story and what to focus on- keeping in mind DD only really touched upon the Founding Four and did not resolve PEI and NFLD’s end of the story.
Western Canadian history for me begins with the pivotal Red River Resistance/Rebellion (which I tend to refer to as RRR for shortness and ambiguity lol), but that history is also dependent on the history of Rupert’s Land in a similar way as DD was dependent (subtly) on the War of 1812 and the American Civil War as “prologues”. The way I have chosen to understand the characters and the way they have been outlined by Sherry means that an understanding of NWT (as roughly equivalent to Rupert’s Land, in my mind, for simplicity in storytelling’s sake) is that Starting Point and that central character that ties the story together in the way Canada/Matthew was the central character for DD.
That begs the question as to How to Deal with the story of NWT. That story does not include BC in a similar way that Confederation did not include Newfoundland; I intend to feature BC as a character, but she is ‘unique’ and ‘separate’ (as usual, the special snowflake of the west). It also begs the question: is this the story of the prairies and/or the territories? The history of the West and Confederation, again, means that the RRR and the following North West Resistance/Rebellion is pivotal. Is this the story of Manitoba’s entrance into confederation, is it the story of the prairies, or is it the story of NWT? I don’t know if this makes any sense but I hope you see what I’m getting at. I’m trying to decide between a chronological telling or a geographical telling.
When I was writing Dominion Day, Confederation was the theme: a union out of convenience rather than trust, a dissatisfaction on all sides, and a type of selfishness from the pov of Matthew to Keep Existing at the expense of the others. For Western Canada, the themes are similar, but with an intense focus on the extremely different treatment of former Rupert’s Land territories compared to literally every other province in Canada.
I guess the natural beginning and end for this story would be 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s with a prologue beginning at Confederation, where we left off, and hinting at the centuries prior that established Rupert’s Land, and an epilogue at the turn of the century. The natural division of the focus from these decades would follow settlement east to west: Manitoba and the RRR, Saskatchewan and the NWR, and Alberta and the Opening of the West alongside Yukon and the Gold Rush. The epilogue, in order to address all of western Canada as I addressed all of Eastern Canada in DD, would need to look towards the late 20th century to Nunavut- whose early beginnings were not until the 70s and who didn’t become a territory until /my/ lifetime, ridiculously young compared to the others (aka i still like to think of myself as a Young Person lmao and it makes me feel old that i remember where i was and what i was doing when the territory was created). I don’t know how comfortable I am with representing the Inuit as a personification- because I am unconstrained by a video medium this time around, it’s more feasible, but idk because it might just be easier to represent the Inuit with one or more human characters interacting primarily with NWT, who would remain the central character with a direct involvement in all of the younger ps/ts lives and would travel a vast amount of distance as exploration was done, contacts were made, and the capital moved.
Anywho this information is stuff i’d like to get Out There and if anyone has an interest in these characters or Western Canadian history and wants to contribute some ideas or even artwork, you can give me and @lilcutiebear a shout. If there’s someway I can address PEI/NFLD/BC and their entrance into Confederation along the way, it would be a bonus, but in this episode I wouldn’t be able to go much into depth on them without a sort of dedicated ‘mini episode’ for each one. That might be interesting, actually, in order to explore those little dynamics between them and their neighbours more etc etc but that’s… for another time (and like bc alone i could just talk forever about because What a Rollercoaster and I really want to swing an internship at the Royal BC Museum if I can for my program…….. aaaaaaaaaaa… but i have a membership anyway so i can visit whenever im in the province hohoho).