Challenging the Status Quo
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Years of Hope and Anger
Challenging the Status Quo
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Challenging the Status Quo
Baby-boomers come of age and reject the constraints of the past

"Greenpeace became the first organization that linked the survival of the human race with the survival of the environment." - Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder

Read these indepth articles about
Challenging the Status Quo

Snubbing Convention
Chatelaine's editor turns heads when she combines work and pregnancy
Young Canadians launch a groundbreaking movement with environmental ideals and public relations savvy
Native Awakening
Alberta Indians occupy a rural residential school and signal a new era in native activism
In Canada almost 10 million children were born between 1947 and 1966, forming that immense demographic bulge called the baby boomers. In the 1960s, the first baby-boomers came of age, forming a massive youth movement that challenged the status quo and began reshaping society.

As opportunities for post-secondary education expanded in the early 1960s, a restless generation of university students emerged, increasingly aware of international issues, and newly militant.

Era of protest
Students organized demonstrations to denounce everything from the war in Vietnam to university tuition fee hikes. In 1971, a small Vancouver group called Don�t Make a Wave rented a beat-up fishing boat which they renamed The Greenpeace and headed to Alaska to protest nuclear testing. The test went ahead but the environmental lobby group, Greenpeace was born.

Liberating times
During this era of upheaval, the women's movement was also on the rise. In 1961, a contraceptive pill first appeared in Canada. In its first year on the market, ten thousand Canadian women started to use it. Five years after its introduction, 750,000 women were "on the pill." The culture of sexual liberation that the birth-control pill engendered corresponded to a wider sense of women's liberation throughout Canadian society.

On February 16, 1967, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, succumbed to pressure by women's groups and announced the creation of a Royal Commission on the Status of Women, headed by Ottawa journalist Florence Bird.

Move to equality
The commission held public hearings in fourteen cities, visited all ten provinces and both territories, and received 468 briefs, 1,000 letters, and heard 870 witnesses. The commission�s 500-page report was tabled in the House of Commons in 1970, and its 167 recommendations included equal pay for work of equal value, a national day-care network, and paid maternity leave.

Two years later, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women was founded to monitor and press for government action on the commission�s recommendations.

Native awakening
Canada's native people also experienced an awakening during the liberation era. In 1969, native leaders protested a government proposal to terminate Indian treaties and abolish reserves.

A year later, Alberta natives occupied a rural school demanding the right to control their own education. The two-week sit-in signalled the dawn of a new era in native activism after more than a century of slow misery.

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In the Name of Progress

Nationalist Passions
Canadians toast their country while Quebecers embrace their own nation

In the Name of Progress
People are transferred and communities demolished in the name of a new religion called progress

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