Secret Life of Canadawith Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson


Teaching Guide


How did the Indian Act come to be? What is the human cost of this policy for Indigenous people, particularly women?

Close your textbooks. 'Podcasts In Class' switches up the lesson plan

Six episodes of the podcasts Tai Asks Why and The Secret Life of Canada have been adapted into classroom-ready lessons, complete with slideshows, videos, activities, and even homework.

Who are the women who've looked after Canada's children?

The Secret Life of Canada looks at the changing face of caregivers in Canada.

Meet Autumn Peltier, teen water warrior

It's our first shout out to a living youth leader! Meet Autumn Peltier. Greatly influenced by her great aunt Josephine Mandamin, Autumn has been using her voice to advocate for water rights since she was 8 years old.

The most famous Vancouverite you've never heard of

The Secret Life of Canada's first mailbag episode! You asked and we answered your burning history questions which took us to the Cowichan sweater, Cheezies, the legacy of Hawaiian Canadians in B.C and one guy named Portuguese Joe.

Atuat Akittirq has dedicated her life to keeping Inuit culture alive

Atuat Akittirq is a knowledge keeper. Following her family's forced relocation, she's used traditional skills and artistry to keep Inuit culture alive.

What do you really know about The Indian Act? 

How and why did The Indian Act come to be? And why is it still on the books? (Hint: something this deeply rooted is hard to exhume without changing the foundation.) 
Point of View

What should I do with my great-grandma's copy of the Indian Act?

Secret Life of Canada's Falen Johnson reflects on the not-so-distant past, a story told through two objects she found at her great-grandmother's house.

Gay Asians of Toronto were pioneers of diversity in Pride

As Pride celebrations kick off, The Secret Life of Canada shouts out the Gay Asians of Toronto (GAT). Formed in 1980, this organization is thought to be the first LGBT group for non-white queerfolks in Canada.

Is Victoria home to North America's Oldest Chinatown?

Most major cities across Canada have a Chinatown - but how did they start, and why? This episode, a look at the early history of Chinese people this side of the Pacific, and the historic Chinatown in B.C. that predates Confederation.

Meet Oronhyatekha, the Mohawk doctor who made history

Meet Dr. Oronhyatekha. A Mohawk doctor from Six Nations Reserve, "Dr. O" was one of the first Indigenous physicians in Canada. Baptised with the English name Peter Martin in 1841, this barrier-breaking man led a fascinating and influential life.

Why did Canadians volunteer to fight in the Vietnam War?

Is the Canada/U.S. border really the “longest undefended border” in the world? The Secret Life of Canada looks into this question and many more in their latest episode: The Medicine Line.

Meet Bernelda Wheeler — the First Lady of Indigenous Broadcasting

Bernelda Wheeler was one of the hosts of Our Native Land, a CBC Radio program by and for Indigenous people that ran from 1965 to 1985.

Prairie Pride: How Winnipeg became a hub of queer history

If you were asked to name a Canadian city with a rich queer history, would you think of Winnipeg? If the Manitoba capital doesn't quite top your list, the latest episode of The Secret Life of Canada — The Golden Boy —might just change your mind.  

An ode to grandmothers on International Women's Day

In a special shout out for International Women's Day, The Secret Life of Canada asked listeners to share stories about the amazing matriarchs hidden in their family histories.

5 amazing black trailblazers you should know year round

The Secret Life of Canada tells the stories of five black change-makers with legacies worth celebrating.

Here's why Canada doesn't have a Caribbean province

In the latest episode of The Secret Life of Canada, co-hosts Leah Simone-Bowen and Falen Johnson look at the historic connection between Canada and a number of islands and countries that make up the Caribbean.

Why water is worthy of the history books

Are you ready to ride waves of emotion with Secret Life's latest episode? Because there's laughter, alright, but also some tears. You've never heard Leah and Falen quite like this before.

Meet John Ware — legendary Black Cowboy

John Ware’s life took him from enslavement to legend. The first Black Cowboy in Alberta traveled hundreds of miles and greatly contributed to the Albertan ranching, agricultural and cattle industry.

The Secret Life of Canada wants a word with your history teacher

This unconventional podcast is for "people who want to have a critical discussion about Canadian history — but not fall asleep," according to Leah-Simone Bowen and her co-host Falen Johnson.

Meet Madhu Verma, child refugee turned newcomer advocate

Changed from her experience of displacement in childhood, Madhu Verma became an effective advocate on behalf of new Canadians in New Brunswick.

Meet Eleanor Collins — Canada's first lady of jazz

Eleanor Collins' trajectory as a singer and entertainer defied the odds. Before the Nat King Cole TV show aired in the U.S., Collins became Canada's first woman, and North America's first person of colour, to have their own nationally broadcast television show.

How did 'Toronto the good' become the city Canada loves to hate?

Why is Toronto the city Canada loves to hate? We try to find out in our very first live show recorded during the Hotdocs Podcast Festival.

Listen to the first season of Secret Life of Canada

Are you new to the Secret Life of Canada? Before joining CBC Podcasts, they produced several great episodes — both with Passport 2017 and independently — which are really worth a listen.

What was the real cost of the Klondike Gold Rush?

The Secret Life of Canada takes a look into how the gold rush impacted the people and land, and what happened to the area when the rush was over.