Canadian History through Anne with an E

Anne with an E was produced by CBC and is available to steam on Netflix. The series has 3 seasons, with 7 episodes in season 1 and 10 episodes each in season 2 and 3. It is based off the famous children's novel Anne of Green Gables.

I've never read Anne of Green Gables and was surprised that I enjoyed the series so much. The story line follows Anne through the late 1890s ending in 1900 as she embarks on her journey to college and a possible romance. Anne is an interesting character who despite experiencing early struggles, aims to make a difference in Avonlea and inspires those around her to be more progressive in their thinking, attitudes and behaviours.

What I loved most about the series is how honestly it portrays the opinions of the time. It shows how hard farm life and life in general was during that time period. As well as the extremely narrow and one sided view of women, indigenous peoples and black people. There were a lot of assumptions and negative stereotypes during that time period as well as racist policies and perceptions. I am happy that the series highlights that Canada was not open and inclusive during those years.

When I was in elementary and high school, we didn't learn about residential schools, the injustice against indigenous peoples and the discrimination that Black people faced in Canada. A very rosy and happy picture was painted. Canada was this inclusive, multicultural mosaic that didn't have slavery and accepted everyone as they are. Over the last year I've learned a lot about what actually happened in Canadian history and have become more aware to what is currently still happening.

Anne with an E is a great Canadian program and I am disappointed that there won't be a season 4. If you have a family, it's the perfect, wholesome family TV show. There isn't any swearing, nudity or mature content. As an adult, I really enjoyed seeing a bit of what that time period looked like (although fictional) and seeing things that were previously hidden under the rug come out in plain view.