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Somalia Affair: Defending the Airborne Regiment

Type: Film and Video

Interview with Sergent Ronnie Smith, Corporal Patrick Couture, and Captain Hercule Gosselin of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in which they describe their experiences as part of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia. They describe how they feel that the schools they built, the infrastructure they developed and the people they saved are all being overlooked by Canadians due to media coverage of a few isolated incidents.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Assignment: Grades 11-12: Points of View on the Somalia Affair - For Teachers

Type: Document

Students hold a forum highlighting a variety of points of view on the Somalia affair.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Canadian Soldiers under Investigation

Type: Film and Video

Reporter Jim Day witnesses the curious removal of an unconscious soldier from a holding cell in Belet Huen. He finds out that the soldier, Corporal Clayton Matchee, has attempted suicide. The rest of the story – one of torture, murder, racism, aggression and denial - will unfold over the next four years. In this CBC Television report, Paul Adams indicates that four soldiers have been taken into custody for the murder of a Somali man.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Assignment: Grades 9-10: Who Should Be a Canadian Soldier? - For Teachers

Type: Document

Students write positions on whether Canadian soldiers should be held to a higher standard than people in other professions.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Somalia: Culture, Chaos and Clans

Type: Film and Video

At the dawn of the Cold War, Somalia had aligned itself with the Soviet Union; when this alliance dissolved, the United States forged a coalition with the African country. As the Cold War thawed, however, the partnership weakened and the U.S. withdrew. As infrastructure and order collapsed, famine spread through the country. When the 900 Canadian soldiers landed in Somalia on December 15, 1992, they tried to draw order from the chaos with Operation Deliverance.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Peacemaking and the 1990-91 Gulf War

Type: Document

The Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 most resembled the Korean War with Canada sending elements from all three services. Participation was limited as Canadians were also deployed elsewhere around the world on United Nations.

Site: National Defence

Rampant Racism in the Airborne Regiment

Type: Film and Video

Video footage of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia shows how racial slurs and brutality were prevalent amongst the soldiers. These home videos were shot just prior to the death of Shidane Arone, a Somali teenager.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Somalia Affair: Whistleblower Witness

Type: Film and Video

Maj. Barry Armstrong, military surgeon, agrees to be interviewed for the first time about what he believes happened in Somalia. He challenges his superiors about the death of a Somali, Achmed Aruush, who had been shot in the back by Canadian Airborne troops. These allegations were just the tip of the iceberg and Armstrong later became the pivotal figure in the Somalia investigation.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Introductory Activity: Grades 6-12: History in Living Memory - The Somalia Affair - For Teachers

Type: Document

Students explore the events surrounding Canada’s involvement in Somalia and compare the dates to events in their own lives.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

"Belet Huen is a Peaceful Place" - Canadian Peacekeepers in Somalia

Type: Film and Video

When the Black Hawk helicopters landed in Belet Huen, Somalia, the Canadian forces were greeted with welcoming cheers. The Canadian soldiers were surprised to find a relative level of calm in Belet Huen with famine under control and few deaths due to starvation. The Canadians were happy to have finally arrived in Somalia to provide humanitarian aid. However, in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, US Marines had shot and killed a Somali during a peace march.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation