Canada has been seen as a safe haven and land of opportunity for immigrants for more than 200 years. The British and French saw it as a frontier society where people could make a fresh start.
The fur trade drew many in the early days. Religious groups such as Mennonites, Hutterites, and Doukhobors left Russia and Germany to avoid having to fight in wars. Other people such as Icelanders and Scots fled their countries because of hardship and natural disasters. Manitoba and Nova Scotia became the homes of many of these people.
Within my lifetime I have seen groups coming here. Following the takeover of Hungary by the USSR in 1956-57, the whole faculty of forestry from Hungary moved to Vancouver where they set up their school at UBC. In the 1960s we saw draft dodgers from the U.S. come in and settle. Also, refugees from Vietnam were welcomed. Recently, many people have joined us from the Philippines and from India. Like many before them, they are often economic refugees coming for a better life for their families.
My ancestors came from England and Iceland and Lorne’s from Scotland, England, Sweden, and Norway. All were seeking a fresh start and better life.
The Encyclopedia of BC reports: “until the 1880’s most people in BC were aboriginal.” I, for one, tend to lose sight of that fact. It is good to see First Nations people regaining their voices as the original people of the land.
A. Name Changes
- What town was originally called Lone Prairie?
- What town was called Berlin until 1916?
- What Canadian city was first called Bytown?
- What name is now used for the Queen Charlotte Islands?
- What is our name for Ile St-Jean?
- What city was called Hochelaga and Ville-Marie?
- What place was traditionally known as “oskana ka-asasteki” or “pile of bones”?
B. Memorable citizens of Canada
What are these people from the Peace area known for?
- Justin Volz
- Robert Hedges
- Roy Forbes
- Frank Beaton
- Noelle Jellison
- Helen Knott
C. What are these notable British Columbians famous for?
- Rick Hansen
- Nancy Greene
- Roger Bannister
- Bill Reid
- David Suzuki
D. What are these notable Canadians famous for?
- Banting and Best
- Roberta Bondar
- Graham Greene
- A.Y. Jackson
Quote of the week
“Everything about Canada makes me proud to be Canadian.” (Jason Priestley)
A. Name changes: 1. Chetwynd 2. Kitchener 3. Ottawa 4. Haida Gwaii 5. Prince Edward Island 6. Montreal 7. Regina
B. Local people: 1. Bull rider 2. Wheel chair basketball 3. Singer 4. Diary of a Hudson Bay Company factor 5. Devoted ballet teacher 6. writer
C. Notable British Columbians: 1. Man in Motion – raising money for spinal cord research 2. Olympic gold and silver in alpine downhill skiing. 3. 4- minute mile 4. Haida artist 5. Environmentalist
D. Notable Canadians: 1. Cure for diabetes 2. Astronaut 3. Indigenous actor 4. Landscape painter 5. Singer from Consort, Alberta.
Ruby McBeth lives and writes in Fort St. John.
Have a story or opinion to share? Email your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org