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Guide The People of New France (Themes in Canadian History)

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For the Mohawk, located farthest east, the British position at Fort Albany formerly Fort Orange was regarded as part of a deepening pact. They were not about to desert this asset and commitment. That was not the case, however, for the rest of the Iroquois. The French felt similarly that Ryswick addressed European issues and that Canadian security against the Iroquois had to be resolved in battle. War between the two parties had been almost continuous since and now, with the exception of the Mohawk which was a very big exception indeed , Canada could relax a little.

French Colonies: New France, modern-day Canada

For the League, however, it meant that their relationship with the English was compromised. How badly compromised would soon be revealed. Within a year the peace in Europe was shattered. England and France were once again at war. In North America, conflict followed quickly.

In this relatively short period of time, however, much had changed. Frontenac had completed building a chain of forts deep into the Mississippi Valley and his plans for a more integrated New France were gaining ground. The forts were established both for trade and to consolidate military alliances with Aboriginal nations. The fort attracted conflict almost immediately, especially between the Council which regarded the Miami as intruders in their zone of influence and various Iroquois who were now able to participate in regional trade under the protection of the Great Peace.

As well, years of war had hardened New France. The administrative structure of New France was also militaristic. Frontenac had put his stamp on the whole of the colony in this respect and was able to deploy resources without difficulty. This simplified the business of building alliances with Aboriginal nations.

These were important differences. In and , rumours had spread that a group of Blacks was preparing to migrate to central Alberta. Descendants of freed slaves, they were being pushed from their land in Oklahoma territory, where they had been granted holdings and hoped to build new lives. Public and political response in Alberta was immediate and predictable. Federal authorities initiated an ingeniously simple scheme. Nothing in the Immigration Act specifically barred Black Americans, but any immigrant could effectively be denied access to Canada for health reasons under the Act's medical provisions.

The government merely instructed immigration inspectors and their medical aides along the American border to reject all Blacks as unfit for admission on medical grounds. There was no appeal. Blacks were warned they should not waste their time and money by considering immigration to Canada. As a result of the dramatic and devastating economic collapse caused by the Great Depression , the need for the government's selective encouragement of immigration faded. Immigration authorities worked not to stimulate admissions but to prevent them. By Hitler ruled Germany, and millions of political opponents and Jews might have survived if Canada or other countries had offered innocent victims a home.

Although many Canadians responded to the refugees with a mixture of sympathy for their desperate plight and embarrassment at the lack of government aid, others, including the federal Cabinet, many in the diplomatic corps, and immigration policymakers, reacted with alarm to any pressure to accept Jews or political refugees escaping Germany.

As a result, few refugees were able to get around Canadian immigration restrictions. At war's end in , Canadian immigration regulations remained unchanged from the restrictive pre-war years. Yet change was not long in coming.

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Driven by a postwar economic boom, growing job market and a resulting demand for labour, Canada gradually re-opened its doors to European immigration, first to immigrants Canada traditionally preferred — those from the United Kingdom and Western Europe — but eventually to the rest of Europe as well. With the onset of the Cold War, however, immigration from Eastern Europe came to a halt. Borders to the west were closed by the Soviet Union and its allies.

However, large numbers of immigrants entered Canada from southern Europe, particularly Italy, Greece and Portugal. Canadian immigration underwent other dramatic changes in the postwar years. Canadian governments, federal and provincial, slowly yielded to pressure for human rights reform from an earlier generation of immigrants and their children. Increasingly middle class and politically active, the now well-integrated immigrants had sacrificed in common cause with other Canadians in the war effort and in the postwar era they refused to assume second-class status in a country they had helped to protect.

Supported by like-minded Canadians, they denounced the ethnic and racial discrimination against them and demanded human rights reform. They forced governments to legislate against discrimination on account of race, religion and origin in such areas as employment, accommodation and education.

And, just as Canada was making discrimination illegal at home, the government moved to eliminate racial, religious or ethnic barriers to Canadian immigration. The last vestiges of racial discrimination in immigration were gone from Canadian immigration legislation and regulations by the late s. This opened Canada's doors to many of those who would previously have been rejected as undesirable. In , for the first time in Canadian history, the majority of those immigrating into Canada were of non-European ancestry.


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This has been the case every year since. As a result, Canada is not just a multicultural society, it is also a multiracial society to a degree unimaginable to earlier generations of Canadians.

The End of the Iroquois Wars

That does not mean that anyone who wishes to enter Canada may do so. While restrictions on account of race or national origin are gone, Canada still maintains strict criteria for determining who is and who is not a desirable candidate for Canadian entry. In the late s, Canada introduced a point system for determining the desirability of individuals applying to immigrate to Canada.

Under this system, each applicant was awarded points for age, education, ability to speak English or French, and demand for that particular applicant's job skills. If an applicant was in good health and of good character and scored enough points, he or she was granted admission together with their spouse and dependent children. Those who did not score enough points were denied admission.

More recently, Canada has modified its procedures to give preference to the admission of independent, skilled and immediately employable immigrants. Once established in Canada, each new arrival, now called a "landed immigrant," has all the rights of born Canadians except political rights, such as the right to vote.

After a specified number of years recently reduced from five to three years , each landed immigrant may apply for Canadian citizenship and, once granted, has the same political rights as Canadian-born citizens. In addition, landed immigrants, like Canadian citizens, may also apply to sponsor the admission to Canada of close family members who might not otherwise be able to satisfy stringent Canadian admission criteria. The sponsor must agree to ensure anyone brought into Canada will not become an economic burden to Canadian society. For many years, sponsored families of those already in Canada were the single largest group of those admitted into Canada.

Since the end of the Second World War , refugees and others dispossessed by war and violence have become a significant part of Canada's immigration flow. In the postwar labour shortage Canada admitted tens of thousands of displaced persons, individuals made homeless by the war or who, at war's end, found themselves outside of their country of citizenship, to which they refused to return. Among the displaced persons were Jewish Holocaust survivors who had no community or family to which they could return. Other displaced persons refused repatriation back to countries which had fallen under Soviet domination.

Many resettled in Canada, where they built new lives.

During the s and s, Canada also responded to the plight of refugees from other countries that were under dictatorships. In the aftermath of the unsuccessful Hungarian uprising of and the crushing of political reform in Czechoslovakia see Czechs; Slovaks by the Soviet Union in , refugees fled westward.

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Canadian literature, French

Canada responded by setting aside its normal immigration procedures to admit its share of refugees. In the years that followed, Canada again made special allowance for refugees from political upheavals in Uganda, Chile see Latin Americans and elsewhere. In each of these cases, the refugees were admitted as an exception to the immigration regulations and without following all the usual immigration procedures.

In , Canada enacted a new Immigration Act that, for the first time, affirmed Canada's commitment to the resettlement of refugees from oppression; that is, persons who have a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of citizenship.

Government Documents

Accordingly, refugees would no longer be admitted to Canada as an exception to immigration regulations. Admission of refugees was now part of Canadian immigration law and regulations. But refugee admission has remained controversial and difficult to administer. On the surface, the admission of refugees seems simple enough. Every year Canada sets aside a minority portion of the total target number of immigrants it intends to admit for refugees.

Canadian literature, French | Infoplease

But there are two very different routes by which refugees have arrived in Canada. Most are carefully selected abroad. In co-operation with other countries and international refugee agencies, each Canadian immigration official goes overseas to interview and pick refugees for resettlement in Canada from among those who have found temporary sanctuary outside their country of citizenship, often in a neighbouring country. This process has generally worked smoothly. The other route refugees have taken into Canada is far more controversial.

Canada has had to deal with persons who are not chosen abroad by immigration officials, but who somehow make their way to Canada and, once in Canada, declare themselves to be refugees. These have included persons who claimed refugee status in Canada after disembarking from flights between Eastern Europe and Cuba that land to refuel in Gander, Newfoundland, and men, women and children who have escaped the horror of war and persecution in Central America, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and China to seek sanctuary in Canada.

Once in Canada, each arrival claimed to be a refugee with a legitimate fear of persecution in his or her homeland. In a world in which political torture and murder is all too common, it became the responsibility of Canadian officials to determine if each individual claimant was truly a refugee or not. To do this Canada devised an inland refugee determination process designed to judge each claim. If determined to be a legitimate refugee, the claimant is granted the right to stay in Canada as an immigrant.

If not, the claimant may be deported. In the s, the number of those entering Canada and applying for refugee status grew, and the Canadian determination process was hard-pressed to process applicants quickly. Nor were refugee claimants universally welcomed by Canadians.