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Un/Wanted? Canada and the Resettlement of Chilean, Indochinese and Somali Refugees

After the Second World War, Canada’s response to international refugee crises varied, driven by Cold War ideology, economic self-interest, humanitarian considerations, political necessity, and public opinion. During this period, Canada became one of the world’s foremost refugee-receiving states. Successive federal governments attempted to meet Canada’s international obligations to find a permanent settlement to the plight of refugees around the world.

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Customs and Traditions Wall

Tell us about your customs and traditions:

In the Canadian Immigration Hall at our Museum, the exhibition is divided into four important themes: journey, arrival, belonging and impact. My favorite place to take visitors is the impact section. Here, we tell the amazing story of the contributions that immigrants have made to Canada – from architecture to science, from dance to hockey. In this section, I always get to thinking about the changes to Canadian culture when new people arrive to our country. What are some of the changes that aren’t as physically obvious as the Young and Bloor line in Toronto, or the Canadian Pacific Railway?

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Canada’s Oppressed Minority Policy and the Resettlement of Ugandan Asians, 1972-1973

In January 1971, the Ugandan government of President Milton Obote was overthrown in a coup d’état by the Ugandan military under the leadership of General Idi Amin. The Asian Ugandan community was initially relieved by Amin’s seizure of power since Obote’s socialist government had planned to take a 60 percent stake in the country’s Asian-owned businesses. On 4 August 1972, President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of the country’s Asian population. Claiming that he had received an order from God, Amin gave Ugandans of Asian heritage ninety days to leave the country.

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