Pier Perspectives Blog

  • “The Immigration Act a weapon”: Panama Maru and the Exclusion of Immigrants, 1913

    On 17 October 1913, Panama Maru arrived at Victoria, British Columbia. The ship was a regularly-scheduled passenger liner of the Osaka Soshen Kaisha Line, carrying 56 passengers identified by immigration authorities as “Hindus,” although many were probably Sikhs.

  • 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. The resettlement of Chilean, Indochinese, and Somali refugee movements was largely due to lobbying efforts by international organizations, domestic humanitarian groups and churches, pressure from the press, and political will on the part of the federal government.

  • 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?

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

    In 1970, the federal Cabinet adopted an “Oppressed Minority” policy that permitted the resettlement of individuals who did not meet the UN definition of a convention refugee, because they had not fled their homeland. The policy was used in the fall of 1972 when over 80,000 Ugandan Asians were expelled by President Idi Amin and given 90 days to leave the country. The federal government successfully resettled over 7,000 Ugandan Asians in 1972-1973.

  • A Reflection on Curating Perfect Landings

    Perfect Landings was created by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 to coincide with the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Halifax, to draw some of the guests interested in the event to the Museum, and to connect our existing visitors with other aspects of the cit