Immigration from the United States to Canada During the Vietnam War

Introduction

In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States witnessed profound social and political change. Involvement in the Vietnam War divided the country, and some individuals chose to come to Canada. Men who were drafted and did not want to participate in a war they did not believe in came to Canada, with or without the support of family and friends. Others came for different reasons, but were influenced by the overall climate of the war, as well as the Civil Rights Movement.

In this online gallery, you will meet ten people who came to Canada from the United States. They will talk about life in the United States during this time, and the decision to leave their country – and start new lives in Canada. In addition to listening or watching an excerpt from an oral history interview, for some of the people you can look at accompanying photographs and documents.

Learning about how individuals and families experience citizenship, war, and human rights, helps us personalize and understand these larger movements of history.

These audio clips are available in English. Transcripts for each clip are available in French and have been translated from English.

Life in the United States: Civil Rights, The Vietnam War, The Draft

Peter Seixas

Changing Awareness

Diane Kristensen

Civil Rights Demonstrations

Tom Corcoran

Vietnam Draft

Len Sirois

Vietnam War

Leaving the United States

Life in Canada

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Five of the oral histories featured here were conducted by the Western University's MA Public History Program students. Included in this partnership are Underground Railroad, the Gold Rush, and the New England Planters.