By Force or By Choice: Ukrainian Settlement Patterns on the Canadian Prairies
Between 1891 and 1914, 250,000 Ukrainian immigrants arrived on the Canadian prairies. They left difficult conditions in their homelands to chase the promises of Clifford Sifton, Minister of Interior in the government of Sir Wilfred Laurier, offering cheap land and excellent growing conditions. Immigration officials have been accused of pressuring or forcing Ukrainians to settle in particular areas with little regard for their opinions. While officials used many methods to encourage Ukrainians to assimilate, hoping to prevent the creation of ethnic enclaves, the newcomers attempted to recreate their old settlement patterns through kinship ties and chain migration. This paper demonstrates that immigration officials used varying degrees of force only in unusual situations and examines how and why, for all the pressure they may have been under from immigration officers, the Ukrainians pushed back in order to settle where they wanted to rather than where they were told to.
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