Waves of Immigration Timeline
30,000 - 10,000 Years Ago
First Migration of People to Inhabit
30,000-10,000 Years Ago - First Migration of People to Inhabit North America
Debate continues about the when, where and why of the first human migration routes into America. Was it trans-ocean migration from Asia and Polynesia back as far as 30,000 years bringing maritime people to the coastline of the Americas? Land migration by Asian people using Beringia—a tundra-like land mass ("land bridge" over Bering Sea)—to cross from Siberian Asia to the region we now call Alaska back 20,000-10,000 years? Or were there both, perhaps even successive waves of migration at multiple sites?
According to the scientific world, the people of the migrations are the ancestors of the indigenous peoples of North and South America. However, First Nations oral traditional lore explains, the Creator put the people in North America—they did not come from somewhere else.
Regardless of the route and the time period, the arrival of humans to North and South America—the world's last place to have human habitation—could be considered to be the FIRST WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA.
FIRST WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
Ancestors of Aboriginal Peoples in North America
1600 - 1800
France and Britain Colonizing
600 - 1800 - France and Britain Colonizing North America
It was the Vikings that first landed in Canada to set up a settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in the northeast side of today’s Newfoundland...but they eventually left. Later in the mid-1500s, European fishermen sailed across the Atlantic to fish for cod off the coasts of today's Maritime Provinces. Although they visited and set up their drying racks on land, they didn't stay either.
It wasn't until the early 1600s when people from France and Britain began to colonize North America that settlements began to appear.
France's first settlement was in 1604, with a small party living the winter on St. Croix Island (then Acadia, now in the American state of Massachusetts). However, many died that winter and the following year and the French moved the settlement to Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia). France also dispatched settlers to New France on the St. Lawrence River.
1604 - France colonists started settling in what became Acadia; first permanent settlement at Port Royal.
1608 - First successful French settlement along St. Lawrence resulted in the formation of today's Quebec.
1610 - British merchants create the Newfoundland Company with the goal of colonizing the island. Group of 39 men establish settlement at Cuper's Cove, now called Cupids and considered Canada's oldest English-speaking settlement (celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2010).
1666 - First Census in New France: the non-Aboriginal population is 3215.
1673 - England's newly-established merchant company, Hudson's Bay Company, builds the fur-trading post Moose Factory near James Bay—not for colonization however, but as part of their fur-trading operations. Today, Moose Factory is Ontario's oldest continuous English-speaking settlement.
1759 - France loses its colony of New France (population 65,000) to England during the Battle on the Plains of Abraham.
From the early 1600s to 1759, the colonization of North America by both France and England populated what later became Canada. Spread over about 160 years, the colonization of the New World can be considered a major world event and the SECOND WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA.
"Colonial immigration laid the early foundation of Canada and multicultural immigrants built on top of it."
Source: Lindalee Tracey. A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada.
SECOND WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
French, English and Scottish
1775 - 1783
(American War of Independence)
1775-1783 - American Revolution (American War of Independence)
In 1775, thirteen British colonies along the Atlantic Coast revolted against English rule, won their independence and established a new republic, the United States of America. Britain formally recognized the United States through the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
After the war, 40,000 to 50,000 United Empire Loyalists—who were loyal to the British forces—fled the United States, the majority settling in the Maritime Provinces (then the British colonies) and the rest in what is now southern Quebec and Ontario. Included in this number were Black Loyalists who settled mainly on the east coast.
Also fleeing the United States were First Nations people from the Six Nations Confederacy. Led by their leader, Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, they had supported Britain during the American Revolution and after the war were given land in Upper Canada.
This influx of loyalists from the American Revolution is THIRD WAVE OF IMMIGRATION to Canada.
THIRD WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
United Empire Loyalists, Black Loyalists, and
Members of Six Nations Confederacy
1823 - 1846
Irish Economy Collapses While
1823-1846 - Irish Economy Collapses While Population Expanding
A severe depression in Ireland created a major wave of Irish immigrants to Canada beginning in 1823.
The majority of Irish who immigrated to British North America between 1823 -1845 were not motivated by poverty or hunger—they were from an economically secure commercial farming class who feared they would lose their financial status during Ireland's severe economic depression.
During the 22 years (1823-1845), an estimated 475,000 Irish landed in British North America and were the first Irish immigrants of the FOURTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION to Canada.
FOURTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
1846 - 1847
European Potato Failure Including the
Great Irish Potato Failure
1846-1847 - European Potato Failure Including the Great Irish Potato Failure
In 1846, a huge food crisis began with the potato blight in northern Europe, leaving millions dead. While Ireland and the Scottish Highlands were hardest hit (1 million dead), other countries also suffered huge losses, like Belgium with up to 50,000 dead and Prussia, 42,000.
For many starving Irish, their only hope for refuge from poverty, disease and hunger caused by the Potato Famine was to immigrate to Canada.
By the end of 1847 alone, 400 ships had sailed to Canada carrying 100,000 of Ireland's poorest of poor. This second group of Irish immigrants are Part Two of the FOURTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION to Canada.
FOURTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
California Gold Rush:
The First of North America's Major Gold Rushes.
1849 - California Gold Rush - The First of North America's Major Gold Rushes
(California, Klondike, Porcupine & Red Lake - The Four Major Gold Rushes)
While the gold rushes did bring waves of people to the U.S. and later the Yukon and Ontario, the majority did not stay around once the rush was over. However, during the rushes, communities had sprung up to support the gold seekers and mining operations. For example, the California Gold Rush brought over 80,000 people to California in 1849 and helped lay down the foundation for a mining industry in the United States. Similarly, settlements sprung up in previously isolated regions during the other great North American gold rushes which took place in Canada in the Yukon, the Klondike Gold Rush; and in Ontario, the Porcupine and Red Lake Gold Rushes.
It was a Wave of "Gold" Immigration, drawing people from around the world, though primarily Americans and the British.
FIFTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
People from all over the world,
especially Americans & British
Chinese Civil War (Taiping Rebellion)
1850-1865 - Chinese Civil War (Taiping Rebellion)
The Chinese Civil War was a widespread military conflict that left 20 million dead. Many young Chinese peasant men were desperate to leave the poverty and political unrest to find work elsewhere.
Although the first Chinese in Canada were 50 artisans arriving in 1788, the first wave of Chinese immigrants were "lured by gold" to the 1858 gold rush in the Fraser Valley, where they established Canada's first Chinese community, Barkerville. A few years later, the Chinese population in British Columbia had climbed to 6,000.
Down in America, by 1866 over 6,000 Chinese had been hired to work for $35 a month to build San Francisco's Central Railway. It was here that the Chinese gained their reputation of being the best railway workers. In 1880, when the Canadian Pacific Railway was looking to build the railway through the Rocky Mountains, the Chinese were sought to do the cheap dangerous work.
Between 1880-1885, over 15,000 Chinese men were brought to British Columbia to do the most dangerous and difficult work at $1 a day (whites got $1.50 to $2.50).
"It is said that one Chinese worker died for every mile of railroad."
Source: Pierre Berton. The Promised Land, p. 152.
After the railway was built, the Chinese had to find new jobs on their own. They worked in sawmills, canneries and became entrepreneurs setting up laundries and restaurants. Though hard-working and law-abiding, the Asians were resented by the generally "white" British population and discriminated against by the Canadian government. Read more about Chinese immigration and the Chinese Head Tax in 1885
SIXTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
American Civil War
1865 - American Civil War
Slavery had existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776. The American Civil War to abolish slavery was fought in the United States of America between 1861 and 1865. The war was between what are known as "the Confederacy" and "the Union". The Confederacy was made up of 11 southern states (where slavery was legal) who formed the Confederate States of America by declaring their secession from the United States. The Union was 25 northern states who supported the federal government and the newly elected United States President, Abraham Lincoln, to end slavery.
To avoid conscription into the army, Americans fled to Canada. Of the 776,000 men drafted into the Union army, many of the 161,000 who failed to report for duty slipped into Canada. They joined approximately 30,000 escaped slaves who had come to Canada via the Underground Railway in southern Ontario.
After four years of warfare, the Confederacy surrendered and slavery was outlawed everywhere in the nation by passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties.
SEVENTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
Americans including African-Americans
- Dominion of Canada is established.
- U.S. buys Alaska from Russia
1867 - Canada at Confederation
*The following information is from IMMIGRATION POLICIES & PROGRAMS: Recruiting, Restricting and Rejecting (Part One)
On July 1, 1867, the Dominion of Canada was created under the British North America Act (BNA) comprising of four provinces that had been British North American colonies: Ontario (formerly Upper Canada), Quebec (formerly Lower Canada), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The date of entry for Canada's other provinces and territories were:
July 15, 1870 Manitoba and Northwest Territories
July 20, 1871 British Columbia
July 1, 1873 Prince Edward Island
June 13, 1898 Yukon Territory
September 1, 1905 Alberta and Saskatchewan
March 31, 1949 Newfoundland (now called Newfoundland & Labrador)
April 1, 1999 Nunavut Territory
The District of Red Lake was located in Northwest Territories, then Manitoba before becoming part of Ontario in 1912.
At the time of Confederation in 1867, Canada was a much smaller country than it is now. The four provinces were all in the east, their boundaries stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to Ontario. The vast lands west from the Ontario border, past the Rocky Mountains to the British colony of British Columbia belonged to the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). Known as Rupert's Land, it covered 40 percent of present-day Canada, and most of Minnesota and North Dakota in the United States, and had been given to HBC under Royal Charter in 1670.
Under the charter, HBC was the law, controlling the land and the people. In this vast new territory, the company had absolute power to establish and enforce laws and to erect forts, as well as have its own soldiers, maintain a navy, and make peace—or war—with First Nations people. In effect, HBC could run its vast fur-trading empire any way it wanted.
Fur-trading has a long history in Red Lake, with posts set up both by HBC and its rival, the North West Company.
1896 – 1930
Political Chaos, Population Explosion,
Poverty in Central Europe & Lack of Land in United States
1896-1930 - Political Chaos, Population Explosion, Poverty in Central Europe & Lack of Land in United States
The Long Depression, which preceded the Great Depression of the 1930s, was a worldwide economic crisis which lasted from 1873 until 1896. Europe and the United States, which had been experiencing strong economic growth fuelled by the Second Industrial Revolution and the conclusion of the American Civil War, were hardest hit.
After the depression ended, Europeans were faced with a stagnant economy, poverty, political unrest and an overpopulated continent.
In Czarist Russia and Eastern Europe, there were programs and persecutions that forced out Jews (138,000 came to Canada), Mennonites and Doukhobors. For example, in 1896, the Czar ordered all Doukhobors to leave Russia; with the help of Leo Tolstoy, over 7,500 immigrated to Canada.
At the same time, Canada's economy was booming, with its agricultural products in great demand and its offer still open to give free land to homesteaders. Across the border in the United States, the supply of good free land in the American West coupled with an aggressive Canadian campaign to encourage settlement of western Canada lured American farmers to head north to claim free land in Canada.
Between 1900 and 1914 (the outbreak of the First World War), there were almost 3 million immigrants that came to Canada. Of those, 750,000 were immigrants from United States and 500,000 from continental Europe. In 1913, immigration reached a record level of 400,810 new arrivals.
"Every immigrant who arrived in the North West was entitled to choose 160 acres of public land on payment of $10 registered fee."
Source: Pierre Berton, The Promised Land. p. 20.
THE GREAT WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
Ukrainians & Polish from Austria-Hungary (Galicians)
Britain's Home Children (1839-1929)
Russia (Jewish, Doukhobors)
Red Lake Gold Rush
- The World's Last Real Gold Rush.
1926 - Red Lake Gold Rush
*The following information is from IMMIGRATION POLICIES & PROGRAMS: Recruiting, Restricting and Rejecting (Part Two)
While Canada was recruiting for new immigrants, things were happening in Red Lake that would set the foundations for a lasting community.
Gold was discovered on its shores in 1925 leading to the famous Red Lake Gold Rush which began in March 1926. Travelling by dog team, on foot, or in open-cockpit airplanes, thousands of people from Canada and around the world flocked to Red Lake to seek their fortune. Some newcomers had lived in Canada for some time, working on farms, factories, and railroads, while others came directly from overseas, without any knowledge of the area's climate or geography.
These pioneer men and women brought a diverse set of skills, languages, and traditions with them, but they quickly learnt they would have to set their differences aside and work together in order to get things done and build a town in which to live.
Red Lake Immigrants: Those who came to Red Lake during the gold rush or to specifically work in the mines during the 1920s.
William Arthur (Bert) Allen first arrived in Gold Pines in spring 1928 and soon found work at Jackson-Manion Mine. A year later, he came to Red Lake where he was hired by the Howey Mine as a hoistman. A highlight of his career was helping to pour the first gold brick.
Artur Carlson arrived in Red Lake in June 1929. After a few days in town, he went to Trout Bay at the west end of Red Lake where he began doing assessment work, such as hand-steeling and drilling, on mining claims. Artur later did various work at local mines, including shaft sinking, drifting underground, constructing headframes, and prospecting.
Matausas Deedas came to Red Lake in 1929 to try his luck in the gold mining district. His first employment was as a carpenter, then underground miner at the Howey Mine, where he remained for nearly 13 years. He later worked for 16 years at Campbell Red Lake Mines until his retirement in 1967.
Ignacy Kornell likely came to Red Lake in the late 1920s in wake of the gold rush. He lived near Pipestone Bay where he worked as a prospector, trapper, and mine caretaker. He was a legendary figure at the west end of Red Lake, an area he called home long after its mining and residential boom of the 1930s subsided.
Leo Kostynuk settled in Red Lake between 1925-26, around the same time the Howey Mine was beginning construction and before any community was established. He first worked in the mine’s sawmill, providing wood to construct the shaft and buildings on the property. His sons (Alex, Michael, William & Steve) all held various positions at local mines, and even established their own venture called The Kostynuk Brothers Mine in the 1960s.
Emil Palonpera was hired by the Howey Red Lake Gold Syndicate in the winter of 1925 and accepted the offer of a five month contract. While he did not stay in the area for long, he could not have come at a more exciting time in Red Lake’s history.
Red Lake Immigrants: Pioneer women and children.
Inga Dawson (nee Kelson) was only three months old in December 1930 when she and her mother, Kristine, made the voyage across the Atlantic from Denmark to Canada, and eventually to their new home in Red Lake. As Inga grew, so did the town, and together they celebrated many firsts.
Kristine Kelson was one of the Red Lake community's first non-Aboriginal women. The Kelsons were also Red Lake's first Danish family, and cheerfully withstood the rigors of living in a rough, developing frontier community.
Aune Palonpera made history when she came to Red Lake in October 1925 as she was the first non-Aboriginal woman to arrive in the community. She obtained a job as a cook for the Howey Mine camp, and was well-known for her generosity and culinary ingenuity.
The Great Global Depression Begins
1930 - The Great Global Depression Begins
*The following information is from IMMIGRATION POLICIES & PROGRAMS: Recruiting, Restricting and Rejecting (Part Two)
During the decade between 1921 to 1931, Canada welcomed 1,116,000 immigrants. However, immigration plunged with the onset of the Great Depression that began in 1930. During the 10 years between 1931 to 1941, only 140,000 immigrants were admitted to Canada.
Why did the immigration numbers drop so drastically? Due to the economic effects of the depression, the Canadian government basically closed the door to immigration.
In March 1931, under Order-in-Council 695, immigration was restricted to British subjects, American citizens and agriculturalists with economic means, or the wives and unmarried children of Canadian citizens.
According to Pier 21 statistics, the top 10 countries of origin for immigration to Canada between 1928-1939 were:
United States 157,096
Czechoslovakia& Slovakia 17,066
NINTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
British and Central Europe
Standard Rate for Gold Set by
1934 - Standard Rate for Gold Set by United States
Setting a fixed standard for gold sparked mineral exploration in Canada. While the world was in deep depression, the mining industry in Canada was opening new mines and looking for more workers.
At this time in Red Lake, the Howey Gold Mine was in full production, and much exploration was taking place in the surrounding area.
"While most of the world was suffering from the drought and poverty of the Great Depression during the 1930s, Red Lake was a thriving town, a beehive of activity...By 1932, Red Lake was already very prosperous. All along the west shore, it was known as 'International Row.' It was a melting pot of nations living side by side in log homes."
Source: John Richthammer, Jr., The End of the Road, p. 65
1945 - mid-1950s
End of Second World War, Global Disbursement of Displaced Persons &
1945 - mid-1950s - End of Second World War, Global Disbursement of Displaced Persons & War Refugees
Read about the Second World War & Displaced Persons Movement in Part Three of IMMIGRATION POLICIES & PROGRAMS: Recruiting, Restricting and Rejecting
1945-1952 - The Displaced Persons Movement
1946-1952 - Finding a Canadian Home for Displaced Persons
TENTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
Baltic Countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
1956-1957 - Hungarian Revolution
While the Second World War ended in 1945, another war started about two years later between the Western powers and the Soviet Union: the Cold War.
In 1956, when Hungary declared its freedom, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact countries invaded Hungary to stop its democratic ambitions and to ensure it remained under Soviet control.
In 1957, Canada established "Air Bridge to Canada" and in the opening month, over 200 chartered flights brought almost 17,600 Hungarian refugees to Canada. In less than a year, over 37,000 Hungarians had settled in Canada.
ELEVENTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
1968 - Czechoslovakia Invasion
On the night of August 20-21, 1968, the Soviet Union Red Army and the Warsaw Pact Countries invaded Czechoslovakia. An estimated 70,000 Czech initially fled; later it is estimated over 300,000 had fled their homeland.
Between August 20, 1968 and March 1, 1969, 10,975 Czechs arrived in Canada.
TWELFTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
Ugandan President Expels Ugandan Asians
1972 - Ugandan President Expels Ugandan Asians
All Asians residing in Uganda were expelled by the country's president, Idi Amin, with a deadline to leave November 8, 1972. Amin said that he had had a dream in which God told him to order the expulsion. The Ugandan government claimed that the Indians were hoarding wealth and goods to the detriment of indigenous Africans and "sabotaging" the Ugandan economy.
"We are determined to make the ordinary Ugandan master of his own destiny, and above all to see that he enjoys the wealth of his country. Our deliberate policy is to transfer the economic control of Uganda into the hands of Ugandans, for the first time in our country's history."
Source: Idi Amin, quoted in Uganda: a modern history.
At the request of Britain, Canada stepped in and by the end of 1973, more than7,000 Ugandan Asians had arrived (4,420 in specially chartered flights).
THIRTEENTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
1959-1975 - Vietnam War
During the Vietnam War, a large number of Americans came into Canada as "draft dodgers", with an estimated 30,000 to 140,000 Americans seeking refuge. Over 400,000 Americans ended up coming to Canada to take up residency.
After the Vietnam War, Canada accepted 60,000 refugees—Vietnamese, Laotians and Kapuchens—between 1979 and 1980.
FOURTEENTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION