Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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305 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
March 2008
Print ISBN: 9781551303406


This outstanding collection examines the complex and disturbing history of immigration and racism in Canada. Major themes include Native/non-Native contact, migration and settlement in the nineteenth century, immigrant workers and radicalism, human rights, internment during WWII, and racism of the present day.

The readings are divided into five cohesive sections:

  • Natives and Newcomers in Early Canada
  • Space and Racialized Communities
  • Dangerous Others—Non-Citizens and the State
  • Gate-keeping—Enemies Without and Within
  • The Post-War Era—New Rights and New Racisms

This book is destined to make its mark in History departments across the country and will also be of interest to students and researchers in Canadian Studies, Sociology, Demography, Political Science, and Geography.

Related Titles

Table of Contents

PART I: Natives and Newcomers in Early "Canada"
Chapter 1: Canada When Europeans Arrived — Olive Patricia Dickinson
Chapter 2: Slavery, the Loyalists, and English Canada, 1760–1801 — Robin W. Winks
Chapter 3: Americans in Upper Canada, 1791–1812: "Late Loyalists" or Early Immigrants — Peter Marshall
Chapter 4: Land and Settlement in Nova Scotia — James St. G. Walker

PART II: Space and Racialized Communities
Chapter 5: "We had no desire to be set apart": Forced Segregation of Black Students in Canada West Public Schools and Myths of British Egalitarianism — Kristin McLaren
Chapter 6: The Colonial Sojourners, 1858–1871 — Patricia E. Roy
Chapter 7: Creating Outsiders, 1875–1903 — Kay J. Anderson

PART III: Dangerous Others: Non-Citizens and the State
Chapter 8: Two Acres and a Cow: "Peasant" Farming for the Indians of the Northwest, 1889–97 — Sarah A. Carter
Chapter 9: European Immigrant Workers and Labour Protest in Peace and War, 1896–1919 — Donald Avery
Chapter 10: "Mixing with People on Spadina": The Tense Relations between Non-Jewish Workers and Jewish Workers — Ruth A. Frager
Chapter 11: Proletarian Ideology — Carmela Patrias

PART IV: Gate-keeping: Enemies Without and Within
Chapter 12: Racial Purity, Sexual Purity, and Immigration Policy — Mariana Valverde
Chapter 13: Stemming the Flood of Defective Aliens — Angus McLaren
Chapter 14: Evacuation — Peter W. Ward
Chapter 15: The Evacuation of the Japanese Canadians, 1942: A Realist Critique of the Received Version — J.L. Granatstein and Gregory A. Johnson

PART V: The Post-War Era: New Rights and New Racisms
Chapter 16: "We weren't allowed to go into factory work until Hitler started the war": The 1920s to the 1940s — Dionne Brand
Chapter 17: From Contadina to Woman Worker — Franca Iacovetta
Chapter 18: Marginalized and Dissident Non-Citizens: Foreign Domestic Workers — Daiva K. Stasiulis and Abigail B. Bakan
Chapter 19: The Economic Exclusion of Racialized Communities—A Statistical Profile — Grace-Edward Galabuzi

Barrington Walker

Barrington Walker is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Queen's University. His research interests are Black Canadian history and the histories of race and immigration in Canada.


This book is the first of its kind to provide an in-depth examination of the history of racism and ethnic relations in Canada. Canadians, by and large, have held the view that racism and intolerance have not played such a central and dramatic role in our history. Walker's anthology offers an important corrective to that view, and it should become a valuable and widely used resource for those studying the history of racism and ethnic relations in Canada.

The strength of this collection lies in its bringing together a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives on the history of immigration and racism. In addition, there is a good mix of established and new scholarship.

Ranging widely through time, place, and theme, the essays in this collection effectively meet the need for the kind of incisive, careful scholarship that will inform our understanding of Canadian history, collective identity, and ultimately, national destiny.

This collection promises to be a useful source for courses on the history of immigration, ethnicity, and race in Canada and more generally for readers interested in these topics.

Covering racism against Aboriginal people, African-Canadians, and Asian-Canadians, this book provides an excellent resource for faculty and students. The well-chosen articles include classics, as well as groundbreaking new research.

I am delighted to have [this material] brought together in a single volume. This volume offers an exciting and compelling collection on a topic of great importance.

"I am delighted to have [this material] brought together in a single volume. This volume offers an exciting and compelling collection on a topic of great importance."
—  Jordan Stanger-Ross, University of Victoria

Instructor Resources

Adopt The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada and receive critical thinking questions for each section of the text.

Student Resources

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