"We've Lost Them Through Assimilation": Ukrainian and Doukhobor Integration in Saskatchewan, 1946-1971
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Overt calls for Anglo-conformity appeared to end in English Canada after the conclusion of the Second World War as Canadian governments reviewed former policies that were exclusionary against ethnic minorities. Rather than calling for Anglo-conformity, or assimilation, Canada’s federal government began advocating for the integration of ethnic groups, which no longer pressured individuals who were not of British descent to immediately discard their cultural values and traditions to join mainstream society. In the early postwar period, the province of Saskatchewan became one of Canada’s earliest supporters of integration. Using Ukrainians’ and Doukhobors’ lived experiences in private and public spaces in Saskatchewan between 1946 and 1971, I argue that Canada’s postwar integration policy was a continuation of its former assimilation model. During this time, Ukrainians and Doukhobors continued to experience cultural and linguistic conformity pressure as well as ethnic prejudice as they moved into public schools, universities, and workplaces. While Ukrainians and Doukhobors continued to encounter intensive cultural and linguistic assimilation pressure in Saskatchewan’s public spaces during the postwar period, their communities were not evenly affected. As this thesis demonstrates, Ukrainians were better positioned to limit the forces of cultural assimilation than the Doukhobors because of their larger population, because of their ability to assert that the preservation of their culture aligned with good Canadian citizenship, and because they offered identity-strengthening activities that did not require participants to be fluent in the Ukrainian language.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorAndrosoff , Dr. Ashleigh
CommitteeWatson, Dr. Andrew; Khanenko-Friesen, Dr. Natalia; Anderson, Dr. Alan
Copyright DateOctober 2020