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#MyCanada - Andrew

 

“A branch of my family arrived here in the 18th century as part of the Loyalists resettlement following the American Revolution, while others migrated over from Europe. Everyone came here from somewhere else, in some manner, and in that respect, my story is not necessarily unique.

My family settled along the Northwest Miramichi River, in northeastern New Brunswick. Parts of five or more generations of my family on both sides lived and died along about 20 kilometers of the river and its tributaries. I grew up in Ottawa, but I would visit frequently, and the region was full of places that had significance to my family. I remember the old barns, family houses, and even visiting cemeteries with family members dating back generations on the headstones. As a kid, I didn’t think it was all that special or different from the experiences that others had.



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#MyCanada - Roxana

 

“As a child, I never really questioned my Canadian identity. We didn’t speak English at home and we mainly ate Iranian food. My parents weren’t familiar with many of the mainstream cultural references that others took for granted — like the music we listened to — but that didn’t matter that the time. It wasn’t until I was in university that I began to consider my position in this country.



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Our Vision

Canada is for everyone. Our identity is not tied to a particular race or ethnicity. There’s no common Canadian experience. Rather, Canadian identity is malleable; it can accommodate people from all backgrounds and lived experiences. This is because Canadian identity is built around a set of aspirations, rather than a collection of physical or cultural features.

 


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#MyCanada - Ishmael

 

“My family moved to Canada when I was 8 years old. We were refugees, fleeing the violence and political instability that gripped Afghanistan at the time. After spending a bit of time in the Toronto area we eventually settled in Saskatoon.


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#MyCanada - Belinda

 

“I was born in the Philippines. When I was 5 years old, I moved to Nigeria, where my dad was working as a doctor. Nigeria was a very diverse country, with many different cultures. We also spent one year in Chicago. Our parents spoke to me and my siblings in English so we could communicate wherever we went.

I moved back to the Philippines after 10 years to go to university, but by then I had lost the language and no longer felt like I belonged in my own country. Even though it was my home, I was treated differently.


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#MyCanada - Faiz


(English version of this profile is at the end of the post)

 

Je suis né à Karachi, au Pakistan et je suis arrivé au Canada avec ma famille à l’âge de 9 ans. Mon père voulait qu’on ait de meilleures opportunités au Canada, et nous avons donc déménagé à Vancouver…Toutefois, pendant mon adolescence, nous sommes retournés au Pakistan et c’est à ce moment-là que j’ai réalisé à quel point le Canada est spécial. Le pays m’a transformé profondément – et particulièrement mes valeurs. L’ouverture aux autres et la diversité d’idées que l’on retrouve au Canada étaient rares au Pakistan et ailleurs, ce qui m’a amené à développer une immense fierté envers le Canada."


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#MyCanada - Muna

(Photo courtesy of @cindeelah)

 

“Both my parents were born in Lebanon as Palestinian refugees. Despite being born and growing up there, knowing the language, acquiring a higher education degree, and having a skilled job, my Dad was never permitted to become an equal member of society. He would always remain a refugee. But, he found the opposite in Canada, a country that provided him with citizenship, privileges and opportunities that he never thought possible.


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#MyCanada - Krisha

“My great-grandfather came to Canada in 1906 to work in the lumber mills of British Columbia. He was among the first generation of South Asian migrants to Canada. But, discriminatory migration policies at the time prevented him from bringing his family with him, so my grandmother and their children remained in India. When he was old and could no longer work in the mills, he returned to India.


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#MyCanada - Ian

 

“My family hometown is Sackville, New Brunswick. My mother’s family has lived there for more than 150 years. Indeed, part of the original land grant remains in family hands. My father was an immigrant, moving here from Britain at the age of 16, shortly after the Second World War. Although he spoke the language, he was bullied unmercifully for his accent, and worked assiduously to lose it, so he would “sound Canadian.” 


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#MyCanada - Kat

 

“My mother’s family is from Odessa, Ukraine, with my great-grandparents and grandparents immigrating to Canada around World War I, fleeing the violence and persecution that existed in Eastern Europe. My dad’s mother is Haudenosaunee from Akwesasne, which is part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. His father, as far as I know, was from an American family of British origin that lived in Chicago then moved to Blackfalds, Alberta.


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