The idea of Canada being a “multicultural” society has arguably been around since the country’s early origins, despite varying understanding of the term itself. Notably, George-Étienne Cartier, who was a Father of Confederation, conceptualized Canada “as a political nation, encompassing different cultural nations” (Davis 68). Cartier’s ability to see politics as a framework that incorporated multiple cultural nations under the assumption that they would be working together for a greater common good speaks volumes about what the Fathers of Confederation had envisioned for Canada. His initial understanding of multiculturalism in the 1860s outlines keys values which if maintained would have positively influenced the further development of Canadian public policy. Year’s later, between World War I and World War II, novelist and folklorist J. Murray Gibbon used the term “mosaic” to best describe the concentration of the Canada population. The word suggests that people are greater when brought together; given that, various ethic groups have distinctive qualities that can be both learned a...
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...t. Issues of race, ethnicity, gender and economy dictated the early immigration policy is an important historical indicator of who the government thought belonged in the nation and on what terms. There is no way to see the restriction on immigration and aboriginal assimilation in a positive light in the twenty-first century. Both were based on historical assumptions, which ignited the hierarchical process that was put in place to ‘deal’ with that the government thought were major issues at the time. A shift towards multiculturalism began to value everyone for what they could bring to the table. It also allowed Canadians to establish national as well as cultural identities that reflected the new policies put in place by the government. Multiculturalism today continues to support a dynamic that is unique to Canada, one that virtually all Canadians have come to value.
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