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The Underground Railroad (Plain-Language Summary)

The Underground Railroad was a secret organization. It was made up of people who helped African Americans escape from slavery in the southern United States. The people in this organization set up a system of routes that escaped slaves could travel to find freedom in the northern United States and Canada. In the 1800s (the 19th century) between 30,000 and 40,000 escaped slaves traveled to British North America (Canada) through the Underground Railroad.

(This article is a plain-language summary of the Underground Railroad in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry on The Underground Railroad.)

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War of 1812

The War of 1812 (which lasted from 1812 to 1814) was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded several times by the Americans. The war was fought in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States. The peace treaty of Ghent (1814), which ended the war, largely returned the status quo. However, in Canada, the war contributed to a growing sense of national identity, including the idea that civilian soldiers were largely responsible for repelling the American invaders. In contrast, the First Nations allies of the British and Canadian cause suffered much because of the war; not only had they lost many warriors (including the great Tecumseh), they also lost any hope of halting American expansion in the west, and their contributions were quickly forgotten by their British and Canadian allies (see First Nations and Métis Peoples in the War of 1812).

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Ivan Head

Ivan Leigh Head, public servant (b at Calgary, Alta 28 July 1930). A law graduate of U of A, Head taught law there 1963-67 after stints in private practice and the Dept of External Affairs. In 1967 he served as a constitutional adviser to P.E.

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Sir Donald Mann

Sir Donald Mann, railway builder (b at Acton, Canada W 23 Mar 1853; d at Toronto 10 Nov 1934). Mann studied for the Methodist ministry but took up work in the lumber camps of Ontario and Michigan. In 1879 he was in charge of the barge that brought the first railway locomotive to Winnipeg.

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Patrick Alan Morrow

Patrick Alan Morrow, photographer, mountaineer (b at Invermere, BC 18 Oct 1952). His abilities as an adventure photographer led to a position on the 1982 Canadian MOUNT EVEREST EXPEDITION, and on October 7 of that year he became

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Alfred Schmitz Shadd

Alfred Schmitz Shadd, educator, physician, farmer, politician, pharmacist, editor, civic leader (born 1870 in Raleigh Township, Kent County, ON; died 1915 in Winnipeg, MB).

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Baffin Island Inuit

Baffin Island Inuit (also known as Nunatsiarmiut) are Indigenous peoples who live on Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic Archipelago and in the territory of Nunavut. According to the 2016 census, the total Inuit population in the Baffin region was 14,875.

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Barry Truax

Truax, Barry (Douglas). Composer, soundscape researcher, b Chatham, Ont, 10 May 1947; B SC (Queen's) 1969, M MUS (British Columbia) 1971.

Macleans

Bronfman Sells DuPont

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on April 17, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

Former film-maker Edgar Bronfman Jr. showed last week that he still has a flair for the dramatic. Investors and analysts were kept on the edge of their seats as the 39-year-old chief executive of Seagram Co. Ltd.

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Carol Huynh

Carol Huynh, wrestler, Olympic medallist (born 16 November 1980 in Hazelton, BC). Carol Huynh, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, is the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling. Her victory was also the first gold medal for Canada at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In 2012, Huynh won the bronze medal in her division at the London Olympics. A winner of 11 Canadian championships, she has also won gold at the Commonwealth and Pan-American Games, and has medalled at four world wrestling championships.

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Francophone

In Canada, the term francophone refers to someone whose first language is French: it is the one they use most often to speak, read, write and think, and the one they use most often at home. Being francophone can also simply mean being able to speak the language fluently.

According to the 2016 census, approximately 10.36 million Canadians, or 29.8 per cent of the population, declared being able to communicate in French. Of this number, 7.45 million reported that French was their mother tongue.

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Tagak Curley

Tagak Curley, Inuk politician, administrator (born in 1944 on Southampton Island, just north of Hudson Bay, Northwest Territories (now Nunavut). A strong advocate of Inuit concerns, Curley was a founding member and first president of what is now the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

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Thomas Dixon Byron Evans

Thomas Dixon Byron Evans, soldier (b at Hamilton, Ont 22 Mar 1860; d at Battle Creek, Mich 23 Aug 1908). The outstanding Canadian soldier of his generation, he joined the 43rd (Ottawa and Carleton) Rifles in 1880, and was

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Andrew Hill Clark

Andrew Hill Clark, historical geographer (b at Fairford, Man 29 Apr 1911; d at Madison, Wisc 21 May 1975). Son of a Baptist medical missionary, Clark was educated at McMaster and University of Toronto where he studied with geographer Griffith Taylor and economic historian Harold Innis.

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Sir Frederic Nicholls

Sir Frederic Nicholls, capitalist, business lobbyist (b in England 23 Nov 1856; d at Battle Creek, Mich 25 Oct 1921). Nicholls played a crucial role in promoting early manufacturing in Canada. Educated as an electrical engineer in Germany, he came to Canada in 1874.