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Queen Victoria

Victoria, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India (born 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace, London; died 22 January 1901 at Osborne House, Isle of Wight).

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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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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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Regina Seiden

Like other Montréal artists such as Prudence Heward, Regina Seiden specialized in portraits of women, including representations of immigrants to Canada. Seiden stopped painting soon after her marriage to German-Jewish painter Eric Goldberg (1890–1969) to dedicate herself to their relationship and Goldberg’s career. After Goldberg died, Seiden started to paint again but never regained the momentum of her early years. Despite her brief career, Regina Seiden is now recognized as an important Montréal artist of the early 20th century who studied alongside members of the Beaver Hall Group.

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Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye, military officer, farmer, fur trader, explorer (born at Trois-Rivières, Quebec 17 November 1685; died at Montreal 5 December 1749). The expeditions organized by La Vérendrye and spearheaded by his sons were the first to open the country from Lake Superior to the lower Saskatchewan River and the Missouri River to the French fur trade. La Vérendrye is often portrayed as emblematic of the French-Canadianvoyageur and of French Manitoba in particular.

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Os-Ke-Non-Ton

Os-Ke-Non-Ton (also written Oskenonton, meaning deer in the Mohawk language, also known as “Running Deer”), baritone, actor, spiritual leader (né Louie Deer c. 1888 in Caughnawaga [now Kahnawá:ke], QC; died c. 1955 in Lily Dale, NY). Os-Ke-Non-Ton was a celebrated singer and performer who showcased his culture across the globe. He also worked as a healer at a spiritual centre in Lily Dale until his death.

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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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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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Siksikáí’powahsin: Blackfoot Language

Siksikáí’powahsin (commonly referred to as the Blackfoot language) is an Algonquian language spoken by four Blackfoot nations: the Siksiká (Blackfoot), Aapátohsipikani (North Piikani), Aamsskáápipikani (South Piikani) and Kainai (Blood). While there are some dialectal differences between these groups, speakers can generally understand one another. Blackfoot is an endangered language; since the 1960s, the number of new speakers has significantly decreased. The development of language programs and resources in Canada and the United States seek to preserve the language and promote it to new speakers.

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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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James Barry

James Miranda Steuart Barry, FRS (probably born Margaret Anne Bulkley), military surgeon, physician (born c. 1789–99; died 25 July 1865 in London, England). Posted across the British Empire, Barry reformed medical standards in the British army. His final and highest-ranking position was as inspector-general of military hospitals in the Province of Canada in the 1850s. After his death, it was reported that Barry’s assigned sex at birth was female. This has sparked significant debate about his identity.

Note on pronouns: This article refers to James Barry with masculine pronouns, as this was how Barry referred to himself throughout his life.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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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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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.