Multiculturalism in Canada: A Slovak Perspective (1)

By Stolarik, M. Mark | Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Multiculturalism in Canada: A Slovak Perspective (1)


Stolarik, M. Mark, Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal


The Canadian federal government's multiculturalism policies have been controversial since their implementation. (2) I propose to show their impact on one of Canada's smaller ethnic groups, the Slovaks, principally in the Province of Ontario, where more than half reside. (3) Slovak individuals and communities in Canada have been avid supporters of the federal government's multiculturalism policies from their inception to the present, although funding for Slovak projects seems to have dried up after the year 2000.

In response to Quebec's "Quiet Revolution," when that province began to demand more home-rule, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson established the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in 1963. (4) The intent was clear--to define Canada as a bilingual (English and French) and bicultural (English and French) society. Alarmed Slovak leaders hastened to testify before the commission. Dr. Joseph Kirschbaum, one of the intellectual leaders of the Canadian Slovak community, even addressed the commission in French when it met in Toronto. (5) Kirschbaum and his colleagues from the Canadian Slovak League spoke in favour of bilingualism, but not of biculturalism, as did leaders of the Ukrainian, Polish, and other Eastern European communities. Instead, they stressed that Canada was a multicultural society. (6) After Book IV of the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission, which echoed this sentiment, was published, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau proclaimed in October of 1971 that henceforth the Government of Canada would promote a policy of bilingualism and multiculturalism. (7) Indeed, the government then appointed the first Minister of State for Multiculturalism in Canada, the Polish-Canadian Stanley Haidasz (1972-1974). Under his direction some of the sixteen recommendations from Book IV of the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission were initiated. (8)

The following recommendations were most relevant to Slovak communities: the teaching of languages and cultures other than English or French in public schools, high schools, and universities; the broadcasting of radio and television programmes in languages other than English and French; the production of films by the National Film Board of Canada on subjects and in languages other than English or French; the encouragement of federal, provincial, and municipal agencies to provide financial support for the above programmes; and the encouragement and financial support of the National Museum of Man (today's Canadian Museum of Civilization) to engage in collecting, researching, and displaying the cultural artifacts of all ethnic groups in Canada, not just those of the English and French. (9)

Generally speaking, Slovak communities benefited from Canada's multicultural policies. The National Library, the National Archives, and the National Museum of Man started to vigorously collect books, archives, and artifacts of all ethnic groups in Canada in the 1970s. Indeed, I was employed as a Historical Researcher by the Museum of Man in 1977-1978 and in this capacity travelled all across Canada conducting oral history interviews and collecting books, archives, and artifacts that documented the Slovak experience. Furthermore, I was given the resources to produce a film on Slovak Christmas customs in Canada. This is, I believe, the only film on a Slovak subject produced by the Museum of Man and distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. (10)

In the meantime, the federal government persuaded various provincial governments (but not Quebec) and municipalities to also fund multicultural programmes at their levels. For example, in Ontario the provincial government, through a large one-time grant from its WINTARIO lottery, enabled historian Robert F. Harney of the University of Toronto to establish the Multicultural History Society of Ontario in 1976. (11) Once these funds were exhausted, the province provided annual operating grants to the Society until 1996.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Multiculturalism in Canada: A Slovak Perspective (1)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.