A PLEASANT ROAD RUNS north from Winnipeg along the east bank of the Red River. It is edged with a long, straggling settlement, whose first houses were built of squared timber, low-set, whitewashed, with gay-coloured window trimmings. The occasional 'onion'-domed church set amid them could well have made a person imagine that he was in one of the neater country-sides of Russia. To-day, many of the logcabins have been down-graded to sheds and stables and in front of them new dwellings stand, new houses in the general North American model but with little marks of style about them that associate them with an immigrant racial1 group. For this is a Ukranian settlement in a Ukranian country-side. Formerly it was lightly peopled by the old Red River colonists, but they are almost gone now, and their survivors appear as strangers in the land of their birth.
The eastern bank of the Red River is typical of the prairies. The three provinces constitute a vast congeries of separate settlements put into the interstices of the original EnglishCanadian framework, scores of them with their own speech and their own way of life, united only by the lingua franca of the English language, by the traditional English institutions of self-government and law, and that powerful agency of community, the school. At the beginning of the century most of these prairie lands were empty, and now they are nearly all occupied. New peoples from the ends of the earth have poured out upon them, all dumped into the common mould of the prairie environment, and all slowly taking on common form from the mould. There, in brief, is the story of the largest migration movement in the history of this country of migrations; that movement which, beginning just before the turn of the century, rose to a peak in the very year in which the First World War broke out and slowly tapered off until we closed our doors in 1930; and which, the moment we opened them after the Second World War, began again and as this book is