Remembering integration: Salvadoran refugee resettlement in 1980s Manitoba

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Sickert, Sophie J.
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The civil war in El Salvador displaced millions of people between 1979 and 1992. Throughout this time, Canada maintained some of the most liberal refugee admittance laws in North America, granting asylum to over 80% of Salvadoran applicants. As a result, over 37,000 Salvadorans arrived in Canada over the course of the 1980s—many qualifying as government-assisted refugees. By 1996, there were 755 people with Salvadoran ancestry living in the Prairie province of Manitoba. Using a selection of six oral history interviews conducted by the Salvadoran Voices of Manitoba Project, this thesis explores what Salvadorans in Winnipeg remembered as the important circumstances of their initial integration with the retrospect of having lived over twenty-five years in Canada. It argues that Salvadorans actively used discussions of immigration challenges to prove that they had integrated into Canadian society by the time of their interviews.
Oral History, Immigration, El Salvador, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Refugees, Integration, History and Memory