Author Archives: Laura Madokoro

A Canadian Immigration Syllabus

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Two years ago, following the election of Donald Trump to office, historians specializing in the history of migration and ethnicity in the United States compiled the #ImmigrationSyllabus to serve as a resource and teaching tool for instructors, students and the general public. It was an inspired collaboration, one that showcased how historians can play an important role in disseminating knowledge… Read more »

The Burden of Precedent: Reflections on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution

By Laura Madokoro This month marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, which was violently suppressed by Soviet forces, leading to the flight of thousands of people to neighbouring countries, including war-weary Austria. It’s also been sixty years since countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia responded to both the Soviet violence and the migration of people… Read more »

X-Rays and the Discriminatory Science of Migration

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By Laura Madokoro The postwar era is often celebrated as a great time of liberalization in Canada, as far as immigration rules are concerned. What is often ignored is how hard people, including Chinese Canadians, fought to obtain equality of treatment, and how the federal government was incredibly reluctant to proceed with large-scale change until the 1960s. Indeed, under the… Read more »

On Migrants, Refugees and Language

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By Laura Madokoro Amidst the evolving coverage about the refugees from Syria, there has been a lot of discussion about what term best describes the people who are leaving their homes, taking to boats, and attempting to make their way to Europe. Editors at Al Jazeera sparked the discussion on 20 August 2015, when they announced that they would no… Read more »

History as Rhetoric: Indochina and Contemporary Refugee Crises

By Laura Madokoro Recently, and perhaps not surprisingly for a historian, I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between the present and the past. In particular, about the use of history by advocates seeking to draw attention to the current refugee crises in the Mediterranean and Andaman Seas. In the past few weeks, there has been considerable news… Read more »

Remembering Uganda

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Laura Madokoro with Mike Molloy (President, Canadian Immigration Historical Society) This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Ugandan Asian refugee resettlement movement to Canada. It is an event that not many people remember, or have even heard about. We believe it is something we should all know about – especially in the current climate when contentious debates over refugee policy are the stuff… Read more »

From Pretoria to Winnipeg? The Potential for Transnational Histories of Reconciliation

In 1999, Nelson Mandela declared “the day should not be far off, when we shall have a people’s shrine, a Freedom Park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom.” As you walk around the bustling streets of South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, you would never… Read more »

Bringing history into current immigration debates…one post at a time!

As I write, I am supposed to be hard at work on the last chapters of my doctoral thesis… The final throes are not an attractive sight to behold. And the situation is made worse by the recent rhetoric on refugees, illegal aliens and war criminals in Canada. As someone studying the history of 20th refugee policy, much of the… Read more »

Summertime in the City: Time for History in the City

A look at some national historic sites in Canada, how well (or unwell) the nation’s capital reflects these, and a call for broader participation in sites of heritage and memory.