Canada Minorities

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

It is important to learn the history of the ethnic, racial, and religious groups your ancestors belonged to. You might, for example, study a history of the Acadian French in the Maritime Provinces or the Germans from Russia in Saskatchewan. This historical background can help you identify where your ancestors lived and when they lived there, where they migrated, the types of records they might be listed in, and other helpful family history information.

Canadian ethnic groups are broadly divided among:

  • indeginous aboriginal peoples (including Indians, Inuit (Eskimos), or Métis (mixed blood))--see Canada First Nations.
  • colonizers (the French and the British).
  • later immigrant nationalities or minority groups.

There are unique records for most minorities in Canada, including histories, newspapers, and periodicals. Many newspapers and magazines were published in languages other than English or French, but only a few still survive. They are listed in:

  • Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Canadian Almanac and Directory Publishing Co., annual. (Family History Library book 971 E4ca 2.)
  • Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Southam Inc., annual. (Family History Library book 971 B5c.) Editions before 1998 were called:
  • Corpus Almanac & Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Corpus Information Services, annual. (Family History Library book 971 B5c.)

Some ethnic groups also have their own religious organizations, such as the Ukrainian Orthodox and Romanian Orthodox churches. Contact appropriate ethnic organizations for further information.

Various local and national societies have been organized to gather, preserve, and share the cultural contributions and histories of many groups. One example is:

Societies and Associations[edit | edit source]

Canadian Ethnic Studies Association
c/o The Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies
St. Andrews College, The University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

Similar associations are listed in

  • Associations Canada: An Encyclopedic Directory. Toronto: Canadian Almanac and Directory Publishing Co., annual. (FHL book 971 C44a.)

Records of many ethnic groups and minorities are in the Ethnic Archives, Manuscript Division, National Archives of Canada. They are publishing a series of "ethnocultural guides" to their collections, including:

  • Tapper, Lawrence F. Archival Sources for the Study of Canadian Jewry. 2d ed. Ottawa: National Archives of Canada, 1987. (Family History Library book 971 F23n.)

Canadian museums and archives with information on individual groups are listed in:

  • The Official Directory of Canadian Museums and Related Institutions, 1987–1988. Ottawa: Canadian Museums Association, 1987. (Family History Library book 971 J54dc.)
  • Directory of Canadian Archives. 5th ed. Ottawa: Association of Canadian Archivists, 1990. (Family History Library book 971 J54d 1990.)

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library collects records of ethnic groups and minorities, especially published histories. See the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:

Canada - Colonization
Canada - Minorities
[Province] - Minorities

See the FamilySearch Catalog’s Subjects search under the name of the minority, such as Acadians, Blacks, Afro-Americans, Jews, Loyalists, or United Empire Loyalists, Quakers, or Ukranians.

For more information about ethnic groups, See Canada Emigration and Immigration. For information about American Indians, see Canada First Nations.