When the first Indian immigrants
came to Canada at the turn of the century they faced many forms of
discrimination from Canadian society. In 1908 their immigration was
banned. The Labour Minister Mackenzie King claimed that, "The Hindu
is not suited to the climate of this country." In 1909 Indian Canadians
were denied the right to vote.
In more recent times
Canada's commitment to a policy of multiculturalism has allowed
ethnic groups to remain distinct and preserve their cultural identity
while living within Canadian society. Despite this national policy,
there are often questions raised about the pros and cons of assimilation
versus the "Canadian mosaic". What is the most harmonious balance
between the two?