A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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EPISODE 17: New Norway: The Immigrant Trail
Directed by Tom Radford

SYNOPSIS

Norwegians Anna and Sivert Westvick immigrated to Canada in 1912. They dreamed of building a new life on the Canadian prairie. Their legacy started with a general store in New Norway, and has continued through three generations of close-knit family heritage and community building.

KEY IDEAS

  • Adaptability
  • Ethnic identity
  • Overcoming adversity and hardship

KEY TERMS

  • Choral Music
  • Ethnic Identity
  • Dirty Thirties/Depression
  • New Norway

OBJECTIVES

  • To understand the value of adaptability and determination in being an immigrant settler
  • To become aware of immigrant groups' struggle to maintain their identity
  • To understand the hardships faced by new immigrant settlers during the Depression


STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  1. On a map of Alberta, locate New Norway and identify any other places in that area that you think might be associated by name with the Norwegians.

  2. Observe the city, township, street, school, or place names where you live. Make a map with inserted images and text revealing the heritage (date, namesake and historical significance) of these places, buildings and landmarks.

  3. Research how the Depression hit harder in western Canada than central Canada. How are the two region's economies distinctive from one another even to this day? Using a map of Canada draw in icons representing what drives the economy, and what threatens it, in each province.

  4. Consider why music played such an important role in the Westvick family. Consult with your music teacher and select three songs that were written to unite or tell the story of an ethnic group. Study the lyrics and write a short history explaining each song.

  5. Talk to your parents, grandparents or relatives about your family heritage. Try to trace any traditions or family folklore that have been passed down through the years. Write a story or prepare a demonstration or sample for the class.