A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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EPISODE 19: The Magnificent Abersons
Directed by Laurence Green


A privileged Dutch woman, Jane Aberson, settled in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1920s. She wrote letters home that were turned into "how to" columns for other Dutch immigrants coming to Canada.


  • Elusiveness of the immigrant dream
  • Strength in co-operation
  • Integration and assimilation of ethnic identity


  • Netherlands
  • Immigrant Dream/Immigration Myth
  • Immigrant Recruiting/Immigration Agent
  • Credit Union
  • War Effort


  • To understand how immigrant's experiences might be cause for disappointment or second thoughts
  • To be aware of the force of co-operation in creating valued and effective community organizations
  • To appreciate the experience of the immigrant in deciding to integrate or assimilate


  1. Discuss in class why the Abersons, coming from a background of privilege, would choose a pioneering life of hard work and adventure in Canada.

  2. Create an immigration poster (draw, paint, make a collage or use a computer) that would accurately tell potential immigrants from another country what living in Canada would be like today or in the past?

  3. Research the history of credit unions in Canada and write an essay detailing their existence from their time of origin to the present day.

  4. In the film, the Aberson's son says it really is the children that benefit from the immigrant experience. Write a short essay explaining the advantages and disadvantages of being a young immigrant, or being born to immigrant parents.

  5. Contact a co-operative, volunteer or charitable organization in your community that is set up to help immigrants adjust to their new environment. Interview a few people who provide the services as well as a few clients who use the services. Prepare a report for your class. Or invite a couple of the people you interview to visit your class and share their experiences in person.