A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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EPISODE 21: Saga of Hope
Directed by Juliann Blackmore


A descendant traces two Icelandic families as their fortunes are made and broken in rural Manitoba at the turn of the century.


  • Founding the colony of New Iceland
  • Disappointment and consequences of broken dreams
  • Preservation of ancestral and cultural heritage


  • New Iceland
  • Self-Governing
  • Ancestry
  • Homestead
  • Literacy


  • To learn how the Icelanders came to settle in Canada
  • To appreciate the precariousness of immigrant settlement
  • To understand how ancestral and cultural heritage are preserved


  1. Draw a family tree to trace your ancestry as far back as possible. Piece together information about long-lost or distant ancestors by talking to living relatives. Try to extend the family tree beyond its current branches by doing a genealogical search on the Internet or through an archives located in your family’s place of origin.

  2. Write a personal essay/story/saga about your family’s history. Interviewing the elder members of your family would be a good place to start in gathering good stories and important details.

  3. Visit your school or local library and find a novel/movie about ethnic identity and ancestral heritage to read/view together as a class. Roots, by Arthur Haley is one suggestion.

  4. Locate and visit the focal-point of a cultural community—something similar to the Tergesen store or a more formal organization or association—where you live. Find out what role it plays in preserving ethnic heritage.

  5. Have a class show-and-tell where each class member brings in a family heirloom (book, bible, photograph, or any personal object) that has been passed down over generations.