in Alberta are immigrants in a different sense. Americans are one of the
oldest groups to come to Canada and are also one of the
first groups to immigrate to Alberta. The proximity of the United
States to Canada and similarities in culture and language
fostered migration between the two countries. However, not all Americans
have found immigration to Canada easy.
During the 1890s and early 1900s, Canada emphasized the
desirability of skilled property owners, while discouraging
others, such as American
Blacks and the urban poor.
Prior to World War I, most American immigrants worked in
and arrived seeking homesteads in Alberta at that time. American
immigrants were largely dry land farmers from the United States
settlement in arid southern Alberta was to the benefit of the
province. By the end of
the Second World War, however, there was a decline in the
immigration of farmers, due to the successive droughts that
the land through the 1930s.
During the 1940s and 1950s, another group of American
immigrants came to Alberta. Although they
were fewer in number than other immigrant groups, they made
significant contributions to the boom in the oil and gas
industry. These American immigrants helped to build the
oil and gas companies through the 20th century which still flourish in Alberta today. After
World War II, during the early 1960s, the majority of Americans
who came to Canada were professionals and skilled workers.
Another significant group of American immigrants arrived in the
years between 1965 and 1975. Canada was experiencing a shortage of
professors to staff university faculties. Many American immigrants came to Canada to take up these
positions. Although some
eventually moved back to the United States, there were also many
that chose to stay.
Second World War, American immigrants have been notable in the
amount of wealth they have brought to Canada. Generally, Americans
immigrating to Canada arrive with social
and economic means greater than many other immigrant groups.
They are able to adjust to Canada with the money
and skills they bring with them. More than any other group, Americans spread throughout Canada rather than
congregating in any central location or larger urban area.
Like Canada, America is pluralistic with many different
groups coming from many different social and economic backgrounds.
The diversity of American society makes it difficult to generalize
about trends in immigration. Some cultural groups, like Black
Americans and some of the economically disadvantaged groups will
have a more difficult time in facing obstacles such as
discrimination and lack of economic opportunity.
This digital collection was
produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital
Collections initiative, Industry Canada.