Saskatchewan Gen Web Project - SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE by JOHN HAWKES Vol 1I 1924

SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE
1924



         

The Peopling of Saskatchewan.

THE EUROPEAN IMMIGRANT. (con't)

absence of section men; important buildings could not have been erected
because men were not forthcoming who were willing to do heavy excavat-
ing work; and in a dozen other ways it might be shown how progress
would have been crippled but for the hard-working European peasant-
farmer and laborer. But a small proportion who took up land had any
capital to speak of except their willing hands, and these had to leave their
homesteads and families, and go out to work for wages.  Their wives
carried on in their absence on these wage-earning expeditions; and as the
women were strong and accustomed to labor the "carrying on" in most
cases went on very successfully while the men were away.

The mature immigrant may, from the point of view of really intelli- gent Canadian citizenship be given up as practically hopeless, although his economic value to the country has been, and is today simply incalcul- able. If his children, however, and his children's children, were to follow in his footsteps and become unintelligent and uninterested citizens, the future would be dark indeed; but the salvation of the situation is with the second and succeeding generations. The Ruthenian, the Russian, the Hungarian, the Bohemian, the Serbian, the Roumanian child needs no coaxing to become Canadianized. They only need the opportunity which is afforded by contact with Canadian civilization in order to blossom out as enthusiastic Canadians. To them Russia or Roumania, Sweden or Germany is but a name. What they see of their progenitors, with whom they make comparisons with Canadians drives them away from the sheep- skin coat, the cloth upon the head, the rough footgear, and the hard labor unillumined by social graces. Thousands of the girls have become domes- tic servants, dining room girls and the like; and it takes thembut a mar- vellously short time to get to the picture-hat and silk-stocking stage. Ask any child born of foreign parents in this country what his or her national- ity is, and the answer will be not "German," or "Roumanian" or "Russian" but "Canadian."

This cannot be illustrated better than by a reference to the Boy Scout movement, of which many foreign bred boys are enthusiastic members. Mr. G. Johnston, the Secretary for Saskatchewan, tells the writer that as a procession was to be organised he suggested that the foreign born groups should each carry at their head the flag of their country of origin. The Serbian boys, for instance would be headed by the Serbian flag, and so on. But, said Mr. Johnston, "Nothing doing. With one voice those boys said that they would carry the Canadian flag or no flag at all." This fact, small perhaps in itself, speaks volumes for the spirit that animates these boys whose immediate progenitors have in many cases, although by no means in all, been far behind us in civilization. That this latter fact is beyond dispute is well-known to those who have had dealings with them on their arrival from Europe. They have been known to prostrate them- selves before uniformed immigration officials at the port of landing.

A story told by Mr. Thomas McNutt, ex-M. P. for Saltcoats, will em- phasise this point to the full. To our British idea it is almost incredible Bibliography follows:



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THE STORY
OF
SASKATCHEWAN
AND ITS PEOPLE



By JOHN HAWKES
Legislative Librarian



Volume II
Illustrated



CHICAGO - REGINA
THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1924



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