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



The Peopling of Saskatchewan.


that such things could be among white people. Mr. McNutt tells, on an-
other page, how he was requested to settle a number of Bukovinians. They
arrived in Saltcoats, in charge of a man whom Mr. McNutt describes as a
"dandified Jew," a little runt of a man whom a stout boy could handle,
and who had been sent up from Winnipeg in charge as interpreter. This
man was armed with a whip, and big burly men meekly took chastisement
from his whip as he ordered them around. Mr. McNutt cautioned him
against this conduct, but he repeated the offence, and was again cautioned.
He said it was the "only way to manage them and they were used to it."
Presently Mr. McNutt saw him applying the lash to the women where-
upon he kicked him off the station platform, and wired the immigration
authorities at Winnipeg that unless their interpreter was instantly re-
called he would wash his hands of the whole business. The recall came and
the fellow with the whip left for Winnipeg by the next train and was no
more seen. Mr. McNutt states that he had serious doubts about these
people having the timber to make even decent settlers, but this happened
a good many years ago, and time has shown them making good, useful,
law-abiding settlers who have cleaned up and made productive a some-
what undesirable stretch of country, which an Englishman or Canadian
would not look at.

It is now nearly forty years since European immigration commenced to roll in upon the prairies. The children these original settlers brought with them are now middle-aged men and women, and in the majority of cases cannot be told by their speech, behaviour and manner of living from people of British descent. A fact of the first importance is that the natural intelligence of these children is very high. It is a good many years ago since a school inspector, a Protestant, gave the most favorable report in this respect upon St. Mary's School, of all the schools in Regina. The scholars of St. Mary's are foreign and Catholic. The experience of the writer is that teachers speak very highly of the natural intelligence of the children of foreign extraction.

The hiving of European immigrants in colonies was in the first in- stance a necessary evil. It is by no means an easy task for an English speaking man, who has had the advantage of British training and British freedom, to go into a new country and turn a piece of bald-headed or scrub- covered prairie into a comfortable home and a profitable farm; and to expect a peasant from Poland or Roumania to perform this feat single- handed, among people with whom he can only communicate by signs is almost to expect the impossible. In the first instance they had to be settled in colonies so that they could help each other and be helped. The people from Central Europe in many instances lived in villages with their farms all around them. These original villages have disappeared; the people are now on their farms like their British and Canadian fellows; and there has been a great deal of inter-marrying between them and the Eng- lish speaking folk. The foreign settler has been here long enough to leave no doubt in the minds of those who know him well that he is an asset and not an incubus. Bibliography follows:

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