CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Ganzevoort, Herman.

Toronto. McClelland and Stewart, 1988. 133pp. paper, $17.95. ISBN 0-7710-3272-2. (Generations series). CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Cornelia Fuykschot

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

Towards the end of the nineteenth century when the American prairies offered no more cheap land and the Canadian west lay wide open, Dutch farmers began for the first time to consider moving to Canada. There were still many obstacles in their way; the Netherlands government was not interested, the Canadian government was against group settlement, agents were out for their own profit and the CPR was not much better.

In 1893 a group of 103 Dutchmen arrived in Winnipeg, ready to tackle the new promised land. They found the winter long. In spite of hardships, more kept coming, and by 1900 there were Dutch vegetable pedlars in the streets of Winnipeg. Sifton in Canada sounded a loud welcome to farmers, but France and Germany had restricted emigration. The thought of so much land became a great attraction to the Dutch farmer's son, for whom there was no more land. However, the new land proved lonely, and the language barrier made participation in Canadian life difficult.

The author weighs the losses of immigration—the hard work, the struggle for material gain, the loss of language and heritage, the increased generation gap. the absence of the larger family-all this against the gains—hoped for and often achieved material betterment. In so doing he holds up a mirror to the Dutch and provides a showcase to the interested reader.

The "Generations" series has added another valuable volume to it’s many earlier editions. It should not be missing on any multiculturalism shelf.

Cornelia Fuykschot, Gananoque, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works