Table of contents

Introduction / Ch 1. Changing Ethnic Profiles: Ukrainians, Japanese and Scots / Ch 2. The Consolidation of Ethnic Boundaries and the Rise of the Mosaic / Ch 3. Increasing Tensions and the Wartime Mosaic / Ch 4. For Democratic and Multicultural Citizenship / Ch 5. The Canadianization and Ethnicization of Myths, Collective Memories, and Symbols / Ch 6. Ethnic Movements and the Road to Multiculturalism / Conclusion, Notes, Bibliography


Ethnic elites, the influential business owners, teachers, and newspaper editors within distinct ethnic communities, play an important role as self-appointed mediators between their communities and “mainstream” societies. In Ethnic Elites and Canadian Identity, Aya Fujiwara examines the roles of Japanese, Ukrainian, and Scottish elites during the transition of Canadian identity from Anglo-conformity to ethnic pluralism. By comparing the strategies and discourses used by each community, including rhetoric, myths, collective memories, and symbols, she reveals how prewar community leaders were driving forces in the development of multiculturalism policy. In doing so, she challenges the widely held notion that multiculturalism was a product of the 1960s formulated and promoted by “mainstream” Canadians and places the emergence of Canadian multiculturalism within a transnational context.


“This volume will interest those readers who wish to understand the negotiations that persisted between ethnic and mainstream elites and led to an identity shift in English Canada in the 1960s. ”

- John Zucchi

“This thoughtful, well-researched book offers an excellent entry into the subject of ethnicity and the politics of cultural identity in Canada. For any historian trying to grapple with these issues, Fujiwara provides a very stimulating read. ”

- Lisa Chilton, University of Prince Edward Island