From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History brings to life the untold story of Italian immigrants in Alberta from the 1880s to the present. It places them in the narrative of province building from work on railways, mines and other industries to breaking the land for agriculture. Oral history excerpts allow the men, women and children to speak for themselves. What emerges is an unquenchable desire to make good, and overcome intolerable working conditions and discrimination, which culminated with enemy alien designation and internment during the Second World War. The book also provides an exploration of the impact of Government of Canada’s multicultural policy on the process of assimilation for the post-war influx of immigrants. It offers a prototype of an immigrant community’s movement from marginalization to the mainstream.


Being named enemy aliens shamed Italian-Albertans. Many denied their ethnicity. They forgot their language and took on Anglo names. Adriana Davies counteracts that negativity with an opposing story of accomplishment and pride.

- Alberta Views

Davies crafts a detailed narrative about how an immigrant community impacted and was impacted by the formation of modern-day Alberta ... This book stands as an important memorial to all of those Italians who came to this country seeking better lives for themselves and their descendants.

- Prairie Fire

A comprehensive volume on Italian immigration to Alberta ... [tracing] the arc of Italian identity in the province, from early stereotyping and condescension, to the embrace of 1970s multiculturalism, to the uncertain future of evermore assimilated successive generations.

- Alberta History