Kira Turner


Intent on preserving their deep-seated beliefs and values, the most conservative of the Russian Mennonites (Old Colony) made their way to Western Canada with promises of religious freedom, exemption from military service, the right to maintain their distinctive Low German language, and the right to educate their children within their own schools. However, in the early 1900s, Canada was changing and developing its own cultural and nationalistic identity. Under threat of compulsory attendance at public schools, and drawing from past experiences of governments retracting special dispensations afforded to the Mennonite population, Old Colony religious leaders, fearing what was to come, began searching for a new home, one that would allow them to maintain their unique culture separate from nationalistic boundaries. [First paragraph]



Included in

History Commons