In 1914, Canada was a very British society with anti-Asian attitudes. Although Great Britain had declared that all people from India were officially British citizens and could live anywhere in the British Commonwealth, Canada refused to accept them. This racist policy was challenged by Gurdit Singh, a Sikh businessman, who chartered a ship, the Komagata Maru, and sailed to Vancouver with over 300 fellow Indians wishing to immigrate to Canada. They were turned back, tragically.
Over the years, the Canadian government gradually changed its immigration policies, first allowing entry to wives and children of Indian immigrants and later to many more immigrants from India. The Indo-Canadian community has grown throughout Canada, especially in British Columbia. Many in the community continue to celebrate their Indian heritage which enriches Canadian culture.
Publication Date: 20140509
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