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In this book, Dr. Cameron offers readers the first collection of materials about Canadian multiculturalism in one text. The Reader is a solid introduction to the history and development of the ideology of multiculturalism in Canada. This ideology, which has become the primary designator of Canadian society today, began in the early 1970s when vocal elements in the population who were neither English nor French responded strongly to the investigations of the Committee on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Given Canadas early racist tendencies, the establishment of multiculturalism was a remarkable shift in public thinking. Many issues focused on immigration have arisen in the public debates around multiculturalism. Some are convinced that it is a pernicious ideology that enforces the ghettoization of those different from the mainstream. Others see dangers in the way some aspects of multiculturalism are merely tokens of an all-inclusive society. For others, the voices of ethnicities other than those of the two charter groups English and French are scarcely heard; worse, those marginal voices are appropriated by mainstream writers. On the whole, however, Canadians especially younger Canadians welcome a liberal outlook that is inclusive of a wide variety of ethnicities. For them, and for many immigrants, Canada is a society that is multiple and layered, one rich in meaning. They tend to see in Canada a place which is a microcosm of the larger world, one that serves a useful model of tolerance for the world at large.
Increasingly, the marginal voices of new Canadians are not only being heard, they are excelling in the arts communities, telling all Canadians what various aspects of the culture shock of transplantation feels like. This book includes a representative sample of their works.