It would be incorrect to assume that the demographic basis of racial diversity alone was sufficient to promote an emphasis of the multiculturalism policy towards greater social equality. It must be remembered that the federal government in the early 1980s was very much concerned with the patriation of the constitution from the United Kingdom, and in the process, was trying to seek an agreement from provinces and lobbying groups to enshrine a charter of rights and freedoms in the constitution. The success of constitutional patriation needed, among other things, a public awareness and support of social values pertaining to equality, justice and freedom. Thus, the policy emphasis of the federal government of the 1980s on greater social equality was consistent with the political priority of constitutional patriation. Undoubtedly, public discussions of the Charter and its eventual entrenchment in the Constitution also instilled a greater awareness among the Canadian public towards social equality. However, the failure of the Meech Lake Accord in 1990 and the subsequent rejection of the Charlottetown Accord shook the public confidence in the government, and along with it, weakened the public support of the multiculturalism policy. Political concerns of the constitutional patriation, together with the emergence of the visible minority as a demographic reality, would account for the greater emphasis of the multiculturalism policy towards promoting equality and eradicating racism in the 1980s, and subsequent political developments of constitutional amendments and waning public support of the government would provide a rationale as to why there was an apparent retrenchment of the multiculturalism policy in the 1990s.
(an essay by Kathleen Hoyos) Abstract: After the Second World War ended, Canada was no longer mainly composed of its two dominant ethnocultural groups, French and English, but rather constituted by polyethnicity; meaning, Canadian culture was made up of many different ethnic groups.
In Canada, the first major challenge to the melting pot framework came in 1938, with the publication of Canadian Mosaic: The Making of a Northern Nation by , which argued that Canada stood to benefit from the cultural diversity of its various ethnic groups. Gibbon’s metaphor of the cultural mosaic was elaborated in 1965, when sociologist published his book Vertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada, which criticized the class privilege enjoyed by people of British descent and the marginalization of other ethnic groups. (See also .)
Admitting your own prejudices can be difficult. When you have grown up surrounded by racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., you cannot escape it. Try to understand the roots of your biases. It is what we do with that knowledge and those feelings that are the keys to being a very effective in a global diverse community. Being multiculturally competent is a process not a destination.
International students told a forum on diversity that the biggest cultural challenges they encounter include Canadians’ individualism and direct attitude.
This policy has been established to manage cultural diversity which helps people to have deeper understanding of different cultures, races and religions in order to generate better interaction among different races in Canada and the US.
The federal government of Prime Minister declared its commitment to the principle of multiculturalism in 1971 and in so doing formalized a policy to protect and promote diversity, recognize the rights of Aboriginal peoples, and support the use of Canada’s two official languages. This led to the establishment in 1973 of the Ministry of Multiculturalism as well as the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism.
Pan-Pacific womens networks also became effective advocates of womens political equality, as did those within countries with great regional diversity. As an example, women in India by the end of the nineteenth century were forming their own organizations. The first all-India organization, the Womens Indian Association was established in 1917, and by 1918 was holding gatherings all over India in support of womens franchise.
The concept was again acknowledged in the of 1982, which states that the Charter itself “shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.” On 21 July 1988, the Progressive Conservative government of passed the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which formalized the government's commitment to "promote the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Canadian society" by establishing legislation to protect ethnic, racial, linguistic and religious diversity within Canadian society. Trudeau's declaration of Canada as a bilingual and multicultural nation resulted in an explosion of multicultural research. Publications and literature were developed, many national research surveys were launched, ethnic identity research escalated, and organizations were established to support diversity. Multiculturalism was celebrated as a new vision of Canadian identity, which would foster a global understanding of all ethnic communities.
The global mecca can be empowering for various cultures as it allows self-representation and on a whole new level. provides a medium where depiction of images and portrayals of self-identity can provide the means in which truism can be established. Global centres allow cultures a distinctive voice to promote awareness and provide public knowledge and understanding of their stories and identities. It also allows for the communication of their relevant accounts and commentaries on issues that are important in preserving the culture and knowledge acquisition of cultural ways - allowing them to retain their diversity. Being in charge of their own media production companies allows control of their , and that are regarded as . When cultures are in control of their own public images they are better equipped to manage and represent their images appropriately without .
The positive side of this discussion recognizes that in the history of mankind, there have been many periods of time when greater communication between cultures has lead to a flowering of creativity. and Italy are cited as prime examples. Diversity has become valued internationally, and is promoted through international organizations. This discourse views the homogenization of societies as necessary to create a “greater niche diversity” (TWBG, 2004).
Increased racial diversity in Canadian society in the 1980s had created a new demographic and political reality that demanded changes in the multiculturalism policy. Judging from the changes in the multiculturalism program and the statements made by the Minister of State for Multiculturalism in the 1980s, it is clear that a greater emphasis was placed on the multiculturalism policy as a vehicle to promote more racial equality and racial harmony in Canadian society.