Canadian Immigrants Day
Canadian Immigrants Day celebrates those who have immigrated to the United States from Canada. Canada is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, and most of its inhabitants live within a few hundred miles of its border with the United States. The border is 5,525 miles in length (this includes the border with Alaska) and is the longest border in the world that is not patrolled by military forces. Besides sharing a border, Canada and the United States share many cultural similarities.
Most Canadians immigrate to the United States by getting a green card, which they usually have obtained because they have immediate relatives in the country, or because they are sponsored by an employer there. Canadians migrate to the United States more than they do to any other country. In 1960, about ten percent of the US foreign-born population was Canadian. Although this was down to two percent in 2012, about 800,000 Canadian immigrants lived in the United States at that time.
The first wave of Canadian immigrants arrived in the 1860s; they were largely unskilled and came for factory jobs. A second wave arrived between 1900 and 1930, and were pushed by the discrimination they had faced in employment, education, and because of their religion. Immigration to the United States began to decline after this, as the Canadian economy began to grow after World War II. During the last half of the twentieth century, especially after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, there was a diversification of Canadian immigrants which included students, those looking to reunite with their families, educated professionals, and retirees with wishes to move to a warmer climate.
How to Observe
One way to celebrate Canadian Immigrants Day is to explore famous Canadian immigrants. Some have obtained citizenship, such as Dan Aykroyd, Samantha Bee, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Jim Carrey, while others have not, such as Neil Young and Justin Bieber. You could use the day to explore their work: listen to their music, watch their films, and read their books. Reflect on how they have enriched American culture. If you know someone who is a Canadian immigrant, you could wish them a "Happy Canadian Immigrants Day." You could also fly a Canadian flag on the day.