Diaspora Dynamics: Canadian Immigration Policy and the Caribbean Connection


  • James W. ST.G. Walker University of Waterloo


Immigration is the most fundamental policy a government can set. The nature of the country itself is determined by the kind of people who are allowed to enter. An overview of Canadian immigration policy with respect to the peoples of the Caribbean provides a kind of pulse to monitor the Canada Canadians want. These policies also offer a window into mainstream Canadian attitudes toward Black people. The circumstances in which they have or have not been admitted reveal the place of African Canadians already in Canadian society. Tracing this policy therefore provides another pulse: to monitor mainstream Canadian racism. Because Caribbean immigrants have persevered, participating prominently in challenges to entry restrictions and domestic racism, they have contributed substantially to Black life in Canada and especially to the more direct inclusion of African Canadians in the broader African diaspora.

Author Biography

James W. ST.G. Walker, University of Waterloo

James Walker is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Waterloo.