Communities & Sociology | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Macleans

    Auschwitz Survivor Remembers

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 23, 1995. Partner content is not updated. Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp that has come to symbolize the Holocaust.

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  • Article

    Austin Clarke

    Austin Chesterfield Clarke, novelist, short-story writer, journalist (born 26 July 1934 in St. James, Barbados; died 26 June 2016 in Toronto, ON).

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  • Article

    Austrian Canadians

    The Federal Republic of Austria (Österreich) is located in the alpine region of central Europe. The official language of Austria is German. Austrian immigrants have arrived in Canada in several distinct waves since the late 19th century. The 2016 census reported 207, 050 people of Austrian origin in Canada (20, 230 single and 186, 820 multiple responses).

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  • Article

    Autumn Peltier

    Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe water-rights advocate, Anishinabek Nation Chief Water Commissioner (born 27 September 2004 in Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory, Manitoulin Island, ON). Autumn Peltier is a world-renowned water-rights advocate and a leading global youth environmental activist. In April 2019, Peltier was appointed Chief Water Commissioner by the Anishinabek Nation and has spoken about the issue of contaminated water on Indigenous reserves in Canada at the United Nations. For her activism, Peltier was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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  • Article

    Aziz Ahmad

    Aziz Ahmad, novelist, short story writer, critic, translator, historian (born 11 November 1914 in Hyderabad Deccan [present-day India]; died 16 December 1978 in Toronto, ON).

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  • Article

    Baffin Island Inuit

    Baffin Island Inuit (also known as Nunatsiarmiut) are Indigenous peoples who live on Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic Archipelago and in the territory of Nunavut. According to the 2016 census, the total Inuit population in the Baffin region was 14,875.

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  • Article

    Baha'i Faith

    Bahá’í Faith is a world religion with members in 235 countries and territories, and with 184 National Spiritual Assemblies. As of 2015, there were an estimated 30,000 Bahá’ís in Canada, a number that includes Francophones and Anglophones living in 1,200 communities. An estimated 18 per cent of the Bahá’í community in Canada are Inuit or First Nations people, while recent Canadians immigrants make up 30 per cent.

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  • Article

    First Nation Bands in Canada

    Band is a term the Canadian government uses to refer to certain First Nations communities. Band governments are managed by elected councils according to the laws of the Indian Act. Today, some bands prefer to call themselves First Nations. As of 2020, the Government of Canada recognized 619 First Nations in Canada.

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  • Article


    The Basilian Fathers, or Congregation of St Basil, founded in France in 1822, are now centred in Toronto. They came to Canada in 1850 and in 1852 founded St Michael's College there.

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  • Article


    Basques were expert fishermen and sailors from the southeast corner of the Bay of Biscay. With the Portuguese, they were early arrivals to Newfoundland's Grand Banks.

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  • Article

    Peter Bostonais Pangman

    Peter (or Pierre) Bostonais Pangman, Métis leader, bison hunter (born 20 October 1791 in the North Saskatchewan River Valley area, present-day AB; died 4 March 1850 in St. François Xavier, present-day MB). Peter Bostonais Pangman was a skilled hunter who helped provide much-needed bison meat to the Red River Colony. He was actively involved in the Pemmican Wars and events surrounding the Battle of Seven Oaks. As part of the Pembina fur trade, Pangman was a key figure who rallied and inspired the Red River Valley Métis to see and express themselves with an identity separate from surrounding Indigenous peoples. The name Bostonais is variously spelled Bastonnais and Bostonnais.

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  • Article

    Sahtu Got'ine (Bearlake)

    Sahtu Got'ine (also referred to as Sahtúot’ine, Sahtugotine and Great Bear Lake Dene) are Dene people who live around Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. They settled in Déline, which has been self-governing since 2016. (See also Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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  • Article

    Jean Beaudin

    Jean Beaudin, COQ, director, writer, editor (born 6 February 1939 in Montreal, QC; died 18 May 2019 in Montreal). Film director Jean Beaudin is perhaps best known for J.A. Martin, photographe (1977). Considered one of best Canadian films of all time, it won major awards at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Canadian Film Awards. Beaudin also won acclaim for his adaptions of Quebec literature, including the hugely popular TV series Les Filles de Caleb (1990–91). He was made a Chevalier in the Ordre national du Québec and received a Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award.

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  • Article

    Dane-zaa (Beaver)

    Dane-zaa (also known as Dunne-za) are Dene-speaking people from the Peace River area of British Columbia and Alberta. Early explorers called them the Beaver people (named after a local group, the tsa-dunne), however the people call themselves Dane-zaa (meaning “real people” in their language). In the 2016 census, 1,705 people identified as having Dane-zaa ancestry, while 220 reported the Dane-zaa language as their mother tongue.

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  • Article

    Becky Buhay

    Rebecca (Becky) Buhay, political activist, educator (born 11 February 1896 in London, England; died 16 December 1953 in Toronto, ON).

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