Old Stock Canadians: Arab Settlers in the Prairies

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Old Stock Canadians: Arab Settlers in the Prairies

I knew about Saskatchewan's pulse crops, Kashmir Valley Chickpeas based in Outlook, SK, and our 70 percent portion of the world lentil export market. But I had no idea of the history:


And I always assumed King Ganam was Metis.



Now the fact that Canada's first mosque was in Edmonton makes sense.




Wonderful story! Love the solidarity shown by Jews and Christians with the Mosque. There were Arab immigrants to Montréal quite a while earlier, but most of these "Syrio-Lebanese" were Orthodox Christians. Many were peddlers. Dr Nora Salem, one of my professors, wrote a pioneering article on this subject. Alas, she died far too young.

My neighbourhood has had a Syrian-Lebanese component as long as the better-known Italian one. There are at least three Arab Orthodox churches within walking distance of my house, one on my street, and an old Syrian-Lebanese cultural centre (which became a theatre - arts centre but alas with cuts to arts funding was sold off to some kind of private business - a shame, for such an iconic neighbourhood building). 30 years ago there were many Levantine shops but most have now become Maghrebi.

I think immigration from both East and South Asia to the West Coast goes back a very long time (our BC babblers will be much more specific). In Central and Eastern regions, there was significant immigration - including students - from the British West Indies. While Haitian and French Antilles immigration is largely more recent, it began well over half a century ago, and there are several generations of Montréalais antillais.


As it says in the article, Tommy Hunter used to play in Ganam's Band the Sons of the West.

The Shelburne Reel:



fantastic stories had no idea. thank you!