Block Settlement

A block settlement (or bloc settlement) is particular type of land distribution which allows settlers with the same ethnicity to form small colonies.

This settlement type was used throughout western Canada between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some were planned and other were spontaneously created by the settlers themselves.

The policy of planned blocks was pursued primarily by Clifford Sifton during his time as Interior Minister of Canada. It was essentially a compromise position. Some politicians wanted all ethnic groups to be scattered evenly though the new lands to ensure they would quickly assimilate to Anglo-Canadian culture, while others did not want to live near "foreign" immigrants (as opposed to British immigrants who were not considered foreign) and demanded that they be segregated. At the time Canada was receiving large amounts of non-British, non-French, immigrants for the first time, especially Italians, Germans, Scandinavians, and Ukrainians. The newcomers themselves wanted to settle as close as possible to people with a familiar language and similar customs. The government did not want the west to be fragmented into a few large homogenous ethnic blocks, however. So several smaller colonies were set up where particular ethnic groups could settle, but these were spaced across the country.

Other articles related to "block settlement":

Edna-Star Colony - Background
... Further information block settlement and Ukrainian Canadian A block settlement is a type rural ethnic enclave found throughout Western Canada ... The founding of this block settlement in 1891 marked the beginning of large-scale Ukrainian immigration to Canada ...

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