Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LLR (Book): The Gift of Freedom: How Ottawa Welcomed the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian Refugees

Title:  Gift of Freedom:  How Ottawa Welcomed the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian Refugees
By:  Brian Buckley
ISBN:  9781897113912
Publisher/Year:  General Store Publishing, 2008
Lao book - gift of freedom

This book is particularly interesting if you are Lao (or Southeast Asian) and live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  As it turns out, the then mayor at the time in 1979, Marion Dewar, helped initiate Project 4000.  That was, to commit in bringing 4000 Southeast Asian immigrants to settle in Ottawa.  The majority of these people were Vietnamese but there were many from Laos and Cambodia as well.  This book commemorated the 25th anniversary of that project.

Some immigrants received support from family or relatives in Canada to help bring them over.  However as this book helped illustrate, many more received support from everyday people, the government and church groups who helped assist, settle, sponsor, provide vocational training and befriend Southeast Asian immigrants.

It's a wonderful example of what can happen when a city, its community, and local leaders come together to help those in need.

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