Dutch Canadian experience : a study of perspectives / by Alida (Ena) Catharine De Peuter.
De Peuter, Ena, 1950-
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Although my family immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands when I was one year of age, I have always been aware of the fact that I have no birthright to this country which is my home. I have always been aware of two points of view in my life and have spent much emotional energy balancing this tension. This dissertation provided me with an avenue to examine the visions of artists of Dutch Canadian heritage who, like myself, experienced this dualism. Their literary expressions of this dualism permitted me to explore the inherent tensions and determine what unique resolutions they may have discovered along the way. The Canadian attitude to the ethnic and cultural diversity in our society is a changing one. Our federal government takes pride in Canada's multicultural mosaic, recognizing it as a rich resource in which all Canadians share. The ethnic dimension of Canadian society, past and present, is one that needs examination if we are to understand fully the contours and nature of Canadian society and identity. Studies of Canadian history and literature have been largely controlled by the people of British or French origin. Due perhaps to fewer numbers, difference in keenness of sense of origin and identity, the immigrant experience itself, and the sheer force of Canadianism, other groups have been relatively silent until quite recently. Groups such as the Dutch, who have established themselves in Canada within the last hundred years or so, have traditions, values and visions they cherish, and particular members of this group have begun to express those in imaginative works.