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The migration of the Sons of Freedom into the Lower Mainland of British Columbia Seebaran, Roopchand B.

Abstract

This study is primarily concerned with a description of the events that occurred in Vancouver in the year 1963, when a group of Sons of Freedom left the town of Hope and arrived in the city of Vancouver. While the Sons of Freedom have had a long history of migration their trek into a large western city such as Vancouver was a unique phenomenon. The purpose of this document was to record the activities of the Sons of Freedom and the response of lay and voluntary groups as well as the reactions of civic and provincial governments in connection with the Freedomites. Such a recording was seen to have historic value and would also serve as another frame of reference on Sons of Freedoms affairs. The method used was primarily individual and group interviews. The writer attempted to ignore previous issues and problems of this group, and focussed mainly on the collection of factual information from people who had come into contact with this group during their stay in Vancouver. Several Sons of Freedom were interviewed - youths and elderly people, male and female. The writer also conducted an attitude survey of a random sample of people (75) in Vancouver. The study revealed that while in Vancouver, the Freedomites encountered a range of attitudes (including curiosity, hostility, and indifference) from the Vancouver public. The Sons of Freedom had to face several problems in Vancouver and they dealt with most of these very well. Perhaps the most significant finding of this study was that the group seemed to respond fairly well to the work of the Committee for the Welfare of Sons of Freedom Children. The- committee was able to exhort the Freedomites to attend school. The role and consequence of the Committee's work in dealing with some of the concerns of the Sons of Freedom in Vancouver, may very well suggest that a bridge of this nature is the answer to an understanding and an amelioration of some of the cold conditions that now prevail between this group and the government of British Columbia.

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