1Atlantic Canada was the first known area of Canada that was settled by non-Aboriginal peoples. It is historically accepted that the first immigrants A.D. were the Vikings who came and settled at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Throughout the centuries, many more groups came and made their mark on Atlantic Canada’s shores, many seeking the wealth of Canada’s forests, land and seas. A multi-cultural nation began to emerge. Through time, Atlantic Canadians began to look further west and south, and both internal and external migration flourished. With time-space convergence, and as natural resources became depleted, more and more internal migration took place. At the same time, immigration continued into Canada, which for many recent years was ranked number one in human development in the world by the UN.
In this lesson, we shall look at recent trends in migration, population statistics and the origin of new Canadians in Atlantic Canada. Students should be able to compare recent trends in migration patterns in all four Atlantic Provinces and suggest reasons for outward migration.
This lesson can be adapted for any of Canada’s Provinces or Territories, or for specific communities using the Community Profiles information available on the Statistics Canada website: www.statcan.ca
1The main focus is on the curriculum for Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Grade Nine in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island; and Grade Eight in New Brunswick; it can be adapted for use in all Atlantic Provinces at the senior level Social Studies/Geography courses. This lesson is particularly compatible for:
Gaelic Studies 11 (Nova Scotia)
Global Geography 12 (Nova Scotia)
Canadian Geography 11 (Nova Scotia)
1Two fifty-minute lessons with suggested lesson extensions as a follow-up.
Curriculum Connection (Province and Course):
1Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation Curriculum for Social Studies General Curriculum Outcomes
People, Place and Environment General Curriculum Outcome:
Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the interactions among people, places and the environment:
1.5.7 Research out migration in Atlantic Canada during the twentieth century and suggest reasons for this trend.
2.5.2 Recognize the cultural diversity that exists within Atlantic Canada
2.5.3 Identify significant factors that bring people into the region
2.7.1 Recognize that culture is constantly changing.
1.5.8 Discuss trends that might appear in Atlantic Canada in the next decade
Gain an appreciation for the value of a census with specific focus on the Census in May 2006
Interpret and analyze statistics from a census
Analyze, organize and present information using graphs
Hypothesize on population trends
Apply the geographic method (ask questions; collect and acquire information; organize, summarize and display the geographic information gathered; analyze and interpret the data; formulate a reasonable answer to the data gathered.)
Gain an appreciation for their own region as a center for immigrants
Gain an appreciation for the diversity of cultures in their own region
1Introduces the topic of Migration and passes out the list of definitions.
In order to examine the make-up of the class, asks the following for discussion: (Excuse those who do not wish to divulge personal information)
1How many are first generation Canadians?
How many are second or third generation Canadians?
How many are descendants of nineteenth century immigrants?
How many are descendants of immigrants who came before the nineteenth century?
How many are First Nations or are descendants of First Nations?
Each student will need: 1Atlas
Blank map of the world Pencil crayons
List of definitions
Familiarize themselves with definitions.
Discuss questions to determine background profile.
-1On a wall chart, list the countries from which the students or their ancestors came using the headings underlined above.
1-Highlight the countries of origin on a laminated wall map of the world while the students are working on their exercise.
- Ask questions such as the following:
What was the place of origin for the majority pre-19th century? New Canadians etc.
Why do you think there are changes over the years?
- Explain the term Push/Pull in relation to migration.
-11List the ideas on a wall chart. And categorize the ideas into Push or Pull factors.
- Ask: Has the place of origin (e.g. Europe, Asia) changed through time in the categories designated by this exercise?
Have the Push/Pullfactors changed through time?
- Ask: 1Are there any students who have family members or friends who have migrated or emigrated in the past five years?
- 1Identify the Push/pull factors.
1OR As an alternative to this exercise, provide the students with coloured push pins and on a wall map of Canada. Allow the students to place pins on the map, on the location where a family member or friend has recently migrated.
Discuss the reasons for their migration, if known.
1Requirements: Blank map of Canada OR two wall maps of Canada OR large laminated map of Canada and dry erase markers
- 1On a blank map of the world and with the assistance of an atlas, identify and label the countries listed by the teacher on the wall chart. Using seven different colours, one for each category, and a measurement of 1 mm to each occurrence, draw arrows from the country of origin, to the destination in Canada. Identify the destination. e.g. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
- 1Students to contribute ideas as to why their people emigrated, or migrated, from one place to another.
- 1Categorize the push/pull factors under the headings: Environmental (e.g. earthquake zone), Military or Political (e.g. war), Economic (e.g. employment opportunities), Cultural (e.g. Religious freedom), Adventure (e.g. Travel). Students may add other categories as they see fit. (1This is something the students can later research through talking to their families. Many times, family history is lost through lack of communication between adults and children.)
-Discuss whether place of origin and Push/Pull factors have changed over time.
As a result of discussion, 1indicate their destinations on your individual map using arrows from your home community e.g. brother leaves Inverness, N.S. to work in the Ekati Diamond Mine in the NWT.
- Identify which Push/Pull factors might cause you to migrate?
(Consider the possible differences in migration patterns between students living in urban centres e.g. Halifax, and rural areas e.g. Mabou, Cape Breton Island).
Do the same exercise again but this time for friends or family who have moved back to the region. Compare the two maps.
Have students determine to what conclusion1 can you come for the trends shown on the maps?
Suggest reasons for the trends.
What conditions would have to change in your province in order for the trends to change?
1The Story of Migration in Song (optional exercise)
(Atlantic Studies Outcome 2.7)
Over the centuries, the feelings of migrants have been expressed in song. These songs often contain a wealth of information about conditions at the time of immigration to Canada. One excellent example is that of the Bard MacLean of Barney’s River, N.S. who emigrated from a treeless island in Scotland in 1819 and in his song “The Gloomy Forest”, he expressed his initial disappointment in the new land. As he adapted to the unfamiliar environment and climate, he later composed songs, which praise the new world.
An example of internal migration in the nineteenth century comes from the songs of Allan the Ridge MacDonald who migrated from Cape Breton Island to Antigonish County on the mainland in the 1850’s, due to hard times and famine conditions on Cape Breton Island at the time.
Recent migrations have also produced many songs. Every province has its songs.
Teachers could research a recent migration song and ask the students to glean information from the song, which might tell not only the feelings and attitudes connected to migration but also the reasons for migration.
Samples of migrant songs from Cape Breton Island:
“Going Down the Road”, recorded by the Barra MacNeils
Students could research a migration song to glean information about the land and social conditions at the time of migration.
Create an artistic representation of the theme using drama, art, or collage
1Homework Research for Students: Lesson Extension (**Complete before Part 2)
Research the migratory activities of family members over the past one hundred years.
1Part 2 (50 minute class): 1 A Study of Recent Trends in Migration in Atlantic Canada Using Statistics Canada data:
1As students have a high interest level in what pertains to them directly, this lesson can be adapted for a study of the individual municipalities of the students in the class e.g. Community Profile for Inverness, Subdivision B, Nova Scotia. For the purpose of this lesson, profiles of the Atlantic Provinces will be considered for study.
1Checking findings from the homework research done by the students and by involving the class in discussions.
Make a list of the push-pull factors and the countries/places of originand record the push/pull factors on the wall chart (if not already there) and highlight the countries of origin on the map of the world.
Assemble class in groups of four
1Assign each student an Atlantic Province to research.
Each group should have one student assigned to each of: NS, NB, PEI, and Nfld. and Labrador.
Hand out student worksheet: “Statistical Analysis and Interpretation”.
Statistics Canada web site, protractor, wall map of the Atlantic Provinces, , wall charts and markers
1All those assigned NS to work together to find the following information for NS:
“Place the signs for negative (-) or positive (+) on a wall map of the Atlantic provinces to indicate whether population has grown or declined over the five year period.
Do the same for the other provinces.
Students complete student worksheet, “Statistical Analysis and Interpretation”.
When all the material has been gathered, go back into the original groups and compare the answers for the four provinces.
Make a list of six observations on a large wall chart
Discuss the results as a whole class.
Other useful web links on the Statistics Canada site: Selection from 2001 Census Article - Nova Scotia: Young people 15 to 29 accounted for majority of net loss
http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/mob/ns.cfm Selection from 2001Census Article on Mobility “Migrants from Atlantic provinces traveled farthest”
http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/analytic/companion/mob/provs.cfm#4 http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/etoimm/provs.cfm Definitions of ethnocultural terms used by the Census:
http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/etoimm/def.cfm Table of Selected Ethnic Origins for Canada, Provinces and Territories
http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/highlight/ETO/Table1.cfm?T=501&Lang=E&GV=1&GID=12&S=1&O=D Provincial and territorial highlights on Mobility
1. Write a brief summary of your overall findings and suggest practical ideas to increase the population in your province.
2. If your province has a Minister for Immigration, invite him/her to visit your class to discuss policies the province has put in place to increase immigration across the province, in both rural and urban areas.
3. Research one of the topics below:
Using the Statistics Canada link, Profile of the Canadian Population by Mobility Status Provinces and Territories, do a comparative study of migration between your assigned province and other provinces and territories examining places of origin and destination.
Research your own Census Subdivision (municipality), and study trends. Compare with provincial statistics.
Origin of Immigrants: “One Hundred Years of Immigration to Canada”. Research changes through time in regards to country of origin of immigrants to Canada. Note which country features in every decade but the last one!
Using this web site study the chart giving Immigrant population by place of birth. Rank the continents of the world and the USA in relation to origin of immigrants the top being the greatest. Comment on findings.
Assessment of Student Learning:
1Students are to be assessed on:
Level of class participation in discussion and activities
Level of completion of tasks
Successful navigation of Statistics Canada web site
Successful completion of handouts, maps, charts, graphs and worksheet
Group participation (group/peer evaluation)
Student Worksheet: Statistical Analysis and Interpretation
1“A Study of Recent Trends in Migration in Atlantic Canada using Statistics Canada data”
Name of assigned province: __________________________________________ Directions:
Students are to enter the Statistics Canada web site: www.statcan.ca
After you enter the web site, click on “Community Profiles.” Enter the name of your province in the top line of the search window. All questions refer to your assigned province or community unless otherwise indicated.
Complete the following:
(See Population and Dwelling counts)
1. Population Density: Province: ______________ Canada: _________________
2. Total Population in Province in 1996: __________________ 2001: ____________________
3. Population change from 1996-2001: __________________
6. On loose leaf, or using a graphing program, create a pie graph showing the immigration characteristics of your selected province under the headings: Canadian Born Population; Foreign Born Population (Immigrated pre-1991); Foreign Born Population (Immigrated between 1991 and 2001); Non-permanent Residents.
Return to your groups and compare the results in each question.
Are there similarities?
Are there major differences?
Does the same trend occur in each province?
Does any province have an increase in population from 1996-2001?
How do the pie graphs compare?
How does the unemployment rate compare?
Which province has the most in-migration? Can you suggest reasons for this?
What do you predict will be the future for your selected province in terms of population growth and migration in the next ten years?
What conditions would have to exist in your province to create population growth?
The following definitions and population terms are useful to know in any study of population:
Demography: the gathering and analysis of information about human populations
Population Distribution: the manner in which a population is spread over an area
Population Density: the average number of people per unit of area
Census: an official, systematic collection of statistics on a population of a country
Human Migration: the movement of people from one place in the world to another for the purpose of taking up permanent or semi-permanent residence. People may choose to move or may be forced to move.
Internal migration: moving within a state, country or continent
External migration; moving to a new state, country or continent
Emigration: leaving one country to move to another
Immigration: moving into a new country
New Canadians: immigrants to Canada who have become Canadian citizens
Second Generation Canadians: the Canadian-born children of foreign-born parents
Landed immigrants: people who have immigrated to Canada but have not yet obtained citizenship
Push/Pull factors: reasons for leaving one place (push) and the reasons for being attracted to another particular place (pull)
Population Pyramids: a graph that shows the population of a country according to sex and cohort
Cohort: an age grouping of five-year intervals used in creating a population pyramid
For further definitions of words that may be used on the Statistics Canada web site, please use this site:
Canadian Council for Geographic Education (www.ccge.org)