These images are to be used in conjunction with the Enemy Aliens and Racial Prejudice lesson plans. Copies should be printed so that students may individually consult three of the documents. The images can also be used in presentations.

The material here can be found in Series 4 of the City Archives.

If you require this information in an accessible format, contact our Municipal Accessibility Specialist.

Document 1: Slavic Austrians letter

A letter sent on behalf of Slavic Austrians in Fort William to the Mayor and council outlining the difficulties the war and racism have placed on them, affirming their loyalty to Canada, and expressing their willingness to assist the war effort.

 

Letter sent from Slavic Austrians in Fort William

 Document 2: Committee letter

A letter from the Committee to the Mayor and Council presenting their findings on the Enemy Alien problem. The proposal advocates increased controls over "enemy aliens" in Fort William, and provides statistical information along with a summary of the concerns. Since this document is longer than others in the presentation package, consider allowing it to count for two in the assignment.

 

Enemy Alien Committee Report

Enemy Alien Committee Report

Enemy Alien Committee Report

Enemy Alien Committee Report

 Document 3: Letter regarding withdrawal of funding 

This letter from the Federal government (in charge of internment) argues that enough has been done already for "enemy aliens", and raises doubt as to the necessity of further aid.

 

Enemy alien funding withdrawal letter

Enemy alien funding withdrawal letter

 Document 4: Letter regarding housing

This letter is from a military official responding to a complaint about immigrants who, being put out of work, are now unable to pay for their housing. Though the letter offers no real solution, the writer notes that if immigrants were turned out of their homes the financial burden on the Fort William would be considerably increased.

 

Letter to the Relief Committee

 Document 5: Letter to the Minister of Justice regarding internment
A letter from the Mayor and council to the Minister of Justice with a number of suggestions regarding enemy aliens, balancing basic human rights with civic protection, and asking that jobs be provided to them whenever possible.

 

Enemy alien internment letter

Enemy alien internment letter

 Document 6: Letter from the City Relief Officer

This letter is from the City Relief Officer establishing his personal experience with seeing poverty first-hand in Fort William, including conversations he had with enemy aliens.

 

Letter from the City Relief Officer

Letter from the City Relief Officer

 Document 7: Enemy aliens newspaper clipping
A short 1915 article from the Globe, discussing the popularity of a petition in Northeastern Ontario to intern enemy aliens, and some of the reasons they are considered a danger.

 

Enemy aliens newspaper clipping

 Document 8: Enemy aliens request

This letter contains statistical information about enemy aliens along with various fears to support their proposal to force internment. This letter was apparently incorporated in large part into Document 2, and thus may be used a shorter replacement to that longer piece. This document was prepared by the Committee on Alien Enemies.

 

Enemy aliens request and information letter

Enemy aliens request and information letter

 Document 9: Committee recommendations
This letter contains another set of recommendations to the city on what to do with enemy aliens, citing both the threat they may pose as well as an appeal for their general welfare by removing them from the unhealthy conditions of poverty.

 

Enemy aliens committee recommendation letter

Enemy aliens committee recommendation letter

 Document 10: Constable's response to Committee letter
This document responds directly to many questions posed regarding enemy aliens in Fort William, giving practical answers relating to feasibility of some proposals and highlighting misconceptions and impractical ideas.

 

Constable's response to committee letter

Constable's response to committee letter

Constable's response to committee letter

 Document 11: Letter regarding C.P.R.'s employment policies
This letter was written several years before the outbreak of war, and it details a counter-argument against the C.P.R.'s policy of not employing Italians or Greeks.

 

CPR's employment policies letter

 Document 12: Wesley Institute Report
These images come from a brochure advertising the charitable work of the Wesley Institute. It focuses on "Canadianizing" immigrants by teaching English, basic reading and writing, and various other employment skills. This is an example of a positive community response but with some historical nuance and racial baggage evident.

 

Wesley Institute report

Wesley Institute report

Wesley Institute report

 

Note that some images on this page have been enhanced for better readability.

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