What’s New (page 9)

Presentation: (1986) UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award to the people of Canada

The people of Canada are the unique recipients of an award for their work on behalf of refugees.

This video includes extracts from the 1986 presentation ceremony.


It was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, then Jean-Pierre Hocké, who, in 1986 presented the UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award to “the people of Canada” through then Governor General Sauvé. The award recognizes the work of Canada in helping to alleviate the very difficult situations of refugees around the world. It was the first time the award was presented to an entire nation. In this extract from the award ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the High Commissioner and the Governor General speak and the award medal is presented. Also on the dais are the Honourable Flora MacDonald, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Gerry Weiner, then Minister of State (Immigration) and Michael Schelew, then President of the Canadian Council for Refugees. The web publishing of this video from the 1986 Nansen Award ceremony is courtesy of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2014.

40th Anniversary Lecture: Ugandan Asian Refugee Movement 1972

Canadian Immigration Historical Society President Mike Molloy lectured on the 1972 Ugandan Asian refugee movement at Ontario universities in Ontario in October, 2012 (Ottawa, Carleton, Windsor, Western, Laurier, McMaster, York, Ryerson and Toronto).

The 1972 Uganda Asian Refugee movement was the first test of Canada’s “Universal” immigration policy as applied to refugees. The talk examined the reasons behind General Idi Amin’s decision to expel Uganda’s small but dynamic Asian community and the Trudeau government’s reaction to the expulsion within a new Immigration and refugee policy framework. It described how a small, hastily assembled team went to Kampala in September 1972 and moved over 6000 refugees to Canada by the 8 November deadline imposed by the Ugandan government. The talk also explored the impact of the Ugandan experience on the refugee resettlement provisions of the 1976 Immigration Act and on the subsequent Indochinese refugee program of 1979-80. One of the lectures can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtQPKNhxymY.