A nation’s identity is extremely arduous to characterize because it encompasses such an immense population spanning an enormous land mass. Canada’s identity is even more ambiguous because Canada’s peoples seem to be less outspoken than most. Canadian pride is less said than written and so it is in Canadian literature that the strong voice of the Canadian character can be heard. Within these compositions lie many different views containing various beliefs pertaining to the Canadian identity yet, they all seem to contain a few similarities. Through literature, the Canadian identity has been characterized by its multicultural society, its firm grasp on its heritage and its diverse landscape.
Though Canada is a diverse country, it is in these differences that Canadian Literature has recognized the Canadian identity. Canada’s identity can be associated with its tolerance and promotion of multiculturalism and diversity. Within Canada lie many distinct cultures and languages. This is unique, in that, most often nations, such as the United States, force or promote the assimilation of all it peoples into one large society, where there is no cultural diversity. Nations typically identify with similarities in its entire people but Canada seeks its identity in promoting multiculturalism. This is why Canada is one, if not the most, sought after countries to immigrate to. In fact, Canada’s population growth is negative, but due to large-scale immigration, the population manages to increase steadily. The distinct cultures living within Canada are clearly apparent in Canadian literature as seen in:
“…the Caribou Eskimos – who knew nothing of the sea and nothing about white men. These stone-age people may have lacked the benefits of our culture but they obviously weren’t bothered by the fact” (Mowat, pg. XIX)
“…these Eskimos who still hunted with bows and arrows, living the life their people had known since prehis...