2022 marks the 100th anniversary of Mennonites leaving Manitoba and Saskatchewan for Mexico and Paraguay. They left their established homes and farms because of new provincial laws requiring children to attend government schools even though the federal government promised them the freedom to educate their children. The government enforced the new laws with fines, jail time, and confiscation of property.
The Mennonite Historical Society of Canada is marking this anniversary by partnering with the Mennonite Heritage Village in the production of a traveling exhibit. A documentary and public events are also being planned.
Mennonite emigrants to Mexico at train station.
Credit: MAID CA MHC 107-1.0
Memories of Migration
The Russlaender 100 Tour
The three-part Russlaender 100 Tour will re-enact the historic migration of 21,000 Mennonites from Russia to Canada beginning in 1923. With the help of established Mennonites, the refugees found new homes in Canada in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution—a time of civil war, famine, and epidemic. This tour celebrates the faith of these newcomers, memorializes the challenges of resettlement, acknowledges race and displacement in Canadian history. The tour is a collaborative effort among Canadian Mennonite historians and heritage enthusiasts.
Russian Mennonites arrive in Rosthern, 1923.
Credit: MAID CA CMBS NP029-01-12