Comment: Multiculturalism is a highly misunderstood concept today and on the defensive in many parts of the world except for Canada, where it was first introduced in 1971 by then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
One of the problems with the term is that it is defined differently by different groups. Far-right and populist anti-immigration parties define it as an immigration policy (sic!) that permits Muslims and Africans from moving to Europe.
Writes the Toronto Sun: “It was the first policy of its kind in the world, recognizing that while Canada had two official languages, the country hosted many other cultures.”
There are officially only three countries in the world that use multiculturalism as a social policy. These are Canada, Australia and Britain.
Finland isn’t officially a multicultural country (social policy) although Finns use the term to broadly mean a society made up of “many cultures.”
Peter Kivisto defined multiculturalism in the following way: “Multiculturalism refers to a view that ethnically or religiously diverse societies should protect and promote diversity and should be based on both individual and group rights.”
Thank you Sirpa Utriainen for the heads up!
By Sharon Lem
TORONTO – Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was a visionary about the way different cultures in Canada co-exist today,” says the CEO of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario (MHSO), Dora Nipp. As 2011 draws to a close, so does the 40th anniversary of the commencement of Canada’s policy of Multiculturalism, spearheaded by Trudeau and adopted in 1971.