Identity and Politics

Who are Canadians of Vietnamese origin?


"[I am] a former refugee, a “boat person” ... My family’s escape from Vietnam was an opportunistic one, as my family had no allegiances to either side of the war but saw the chance to flee the current violent, impoverished, and oppressed climate of post-colonial and post-war Vietnam" (Ngo, 2019, p. 60).[478]

"An Act respecting a national day of commemoration of the exodus of Vietnamese refugees and their acceptance in Canada after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War" (Parliament of Canada, 2015, Bill S-219).[155]

Most Canadians know that Canada's Vietnamese community originated in a refugee crisis and that those refugees are often referred to as "boat people".

But were those refugees "victims of the fall of Saigon" or were they resourceful people looking for a better life? When and why did they leave Vietnam? Why did Canadians help 162,000 refugees to settle in Canada?

Today in Canada there are hundreds of thousands of descendants of the boat people who are interested in their family's history; for many it is part of their personal identity.

The story is also part of Canada's national identity, so this concerns everyone. It also makes it an attractive target for political manipulation and anyone who seriously pursues these questions is going to run into problems.

The first quotation above can be validated as a representative refugee story. The second quotation is based on a huge politically-motivated deception that has been widely accepted as fact.

Canada decidedly did not admit refugees because of the fall of Saigon or the Vietnam War. That is myth and propaganda that was created by a government who was exploiting the refugee story to change Canada's national identity. With the inauguration of the national day in 2015, Canada betrayed the original boat people by erasing them from Canadian history and replacing them with a political invention.

The job was done so skillfully and effectively that it is almost impossible to find the true story today. This web site will help you find the true story of how and why Canada brought your family to Canada.

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Site updated: 2023-09-03