Sunday, 24 April 2016

Q71: Lost Doukhobor Land?

Question 71: What happened to the land lost by the Doukhobors in Saskatchewan in 1907?

by Corinne Postnikoff, Castlegar, British Columbia, June 11, 2014:

My youngest daughter, Christina, is in her second summer of working at the Doukhobor Discovery Center in Castlegar. Several times by guests asked her
  • What became of the Doukhobor lands?
  • Were villages destroyed?
  • Was the land used by other immigrants?
Doukhobor lands in Canada, 1899-1939, a composite of 4 maps
from 
Doukhobor Google Maps, by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff.

Short Answer
  • What became of the Doukhobor lands?
            Most was taken by government and sold.
  • Were villages destroyed?
            Yes.
  • Was the land used by other immigrants?
            Yes.
There were two huge losses of Doukhobor land and/or businesses (jam factories, sawmills, orchards, brick factories)

 Time, Province      1907, Saskatchewan       1939, British Columbia
 Owners All Doukhobors CCUB Ltd.
 Land Total 773,400 acres (1209 sq.mi.)  19,027 acres (30 sq.mi.)
 Land Kept Total  160,640 acres (251 sq.mi.)* All. Rented to 1961
 Land Lost % 79% 0%. Rented, then
 purchases began in 
1961
 Loss Estimate $ $11 million $6 million
 Reason Forced-assimilation Loan foreclosure
* Community Doukhobors kept 122,560 acres (192 sq.mi.); and
Independent Doukhobors purchased 38,080 acres (59.5 sq.mi.) by 1907.

In both cases Doukhobors were cheated by government and discriminated by society, similar to Aboriginal Canadians. 79% of the original Doukhobor lands in Saskatchewan were seized by the government and sold.

Long Answer

Each land loss requires more study to fully understand a series of many related events in the Canadian economy, society and government; and in the Doukhobor communities. Some of this material is online.

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