Event Host/Institute: Carleton University
Event date and time (to and from): 14-16 November 2022
Event location/venue: Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Event type: Academic and Policy Conference
September 28, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of the first group of Ugandan Asian refugees to arrive in Canada after being expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin. This was Canada’s first major resettlement of non-European and largely non-Christian refugees in the postwar period. To consolidate power in Uganda, after leading a military coup in 1971, Idi Amin accused 80,000 Ugandans of South Asian descent of economic sabotage and a failure to integrate socially. He subsequently announced on August 4, 1972, that they would have 90 days to leave the country or face dire consequences. Canada’s rapid response to the expulsion order led to the resettlement of nearly 7,500 Ugandan Asian refugees between 1972 and 1974. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the expulsion of Asians from Uganda the conference Beyond Resettlement: Exploring the History of the Ugandan Asian Community in Exile will explore the historical context of the expulsion, Canada’s response and reception of a large number of these refugees, the larger diaspora of Ugandan Asian refugees, and the lived experiences of the community in Canada over the past 50 years. The conference aims yield several lessons on pathways to integration, memory, and identity.