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What's your background?

FortYorkRifleman

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I'm curious as to the backgrounds of those who post here. When I say background I mean where you trace your roots, whether you were born in Canada etc.

For myself I have always identified as Canadian with Guyanese background; my parent's were born and raised there but I was born here. I found it odd growing up when older people would tell me I wasn't "really Canadian", that I was always bound to where my parent's came from. Being older now I realized that may have been the previous generation never really acclimating to this country and living in a time when the country was predominantly "Anglo Saxon", not just in numbers but in highly visible jobs like Emergency Services, TTC, Postal Workers etc. I'm fairly certain, even today, they have really adapted Canada as their home even with all the changes.

 

mariomike

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FortYorkRifleman said:
, not just in numbers but in highly visible jobs like Emergency Services, TTC, Postal Workers etc.

Have you ever seen a re-run of the old TV show, "Emergency!" ? It was about LA County Paramedics. It premiered in 1972. The same year I joined Toronto Emergency Services.  I used to watch it, because we were heading in that same direction.

The men in ( TV ) Station 51 looked like the men in our stations.

I'm not sure if this is the answer you are looking for, but as the city changed with the times, so did the department.

I better not post it ( bad language ), but if you saw the "Sensitivity Training" episode on Rescue Me, it reminded me of when the HR people ran similar classes for the Department of Emergency Services.  :)










 

FortYorkRifleman

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mariomike said:
Have you ever seen a re-run of the old TV show, "Emergency!" ? It was about LA County Paramedics. It premiered in 1972. The same year I joined Toronto Emergency Services.  I used to watch it, because we were heading in that same direction.

The men in ( TV ) Station 51 looked like the men in our stations.

I'm not sure if this is the answer you are looking for, but as the city changed with the times, so did the department.

I better not post it ( bad language ), but if you saw the "Sensitivity Training" episode on Rescue Me, it reminded me of when the HR people ran similar classes for the Department of Emergency Services.  :)

Never seen either show but I can imagine what those classes were like. If they're anything like what retail does annually I can only imagine the groans in the room.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Mother's side is Irish
Father's side is German with a tinge of Mi'kmaq which is an interesting story which I am trying to find out about more.  Supposedly my grandmother's father was half native, his mother was impregnated by a Mi'kmaq man as they lived right beside a Reserve.  This was of course completely unacceptable back then so they took my great grandfather and raised him as his mother's brother.  None of my family has status because of this. 

I identify as Canadian though.
 

mariomike

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FortYorkRifleman said:
Never seen either show but I can imagine what those classes were like. If they're anything like what retail does annually I can only imagine the groans in the room.

I didn't mind. They had it in a nice, clean, room inside HQ. I smoked back then, and ash trays were provided. Coffee was served. We were on the clock.
I don't know ( or care  :) ) who they sent to do the heavy lifting in our area while we were out of service for a movie and lecture.
But, sending us to HQ hardly seemed necessary. We took pride in helping people. All people.
I could see the necessity if there had been complaints from the public.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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RoyalDrew said:
Mother's side is Irish
Father's side is German with a tinge of Mi'kmaq which is an interesting story which I am trying to find out about more.  Supposedly my grandmother's father was half native, his mother was impregnated by a Mi'kmaq man as they lived right beside a Reserve.  This was of course completely unacceptable back then so they took my great grandfather and raised him as his mother's brother.  None of my family has status because of this. 

I identify as Canadian though.

I do as well but people always look at me like "really"? Growing up it never made sense to me when people would doubt me or feel like I was confused.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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FortYorkRifleman said:
I do as well but people always look at me like "really"? Growing up it never made sense to me when people would doubt me or feel like I was confused.

Well there is no doubt here.  Truth be told, my family is pretty much of mutt origin now.  We have a Genealogist who has done extensive research on my father's side of the family.  My Father's family originally settled in New York City when it was known as New Amsterdam and was a Dutch Colony.  The family split apart during the American Revolution with those supporting the Monarchy settling in New Brunswick and those supporting independence staying in the Northeast US.  So I have relatives in both the US and Canada.

My Mother's family were Irish immigrants who originally settled in Quebec.  My grandfather is originally from Chicoutimi but they moved to New Brunswick due to being looked down upon by Quebecers for being Irish.  My grandfather speaks impeccable French yet refused to teach my Mother or any of her siblings how to speak the language.  I have, at my parents insistence, learned the language and when I have children I plan to make them learn the language.

That's pretty much my family history in a nutshell.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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RoyalDrew said:
Well there is no doubt here.  Truth be told, my family is pretty much of mutt origin now.  We have a Genealogist who has done extensive research on my father's side of the family.  My Father's family originally settled in New York City when it was known as New Amsterdam and was a Dutch Colony.  The family split apart during the American Revolution with those supporting the Monarchy settling in New Brunswick and those supporting independence staying in the Northeast US.  So I have relatives in both the US and Canada.

My Mother's family were Irish immigrants who originally settled in Quebec.  My grandfather is originally from Chicoutimi but they moved to New Brunswick due to being looked down upon by Quebecers for being Irish.  My grandfather speaks impeccable French yet refused to teach my Mother or any of her siblings how to speak the language.  I have, at my parents insistence, learned the language and when I have children I plan to make them learn the language.

That's pretty much my family history in a nutshell.

My ex-girlfriend's dad is Irish-Welsh while her mother is Dutch-German and her story is similar to yours, in some ways. A complicated and long list of family history which still confuses me to this day. She said it best when asked "What do you tell people you are" and she said "I'm white".
 

Old Sweat

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Before all else, I am Canadian.

However, that covers a variety of circumstances. For starters, the Anglo part of Canadian is more properly Celtic. At the time of Confederation the Irish, after the French, formed the second-largest ethnic group in the Dominion of Canada. With the Scots, they made up a high proportion of our population.

Now, for my family. My father was born in Scotland and came over as a toddler in 1912. My mother's family, on the other hand, have been in the east end of the Niagara peninsula for six generations. Before that, they appeared in North America in the early-seventeeth century and married into the Mayflower settlers in the 1640s.

My maternal family name is Gorham and I am related to, but not directly descend from, the New England merchants who led Gorham's Rangers in Nova Scotia and Quebec in the Seven Years war.

All all of the above, and five bucks, will get me a pretty fancy coffee just about anywhere in Canada these days. And the same applies to you, regardless of origin.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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I always found it funny when people say "I don't look Guyanese". When someone would tell me their background I would try to find features in their face or hair that would make me go "that's right! He or she is that". Since I can remember people would ask if I'm mixed with [insert European country] and West Indian.
 

Old Sweat

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FortYorkRifleman said:
I always found it funny when people say "I don't look Guyanese". When someone would tell me their background I would try to find features in their face or hair that would make me go "that's right! He or she is that". Since I can remember people would ask if I'm mixed with [insert European country] and West Indian.

So what? You are as Canadian as I am, brother.
 

kratz

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I'm Canadian, born and raised.
According to the federal government, I'm supposed to be from somewhere else, since I'm not a status native.
If I dig back far enough, there are Scottish, Welsh, English, Swiss, French and German in my background.
If I'm not Canadian, what am I?
 

dimsum

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Born and raised in Toronto, but mom's side is from Hong Kong and dad's side is from mainland China pretty much opposite HK.  They had already settled in TO for 4 years before I was born, along with mom's sisters. 

I was *this* close to either being born/raised in Edmonton (where my mom's brother lived) or Houston (where my dad's brother lived).  It was a close one.

I've never been questioned when I say "I'm Canadian" except when I was overseas in Australia.  It was (and still is) a little disconcerting, mostly because Canadians generally won't think twice about it.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Canadian through and through. Born and raised in Montreal, then Quebec city. Joined the Navy , saw the Country and the World. Married a Canadian girl from Ontario (herself third generation Canadian from forefathers originating in the Baltic states - Eastern Europe). Proud subject of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada.

Descendant of French immigrants that came over in 1655 a now member of the tenth generation since arrival "en Canada". I suppose that makes me as "pure-laine" as can be in the eyes of certain people, but I have no special affinity for or love left for France, which is just another country to me.
 

GUS021

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Both of my ancestors came from France in the mid-17th century. One my father’s side, the guy planned his trip for almost 20 years and then died within a year after his arrival in Québec (could never settle, too sick from the crossing). On my mother's side, my ancestor came in his early 20’s as a clerk and became the King's notary. My grandmother (on my father’s side) might had been a Native American; I tried to talk about it on few occasions with my father but it had always been a VERY sensitive issue.

On my part, a brief passage in the reserve during my teens. Almost became a dropout at school but succeeded to become an engineer. I thought of joining the army in my late 20’s but thought I would had been overqualified (didn't know it was possible for a civilian to enroll as an officer). I spent ten years in Europe (Berlin and Switzerland) and then came back to Canada.

I never considered myself as a “Québécois”. I prefer to be part of this melting pot that is Canada.
 
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jollyjacktar

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I am Canadian of English stock with a wee bit of Irish and wayyy back to Norman times of Norman stock.  The first of the family on my materal grandmothers side to England was William's cup bearer. 

My family in Canada only goes back to 1873 when my great grandfather (maternal) was one of the original NWMP and settled at Fort MacLeod after his discharge from the force in 1877.  Dad's side were coal miners from Northumberland and they emigrated following the first world war.
 

Biohazardxj

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Canadian! Born and raised. Just like my parents and my grand parents.  Go back far enough and I was a fish.
 
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