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From Sojourners to Citizens

From Sojourners to Citizens

Alberta's Italian History

By Adriana A. Davies

From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History brings to life the untold story of Italian immigrants in Alberta from the 1880s to the present. It places them in the narrative of province building from work on railways, mines and other industries to breaking the land for agriculture. Oral history excerpts allow the men, women and children to speak for themselves. What emerges is an unquenchable desire to make good, and overcome intolerable working conditions and discrimination, which culminated with enemy alien designation and internment during the Second World War. The book also provides an exploration of the impact of Government of Canada’s multicultural policy on the process of assimilation for the post-war influx of immigrants. It offers a prototype of an immigrant community’s movement from marginalization to the mainstream.


Guernica Editions (Essential Essays Series)


416 pages |

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Being named enemy aliens shamed Italian-Albertans. Many denied their ethnicity. They forgot their language and took on Anglo names. Adriana Davies counteracts that negativity with an opposing story of accomplishment and pride.

Alberta Views


AICW Bressani Literary Prize

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About the author

Adriana A. Davies, Order of Canada, Cavaliere d’Italia and Queen’s Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals recipient, was born in Italy, grew up in Canada and has a doctorate from the University of London. Publications include Changing My Skin: Dark Elegies and Other Poems, From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor, The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello, The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War (co-editor and contributor) and From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History.

She was shortlisted for the Bressani Prize for non-fiction for Sojourners and awards include: the Alberta Museums Association Life Time Achievement Award, Province of Alberta Centennial Medal, Global Woman of Vision Award, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the Arts, Inaugural Heritage Writers Reserve Award of the Edmonton Heritage Council and others.