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Description found in Archives
Sous-fonds consists of
Sous-fonds part of
Place of creation
Added language of material: French
Scope and content
Sous-fonds consists of records created and or maintained by the Canadian Citizenship Branch and its predecessors.
Copyright belongs to the Crown.
Biography / Administrative history
The Citizenship Branch had its origins in the Nationalities Branch of the Department of War Services (1942-44). The Branch arose from the recommendation of a small group of senior federal officials that measures be taken to encourage positive participation in the war effort by potentially alienated groups of recent immigrants. Although the Nationalities Branch's responsibilities included promoting Canada through a number of means (the ethnic press, educational materials, speeches, etc.), it appears that the Branch's main function was to provide information on Canada's war effort to the ethnic press.
In 1945 the Branch was reorganized, re-named the Citizenship Division, and formally transferred to the Department of the Secretary of State on 1 November of that year. Its mandate was broadened at that time to encompass wider educational and granting programs. The Branch was responsible for promoting knowledge of Canada, language training and ethnic studies, and the integration of both Native people and new immigrants into mainstream Canadian life. During that time regional offices of the Branch were established.
In 1950, with the creation of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, the Branch was transferred to the new Department, effective 18 January 1950 (C.S. 1949, 2nd Session, C. 16), and was renamed the Citizenship Branch. At that time, it was responsible for the promotion of knowledge about Canada -- its society, institutions, culture and languages -- among Canadians and especially among recent immigrants. In order to accomplish these goals, the Branch undertook a number of educational, training, and community development initiatives.
At the dissolution of the Department in 1966, the Branch was returned to the Secretary of State (C.S. 1966, C. 25). Its successor, the Multiculturalism Directorate, continued as part of the Secretary of State until 1993, when it was transferred to the newly-created Department of Canadian Heritage.
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