Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives CanadaSymbol of the Government of Canada
Français - Version française de cette pageHome - The main page of the Institution's websiteContact Us - Institutional contact informationHelp - Information about using the institutional websiteSearch - Search the institutional - Government of Canada website

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Banner: The Kids' Site of Canadian Settlement
IntroductionExplore the Communities

Section title: Doukhobor
Introduction |  History |  Daily Life |  Culture |  References



Crowds lining up for Doukhobor lands, Yorkton, Saskatchewan, 1907  

The Doukhobors settled down, cleared the land, built houses and began farming. They did well and eventually built brick factories, saw mills and flour mills. In 1902 Peter Verigin, the Doukhobor community's spiritual leader, decided that he would buy land in British Columbia where an oath of allegiance was not required. Over the next five years, he moved around 5 000 Doukhobors to the interior of British Columbia, around the towns of Brilliant, Grand Forks, Glade and Pass Creek. Once more, they had to clear the land, prepare the soil for planting, and build houses. This time they also planted lots of fruit trees and built a big jam factory, as well as more brick factories. In 1907, the Doukhobors faced a new challenge. The Canadian government was asking the Doukhobors to swear an oath of allegiance to the King. Many did not wish to do so, as they felt this would mean they would have to fight in a war if there was one. They were given a choice: sign the oath or lose their land. Some of the Doukhobors, who became known as the Independents, signed the oath and remained on their land. The others lost over 250 000 acres that they had worked so hard to clear and improve for farming. The government sold the land to other people. There was a rush to buy this rich farmland so nicely cleared and worked!

Line of Doukhobor wagons heading for the railway embarkation point to leave for the interior of British Columbia, 1909   Doukhobors en route to Western Canada by train


Proactive Disclosure