August 4th 2022 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Asian expulsion from Uganda, leading to the forced displacement of thousands of Ugandan Asian refugees around the world. Since 2012, a team of archivists and researchers at Carleton University have been documenting this important moment in immigration history through the acquisition of archival material and the recording of personal recollections of the expulsion. The result is the Uganda Collection, a collection of materials related to the displacement and resettlement of Ugandan Asian refugees.
In the months to come, staff in the Archives & Special Collections department of Carleton University’s MacOdrum Library will be continuing this effort to expand the materials that currently comprise the Uganda Collection.
Additionally, projects and events that will commemorate the expulsion are being developed, including an academic conference focused on the expulsion and integration of Ugandan Asian refugees in Canada. The two-day academic and community-based conference titled Beyond Resettlement: Exploring the History of the Ugandan Asian Community in Exile will explore several themes and workshops including the historical context of the expulsion, Canada’s response and reception of refugees, and the lived experiences of the refugee community in Canada over the past 50 years. The conference will also feature exhibits from the Uganda Collection, a global cafe on intergenerational identities amongst refugees and their children, and a documentary screening commemorating the 50th anniversary. Using a hybrid approach of panels and workshops, the conference aims to yield several lessons and policy insights on pathways to integration, memory, and identity. More details and registration details will be released in late 2021.
In order to bring the conference to fruition, we are seeking private donations and corporate sponsorships to match potential grant funding from organizations such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Canadian Heritage
With your support, the Uganda Collection will continue to preserve the collective memory of a significant immigrant community. This collection will be used by researchers studying immigration, diaspora, African political history and a wide variety of other areas. Faculty members will also use the collection for teaching—giving undergraduate and graduate students the important experience of working with primary source materials.
If you are interested in donating archival material or participating in an oral history interview, please contact:
Archives & Special Collections Coordinator
Carleton University Library