On August 4, 1972, then-President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of the country’s Ugandan Asian population. At the time, the president claimed that there were over 80,000 individuals of South Asian descent living in Uganda. With 90 days to leave, families scrambled to find a place to go. Those with Ugandan passports were stripped of their citizenship, making them stateless. Canada was one of the first countries to respond to Idi Amin’s order.

Given the importance of capturing the memories and experiences of Ugandan Asians during this period, Carleton University has created the Ugandan Asian Archive Collection.

The Uganda collection is a unique archive that gives insight into the expulsion and subsequent resettlement of over 7,000 Ugandan Asians in Canada. This archival collection consists of a number of different materials including over 1000 newspaper clippings, two video recordings, and a personal memoire that documents the Ugandan Asian expulsion from Uganda under the order of President and Military General Idi Amin. This collection also documents how the situation was handled by Western countries, particularly Britain and Canada. The initial collection was recognized for its importance and thus organized and transferred to the Archives through the efforts of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society. After the successful completion of Phase 1 of this project, we are seeking additional funds to implement Phase 2—which will allow us to conduct additional oral history interviews and create a more comprehensive collection.

By augmenting existing records with oral histories and richer materials, the heritage of this community will be further enhanced.  This work will include:

  • conducting oral history interviews with 40 additional members of the community across Canada
  • converting interviews into multiple formats for use on web exhibits and creating transcripts
  • thematic sorting of content into predetermined themes for increased accessibility for students and the general public
  • website redesign to engage students and researchers with documents, oral histories, and archive content that is keyword searchable and easy to navigate

With your support, the Ugandan Asian Archives 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.