Ugandan Asian Archives Collection

Ugandan Asian Archives Collection

The Rundown

The Ugandan Asian Archives Collection preserves the collective memory of a significant immigrant community. This collection can be used by researchers studying immigration diaspora, African political history and a wide variety of other areas. Faculty members can also use the collection for teaching—giving undergraduate and graduate students the important experience of working with primary source materials.

The collection consists of:

  • The Paul Hempel Collection—five volumes containing hundreds of Canadian, British and American newspaper clippings on the events in Uganda and the Canadian response from August to December 1972.
  • The Wayne Bennett Collection—three volumes containing hundreds of clippings from Ugandan newspapers from 1970 to 1972.
  • Seven Crested Cranes, a memoir by Roger St. Vincent, leader of the Canadian immigration team in Uganda, which provides a day-by-day account of the selection, processing and transportation of 6,000 people to Canada.
  • Canadian and Ugandan government decisions documented in cabinet records.
  • Several hundred additional media reports (English and French) from 1970 to 1973.

After successfully completing Phase 1 of this campaign, we are seeking your help with Phase 2 of this project to raise $50,000.

The Background

On August 4, 1972, then-President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of the country’s Asian population. At the time, there were over 80,000 individuals of Asian origin 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.

This is a unique archive collection that gives insight into the 1972 South Asian expulsion from Uganda and the subsequent resettlement in Canada.

The Rollout

The oral histories will be acquired from those who experienced or took part in the migration of 1972. By augmenting existing records with oral histories, the heritage of this community will be further enhanced.  This work will include:

  • identifying and communicating with individuals and conducting oral history interviews
  • converting interviews for use on web exhibit and creating transcripts
  • processing archival material for physical and online exhibition
  • creating archival finding aids for online research
  • performing any long-term preservation necessary on archival material

The Benefits

The Ugandan Asian Archives Collection is a unique record that is of wide interest.  It is accessible by anyone, anywhere due to its digitization (link to site is Most importantly, the conservation and expansion of this collection will preserve the memory of this critical juncture in the history of this community.  After the successful completion of Phase 1 of this project, we are seeking to secure $50,000 to implement Phase 2—which will allow us to conduct additional oral history interviews, creating a more comprehensive collection.


Shairoz Ramji

In memory of Akbarali Kanani


Robert Harris


Amarpreet Vaid

Great project!

See Donor Wall