Indigenous Migration to City During and After World War II


At the end of the Second World War, and as use of the illegal government-imposed pass system ended, Indigenous people began to migrate to urban areas in increasing numbers, seeking employment and education opportunities. In the primary source listed under "Relevant Resources" (on this page),Dorothy Askwith notes that the number of Indigenous people in the city increased after World War II had broken out as a result of Indigenous enlistment.

The government had not kept its treaty promises as it related to assisting Indigenous peoples in transitioning from a subsistence livelihood to one based on participation in a capitalist, cash-based economy. Relocation to the city often meant a better chance of making a survivable living and of access to education and other resources. However, living in the city also had the potential to result in a loss of community and cultural connection, and introduced new challenges such as frequent experiences of racist discrimination.