Scandinavian Roots - American Lives - News & Events - Library and Archives Canada
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A new exhibition opens at the National Archives of Canada

Ottawa, May 22, 2002 - The National Archives of Canada, in partnership with the Nordic Embassies, is pleased to present Scandinavian Roots—American Lives, a two-part exhibition. A travelling exhibit, produced by the Nordic Council of Ministers, tells the story of emigration from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to North America from 1825 to 1930. Photographs capture the emigrant's background, journey, arrival and life in North America. The National Archives presents a glimpse into the Nordic immigrant's experience in Canada through photographs and a variety of records.

A sculpture commemorating Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir and her son, Snorri Thorfinnsson, the first European child born in North America, has been installed at the National Archives. The sculture was given as a gift to the people of Canada from Iceland in 2000.

"The Nordic immigrants to Canada created a better life for themselves in their adopted country through hard work," says Iceland's Ambassador to Canada, Hjálmar Hannesson speaking on behalf of the five Nordic Ambassadors in Ottawa and the Nordic Council of Ministers. "Their Canadian homeland has benefited from the values and traditions they brought with them."

"There is a growing desire on the part of Canadians to discover their roots," says National Archivist Ian E. Wilson. "This upsurge of interest is the driving force behind the online Canadian Genealogy Centre—an initiative that aims to provide a single gateway to genealogical resources across the country."

For more information on the exhibition and on Nordic emigration, visit the Council's Web site at: Many immigrants can be traced from passenger lists by using the database, Immigration Records 1925-1935, accessible via ArchiviaNet, the online research tool available at the National Archives Web site. Information about earlier passenger lists can be found on this same Web site under Genealogy: Immigration records.


For more information, please contact:

Michal Anne Crawley
National Archives of Canada
Telephone: (613)992-9361


Wenche Ainer Sharp
Royal Danish Embassy
Telephone: (613)562-1811

Marita Meranto
Embassy of Finland
Telephone: (613)236-2389
Helga Bertelsen
Embassy of Iceland
Telephone: (613)482-1844
Hege Fisknes
Royal Norwegian Embassy
Telephone: (613)238-6571

Ann Velek
Embassy of Sweden
Telephone: (613)241-8553