York hosts symposium on Famine Irish refugees in Canada

YFile Article: May 27, 2018

For more than 500 years, Irish men, women, and children have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reach Canada. Yet, never during that time had people arrived in such great distress as those immigrants and refugees fleeing the Great Irish Potato Famine in 1847.

A two-day symposium held at York University examined the famine period (1845 to 1851), when a million or more Irish died and another million emigrated during the worst demographic catastrophe in 19th-century Europe.

Symposium organization team: Professor William Jenkins (Geography, York) and Saruka Pararajasingam (BA, MA York)

Symposium organization team: Professor William Jenkins (Geography, York) and Saruka Pararajasingam (BA, MA York)

Titled “The Famine Irish and Forced Migration: An Early Canadian Refugee Crisis,” the symposium was held at the Archives of Ontario on York University’s Keele campus, and other locations, on May 22 and 23. Organized by geography Professor William Jenkins, the symposium featured speakers from the academic, heritage and arts sectors in Canada, Ireland, and U.S. who are active in the production, curating, and promotion of knowledge about the Irish Famine.  Read more...