This site was developed by eMAP for the University of Saskatchewan Archives
© 2011, All rights reserved.University of Saskatchewan

“…if we all act together:” – Immigration

Walter Murray had a keen interest in immigration.  He delivered speeches, wrote articles, corresponded with government Ministers and officials and made submissions to Royal Commissions regarding the topic.  As with many issues, Murray’s involvement went far beyond the theoretical: he wrote numerous letters on behalf of immigrants, particularly those he came to know in Big River.

Murray recognized the need for Canada to attract people to the country especial the need to populate the West.  He was definitely an advocate of assimilation, and certainly not in favour of those immigrants who might cling to the politics and nationalist sentiment of their country of origin.  He felt that there was an obligation to help the immigrant to adapt to the new country.  Murray felt it was his role to lend a guiding hand.  This was not only in aid of cultural assimilation but practical help through education.   He believed a prosperous, successful and productive immigrant would become a good citizen.

Murray was proactive in regards to the education of those who settled in the province.  The University of Saskatchewan was not only an institution of higher learning but also derived the province’s extension programs.  The teaching of farming techniques appropriate to the prairie was seen as a necessity to the success of the immigrant population.   The University held field days, short course and the Better Farming Train that toured the province each year.  Murray often traveled the province to get a first hand idea of the needs of the population.  Outside the university Murray was involved in Church run programs, the British Boy Immigration program and Community Progress Competitions.