June 4, 2022 to November 30, 2022
On March 1, 1922, a large group of Old Colony Mennonites gathered at the railway station in Plum Coulee, Manitoba, awaiting a train that would take them to Cuauhtémoc, a small town in northern Mexico. Leaving Canada tells the story of these Mennonites and the nearly eight thousand others who left Canada in the 1920s to start new lives in Mexico and Paraguay. Pushed into the unknown by the assimilation and betrayal they felt threatened them in Canada, this is the story of the lengths to which one community went to preserve its faith and culture.
Featuring artefacts from Mennonite Heritage Village’s collection, historical photographs from public archives and private collections, and original interpretative content, Leaving Canada draws on the most current research on the topic of the 1920s emigration from Canada. It is crafted to the highest standard of professionalism and held to museum standards in research, content, interpretation, photography, and exhibit design.
Leaving Canada explores the history of an ethnoreligious community’s determination to preserve its autonomy. It is a story about competing conceptions of religious freedom and of tensions between religious, linguistic, and educational rights on the one hand, and the obligations of citizenship on the other.
The exhibit is a partnership of Mennonite Heritage Village, the Plett Foundation, and the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada.