In the lie of this Multicultural Land: An Analysis of Barbados-Canada Relations, 1966 -1990.
Barbados-Canada relations spanned many decades, from November 30, 1966, those relations entered a new dimension, since Barbados now an independent state, was no longer ruled by Britain. This new relationship witnessed new political, social, and economic ties being established between the two nations. Approximately one year later, in 1967, Canada implemented a points system which further transformed its discriminatory immigration policy, thus making it somewhat easier for Black Barbadians and other Black people to enter the country. Despite these new post-independence changes, Barbadians found that racial profiling and anti-black discrimination undergirded their relationship with Canada, whether in policymaking, social and cultural diplomacy, economic activities, or emigration. And webbed in that reality, was the standard narrative of Canada being a helper of underdeveloped Barbados, by way of development assistance and other economic benefits. This dissertation challenges the perception that historically Canada has primarily rendered assistance to Barbados – a recipient of Canadian generosity without reciprocation. Utilizing archival research at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and the oral testimonies of some Black Barbadian emigrants, this dissertation argues that Barbados was not just a passive beneficiary of Canadian assistance. But in fact, the island provided Canada with more benefits, particularly, social benefits in return, which made the relationship more beneficial to Canada in the 1966 to 1990 era. This argument challenges Ralph Paragg’s portrayal of Barbados and the Caribbean as merely recipients of Canadian beneficence, by showing that Barbados gave back to Canada more than it received.