“The Icelanders became neighbours with the First Peoples of these lands, alongside the existing settlers and those from many places who followed. Writing the Canadian story had just begun, and this group from an island in the middle of the North Atlantic was there helping to write it, adding their own story, and adding another chapter to the history of the Vikings. Their saga was unlike that of many immigrants who came after to find their way by fitting into a new land. The Icelanders arrived with a vision of building a New Iceland within “the Icelandic Reserve” set aside for them and began the arduous task of creating a society with its own institutions and identity…

Many Icelanders journeyed from their island home expecting a new life beside a prairie ocean. They understood that independence and interdependence were intrinsically interconnected. They understood that creating an economy as a basis for self-sufficiency was the foundation of independence. Mostly sheep farmers, they came to find land, but confronted with heavily forested terrain and long, snowy winters, the futility of farming soon became apparent. Within a few years the farmers became fishermen, and began building “New Iceland” inside a country itself engaged in the business of nation building.”

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