Randal G. Tonks@ and Gira S. Bhatt
Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6









*A follow up to poster presentation at Canadian Psychological Association

Annual Congress, June 13 - 15, 1991 Calgary, Alta.




@Send correspondence to first author


Canadian social psychologists such as Lambert (1970), Kalin and Gardner (1981), and Berry (1984) make some propositions concerning a Canadian social psychology. Following these propositions there has been a great amount of research dealing with acculturation, ethnic identity, and second language acquisition. There has, however, been a marked dearth of research focussing on the unified Canadian identity. The present study makes an attempt at understanding the questions of "what is Canadian Identity?" and "what does it mean to be Canadian?" through an examination of the answers of undergraduate psychology students to these questions. These answers were classified into the response categories of: activities, identity crisis, nature/geography, policies, relations, symbols/objects, and traits. In addition to discussing these results against demographic variables, the implications of these data to our national identity, the policy of multiculturalism, and the task of generating and teaching a Canadian social psychology are considered.


Twenty-one years ago, Walter Lambert (1970), in his C.P.A. presidential address, asks "What are they like, these Canadians?"; as he encourages us all "to take stock of society" and prepare ourselves with procedures and tools to both diagnose and solve social problems. Considering the Canadian context to be important, Kalin and Gardner (1981) also emphasize the need for a Canadian social psychology. Berry (1984) further emphasizes the need to identify Canadian social issues (in ethnic group relations) and to examine the federal policy of multiculturalism.

Throughout the past 20 years, many researchers have continued to examine "Canadian issues" such as second language use (Lambert & Holobow, 1984; Lalonde & Gardner, 1984; Gardner & Lysynchuk, 1990; Young & Gardner, 1990), multicultural and ethnic attitudes (Kalin, 1984; Kalin & Berry, 1984; Lambert, Mermigis & Taylor, 1986) and the meaning of multiculturalism for visible minority immigrant women (Moghaddam & Taylor, 1987). Berry, who has probably been the greatest proponent of multicultural research in Canada, has continued to research acculturation (Berry, 1987; Berry, Kim, Minde & Mok, 1987; Berry, Kim, Power, Young, & Bujaki, 1989), and issues related to multicultural pluralism (Berry, Kalin & Taylor, 1977; Berry, 1986). In addition, Aboud has examined ethnic self (identity) constancy (Aboud, 1983; Aboud & Skerry, 1983), as well as ethnic identity development (Aboud, 1987).

Despite the wealth of research on these various "Canadian issues", there has been virtually no attention paid to the investigation of "the Canadian identity". Other than a look at the importance of being Canadian by Morse (1977), there has been nothing. Attempting to remedy this neglect while following the leads of Lambert and Berry; we turned our attention to the study of the Canadian Identity, an issue which currently appears to be of tremendous concern. As the headlines are filled with concern over "the Canadian Identity" (due to Free-trade, Oka, Meech lake, and the gulf war), this study was designed to capture a glimpse at what Canadians think is "the Canadian Identity", and "what it means to be Canadian."


Questionnaire forms were given to 79 undergraduate students at Simon Fraser University with a mean age of 24.3 years. The forms (see appendix A) contained the following two open ended questions: What is Canadian Identity ? and What does it mean to be Canadian? The respondents were simply asked to write what ever came to their minds. These opened ended responses were collected, and classified into the following categories: activities, identity crisis, nature/geography, policies, relations, symbols/objects, and traits. These categories were arrived at after a brief glance through the protocols, followed by some discussion. In addition, a detailed demographic profile was attained for each participant. This included information pertaining to the participants ethnic identification, their concern over Canadian identity, and their travel experience.


Initial classification by two judges demonstrated 61% agreement for the 996 responses to the two questions. However, through a "Canadian" approach of discussion, agreement was arrived at for classification of all responses by the two judges. The totals and all of the responses for each category are to be found in appendix B.

In addition to this qualitative analysis, an ANOVA was performed on both raw frequencies and proportions of responses found in each category for each of the questions. Several demographic variables were examined as it was thought that there would be some interesting differences in the responses for these groupings. Those variables examined were: Ethnic Identification, Frequency of Thinking (about Canadian identity), Travel Abroad, Time (spent) in USA, (Number of) Provinces Travelled To, and (Number of) Other Languages (spoken or written). Although most of these analyses demonstrated no significant differences, there were statistically significant results found in two analyses for question one, and four for question two.

The ANOVA summary information for question one is found in Table 1. In addition, histograms for these analyses are found in Figures 1 and 2. These analyses demonstrate that people who identify themselves as "Ethnic" report the greatest percentage of "geography/nature" statements; while they at the same time report the lowest proportion of statements regarding the relation of Canadian identity to other countries. Concurrently, those who identify themselves as "Ethnic-Canadian" reported the greatest proportion of responses regarding relations of Canadian identity to other countries.

Table 1

ANOVA for Proportions from Question 1 (Canadian Identity)


Category Grouping F DF P


Nature/Geography 3.42 2, 70 .04

Relations 3.35 2, 70 .04


In the analysis of the second question responses, there were significant differences found in four of the analyses for both frequency and proportion of responses. The ANOVA summary information for each of these are found in Tables 2 and 3. In addition, Figures 3 through 6 are histogram plots of the means for these analyses.

Table 2

ANOVA for Frequencies from Question 2 (Being Canadian)


Category Grouping F DF P


Traits 3.05 2, 76 .05

Thinking About

Crisis 6.60 5, 73 .00


Table 3

ANOVA for Proportions from Question 2 (Being Canadian)


Category Grouping F DF P

Thinking About

Crisis 2.57 5, 67 .03

Time in USA

Crisis 3.15 4, 68 .02


The results indicate that people who ascribe to the label "Ethnic-Canadian" reported the greatest number of "trait" responses. Secondly, those people who report thinking about Canadian identity on a daily basis also report both a greater number and a larger proportion of "crisis" statements about being Canadian than do people who think less frequently about Canadian identity. Lastly people who report having spent about 20 to 50 weeks in the United States also report a greater proportion of "crisis" statements than do others.



The results from this study indicate that there are some central and salient features to Canadian identity and being Canadian. As noted by the qualitative analysis, the most common responses to "what is Canadian identity?" (see appendix C) are that it is different from the United States, and that it involves freedom, and the maintenance of an ethnic and cultural mosaic. However, this analysis also indicates that we are unsure of our identity (which we really may not have) despite the fact that we are peaceful, patriotically passive, friendly, and laid-back.

In addition, from examining the most common responses to "What does it mean to be Canadian?", we again (appendix C) are seen to be: not American, supporting freedom, belonging (or having loyalty) to the country, having pride in our country, being peaceful, having an appreciation for our high quality of life, and multiculturally diverse. Taken together, these responses give an indication of the ideal image of a "Canadian". This image primarily involves being different from the US, having freedom, having multicultural diversity, and contains a certain degree of uncertainty over who we are.1

Furthermore, the quantitative analysis shed some light on the demographics of the people ascribing to these images of Canada. Firstly, it demonstrated that people who identify themselves as "Ethnic" find the natural/geographical aspects of "Canadian identity" most salient without being concerned about relations; while those who identify themselves as "Ethnic-Canadian" seem most of all concerned with relations and traits. This may be a result of the fact that most of those ascribing to the "Ethnic" label were visa students from abroad. For these virtual newcomers to Canada, the highly publicized "natural and geographical" images of Canada appear most salient.

Secondly, those people who ascribe to the label "Ethnic-Canadian" reported the greatest percentage of "relational" responses. This may be due to the fact that these people view themselves with a dual-aspect definition. By this, we mean that, for these people, being Canadian also implies or includes something else (i.e., their ethnic identity). Taken in this light, one might expect that the definition of "Canadian" will involve a greater number and percentage of "relational" statements for these bicultural or bi-ethnic people. Alternatively, as will be discussed in more detail in the "implications" section, these people may be experiencing a greater degree of "crisis" over personal identity formation than other people. As may be the case, if these people are in the process of acculturation, they may be experiencing some degree of "identity crisis" which extends into the collective or national identity formation.

Thirdly, people who report thinking about Canadian identity on a daily basis also report a higher frequency and proportion of "crisis" statements about being Canadian. Here it appears that those people who regularly think about Canadian identity are questioning the existence of it and are unsure of what it is. Again, there will be more discussion on this in the next section on implications.

Lastly, as it was found that people who report having spend about 20 to 50 weeks in the United States also report a high proportion of "crisis" statements; one can draw numerous conclusions, since it is unclear what this relationship might entail.

It does seem, however, that one must, place only a limited degree of confidence in conclusions about national identity drawn directly from this small sample. Alternatively, it does appear that in addition to these somewhat tenuous conclusions, other implications can be drawn from this study. These implications are: first, as with the Royal (Spicer) Commission on the future of Canada, this study also sheds light on what is important to Canadians about Canadian identity and being Canadian. Secondly, this study, and others like it, can also contribute to, and provide a means for identifying the results of social psychological research and government policy throughout the twenty years since Lambert called upon us. Thirdly, this study outlines a foundation for the establishment of a psychology that is truly Canadian.


As with the first part of this discussion, the first implication, addresses the issue of a national identity and national unity. By asking Canadians "what is Canadian identity?" and "what does it mean to be Canadian?" we can take stock of the values, ideals and goals of we Canadians; providing some understanding of this national identity.

Taken with the fact that there have recently been a number of events which have led to an increase in concern over our identity, this study can be seen as very timely. These events (of course) include a Royal Commission set up to find out what Canadians think of the future of Canada, the resurrection of a nationalist movement in Quebec, the fact that native land and sovereignty claims are peaking in the headlines along side of Oka, and the on-going debate over the fact that our government continues to trade our country freely to Uncle Sam.

Taken against these events, one might think that the identity of this country is in crisis. An examination of the data from this study corroborates this observation, as there are a reasonably large number of both "relational" and "crisis" responses. Appendix C provides a list of these and the other most common responses, showing that there are a total of 75/996 (or 7.5%) "crisis" statements, and 133/996 (or 14.3%) relational statements. This significant percentage (21.8%) of these two types of responses may be indicative of a state of "identity crisis". In trying to understand this apparent identity crisis, a look to the work of Erik Erikson provides some understanding.

Erikson (1968, 1982) discusses identity formation as natural part of life and growth. There are, of course, many developmental forms of it; where partly, as in adolescence, there is a searching for ideology, idolatry and identity. There is also, as in adulthood, a generative passing on of culture, values and ideals. Furthermore, Erikson indicates that identity formation and transformation occur at psycho-social levels. As we are individually establishing our identities we also are collectively establishing various group, cultural and national identities. As Erikson (1964) states, "[t]rue identity, however, depends on the support which the young individual receives from the collective sense of identity characterizing the social groups significant to him: his class, his nation, his culture" (p. 93, emphasis added).

Consequently, as many of us are struggling through our personal identity formations, we will also be struggling through our national, or "Canadian Identity" formation. Conversely, as a nation, we are like an adolescent who has been passed from Father England and Mother France, off to Uncle Sam. Throughout this transition, we, as a nation, have come to a point where we have to decide for ourselves exactly who we are and who we are going to become. For, as we have been inundated by ideologies of homogeneity and assimilation, we have begun to form our own identity as we have ascribed to a pluralistic multicultural policy. In doing this we now move into adulthood, as a nation, and we can confirm our identity commitments and secure our sense of who we are. A second aspect of the image of Canadian identity presented here follows another feature of identity crisis which Erikson discusses. This is the fact that many young persons themselves may establish identity through identification with something which represents a clearly defined ideology. This occurs in the forms of wholly accepting some alternative or, as Erikson refers to it, a negative identity in the form of rejecting something which is clearly "not me" (as are parents). Erikson states:

where historical and technological developments severely encroach upon deeply rooted or strongly emerging identities (i.e., agrarian, feudal, patrician) on a large scale, youth feels endangered, individually and collectively, whereupon it becomes ready to support doctrines offering a total immersion in a synthetic identity (extreme nationalism, racism, or class consciousness) and a collective condemnation of a totally stereotyped enemy of the new identity (1964, p.93).

Although the present situation may not be as extreme as Erikson discusses here; the fact that these data demonstrate a large degree of identification of what is Canadian through a reference to being not like the United States (our stereotyped enemy?) appears to indicate further evidence of a collective identity crisis.

As a summary of the "images of Canada", as seen by these respondents, there appears to be a classical Eriksonian identity crisis. This is evident in the fact that there is some degree of a clear sense of identity (multiculturalism, peaceful and free), however, there is also a large degree of uncertainty and identity definition through reference to being unlike something (i.e., the United States). Erikson describes an individual "crisis" as the case when "the resulting self-definition, for personal or for collective reasons, becomes too difficult, a sense of role confusion results: the youth counterpoints rather than synthesizes his sexual, ethnic, occupational, and typological alternatives" (1964, p.92, emphasis added). Although Erikson's focus here is on the individual, it should be clear that both, individual identity formation occurs in conjunction with ethnic, and national identity formation, and that in times of confusion (or crisis) identity takes the form of counterpointing, rather than synthesizing. Consequently he shows that a state or national identity crisis (or confusion) may (as it presently appears to) be occurring where there are threats to the collective identity of a state or nation of people.

This leads into the second implication where persons such as Lambert and Berry have encouraged us to take stock of our social problems and virtues such as Canadians' attitudes toward immigrants, and multiculturalism and acculturation. One line of research that has flourished over the past two decades is John Berry's work on acculturation and multiculturalism. In this work, Berry (1986) indicates that (under the conditions of a multicultural plural society) when people from different ethnic and cultural groups come together, it is both the host and the immigrants who change and go through acculturation. This is reflected in the national identity of Canadians, as our government supports a multicultural policy of cultural maintenance and development which has lead to a changing face of Canada. As new immigrants come to Canada bringing their cultures and customs from their homelands, they go through the acculturative process as they (often) are confronted by the cultures and customs of many different Canadians. Likewise, those people whose families have been here for generations will also go through acculturation as new immigrants bring their new ways, adding to the Canadian mosaic. Although the former case is expected to occur, the latter also happens, as with the issue of the Mounties wearing turbans.

As already suggested, acculturation is expected to occur in a plural society. In addition, as a part of the change due to acculturation, all Canadians would be expected to experience some "crisis" as we all go from one form of identity to a new one. Especially during times as they are now, there will be some maintenance or continuity to identity while, like a typical adolescent, there is also some change. As is evident in the sample collected here, there is a considerable degree of questioning and uncertainty over our national character; which appears to be a result of both the acculturation of us all (due to the arrival of new comers) and also due to our poor recognition of the first peoples of this land who are now forcing us to acculturate to their ways rather than the exclusive unidirectional assimilation of our past. The Eriksonian analogy may also apply here as we become an "adult" country in the world, we can move towards self-determination as we leave behind our adolescent dependence upon Great Britain, France, and the United States.

Furthermore, in response to this "crisis", we ought to encourage all peoples of Canada to take control over our future; attaching ourselves to our self-chosen identity. This is like the desired action of an adolescent who must learn to become his or her own person, ascribing to values and ideals that are meaningful to his or her own life. Rather than being passive and having our identity directed by Britain, France, U.S. or others, we can (as Erikson would urge a youth to do) take active control over the establishment of our own identity. Surveys like this one can, we believe, provide understanding for all Canadians of such images of Canada (such as tolerance and multiculturalism) which we hold central to our national identity. In carrying out repeated investigations of the relationships between multicultural policy and acculturation with our national identity we can observe any change or stability that is present in the values upon which our identity rests. In addition, we can feed this information back to the people of Canada so that they can actively support or change that image of Canada.

In summary of this second implication, we can provide two major points. Firstly, we can see what kind of image of Canada is held by Canadians, which can be used to inform researchers developing questionnaires such as Berry's acculturative attitude scales. In these questionnaires respondents are asked to rate their acceptance of "Canadian culture". Having a clear idea of what most Canadians consider to be "Canadian" these research programs can be assisted. At the same time, it can be used in conjunction with Berry's measures to provide a participant-based image of Canadian, Ethnic(s), and their own position relative to the two. Secondly, this study provides a means to examine the effects of the multicultural policy in-so-far as the policy (or reference to it and its effects) forms a part of the images of Canadian identity and being Canadian. As has been seen above, the multicultural policy forms a large part of these images, indicating some success for this policy. There is, of course, more that can be discovered about the policy, namely the relationship between identity crisis and the policy itself. This has been discussed to some degree here, however, only time and further study can provide a clearer picture of this.

This leads into the third implication, which suggests that this study can contribute to the establishment of a truly Canadian psychology. This involves both how we are going to define and discover the things we call Canadian psychology, as well as the content and methods of our teaching. Just as we can know what it means to be Canadian, we can also use this information to bring our psychology into line with our national identity and values.

Unlike the focus that has (in the past) been directed at establishing a Canadian social psychology that is either IN Canada and OF Canada (Berry, 1978), or one that focuses on the Canadian context (Kalin & Gardner, 1981), this study provides the impetus for developing a Canadian social psychology which is IN and OF Canada, which is focused on the Canadian context, and uses Canadian methods and approaches. By looking to the people of Canada to find out what and how Canadians do what they do, we psychologists can help to secure that Canadian identity for those Canadian people by educating them about themselves in a style and method that itself is characteristic of the national identity to which they ascribe. In connection with this, there is the generative continuation of culture and values that Erikson identifies as being central to the psychosocial development of all peoples. By confronting and gaining an understanding of Canadian identity we can follow Lambert's lead and maintain a perspective on Canada that is Canadian itself. In doing this we engage in the personal identity formation of ourselves, our students, and our colleagues; as this process cannot be separated from the establishment of other social (national) identities to which we ascribe. All we must do is look around us for relevant Canadian issues, and get to the heart of who we are and how we come to know about ourselves. Furthermore we can assist in the development of ourselves and those around us by engaging in the process of knowing who we are as a people; including those ideals, values and forms of living that are truly Canadian.

Although it was not evident in the responses in this study, the notion of the "Canadian dialectic" is central to Mathews' (1988) book Canadian Identity. Mathews elaborates on the Canadian dialectics of politics, religion, and commerce while he focuses on the central dialectical theme of communitarianism vs. individualism. In presenting this theme, Mathews indicates that this "social question" has taken a central role amongst many other dialectics in our identity. It follows from this analysis that we (as a people) largely discover who we are through the dialectical process of Royal Commissions and cross-country discussions on CBC and Radio Canada. It is through this process that we psychologists may come to know Canadians and Canadian psychology most accurately. This is also the process of the current "Spicer Commission" which has fostered discussion on issues pertinent to Canadians and the future of Canada. Through dialectical processes such as these, we can understand what images of Canada are held by Canadians, and we can also help those Canadians understand the psychological and social implications of holding such images.

In addition, we believe that we Canadian psychologists can also understand ourselves better through a plurality of perspectives bound together by the values of tolerance and respect for the methods and traditions of others. Consequently, to establish a Canadian psychology we ought to support and develop a plurality of perspectives such as those of "feminist", "ethnic" and "indigenous" psychologists. This seems to be a common and important theme at this time, as this year's C.P.A. conference had an intersection symposium on "Social psychology, feminist research, theory and history", another symposium on "The role of psychology in a multicultural society", as well as two symposia on "Contemporary developments in post-positivist thinking". In addition, last year Canadian Psychology published an article entitled "A reappraisal of Wundt's influence on social psychology" by Kroger and Scheibe (1990). This article discusses Wundt's Volkerpsychologie and how contemporary social psychology has almost completely overlooked this valuable approach. Kroger and Scheibe further suggest that a constructionist perspective might be more in line with the nature of social psychology. We believe that in addition to a constructionist perspective, a "Canadian social psychology" ought to be pluralistic to fall in line with our national values. Through a pursuit of these and other (such as the traditional British, American, and German) approaches to psychology we can maintain our "pluralistic, accepting, tolerant, and multicultural" ideals in encouraging the investigation of human nature through various approaches, methods, and philosophies.



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Appendix A

Today's Date __________

Part I

This survey has been constructed because I'm interested in what people think about Canadian Identity. As such I would like you to write down in the space provided below what you think the "Canadian Identity" is. Please write what ever comes to mind when you think about what the Canadian Identity is.

(please see reverse side)

In this next space could you write down what ever you think it means to you to be Canadian. If you think of yourself as Canadian, what does it mean to you to be Canadian? If you do not think of yourself as Canadian, please write what ever you think it would mean to others who themselves think they are Canadian.

Part II Background Information

1. Your Age_________

b) Your Place of birth Province______ Country________

c) Parents' places of birth:
Mother Province ________ Country__________

Father Province ________ Country__________

2. Sex: Male____ Female ____

3. Marital Status: Single_____ Married_____ Other_____

4. Length of residence in Canada: __________ years

5. Citizenship: Canadian___ Immigrant____ Temporary/Visa ____

6. Do you plan to live in Canada in the future? Y___ N___

7. What is your highest level of education completed? Grade/Year ___

8. Do you identify yourself as:

a) Canadian?___ b) Ethnic?___ c) Ethnic-Canadian?___

Please specify with which ethnic group you identify ________

9. If someone were to ask you to name five groups to which you belong, would one of them be:

Canadian? Y___ N___

Your Ethnic group? Y___ N___

Ethnic-Canadian? Y___ N___

10. a) Does it ever concern you what Canadian Identity is? Y___ N__

b) If so, how often do you think about it?

Every Day___
Every Week___
A Couple times a Month___
Once a Month___
A Couple times a Year___

11. Have you travelled abroad (ie. to Europe or Asia)? Y___ N___

if so, for how long? _____

which country(s) did you go to? _________________

Did you spend time with people who live there? Y___ N___

12. How many times have you been to the USA? _____

for an average of how long each time? _____

Did you spend time with people who live there? Y___ N___

13. Have you travelled in other provinces of Canada? Y___ N___

Where? _______________

Did you spend time with people who live there? Y___ N___

14. Do you speak or write any languages other than English? Y___ N__

which do you speak? ______________________

which do you write? _______________________

15. Do you regularly read a newspaper or news magazine? Y___ N___

which one(s) __________________________

16. Do you regularly watch national news? Y___ N___

which one(s)? CBC___ CTV___ Global___


Appendix B:

Complete set of sorted responses

Question 1

What is Canadian Identity?

589 - Grand Total


Frequency Statement

6 - Total

2 - Fiercely protecting the environment

2 - Recreationally oriented (into sports)

1 - Travel to tropics

1 - Watching Canadian TV Shows (Beach Combers or David Suzuki)

Identity Crisis (questions)

54 - Total

20 - Unclear idea of Canadian Identity (confusing, lost to identity)

10 - Don't believe there is an identity

7 - Not united

5 - Losing our identity

3 - It's an embarrassment (insecurity)

2 - Still in process of formation

2 - No (national) group spirit

1 - Afraid to acknowledge real Canadians (natives)

1 - Defined as what it is not

1 - Meaning very little

1 - National identity is outdated

1 - Don't have a lot of cultural events

Nature / Geography

21 - Total

6 - Wide (beautiful) spaces (wilderness)

3 - Pine forests

2 - Geographically centralized & isolated (styles of living)

2 - Arctic weather systems

2 - 1000's of km's of wheat fields

1 - Clean cities

1 - Geography prevents flow of people

1 - Geography affects politics

1 - Mountains

1 - Flora and Fauna

1 - Banff


81 - Total

29 - Freedom (for work, for education, to speak, of religion, opportunity,

of place to live)

18 - Multiculturalism (mosaic)

5 - Democracy

5 - Rights of equality for all

4 - Bilingualism

4 - Peacekeeping (United Nations)

2 - Government cares for people

2 - Pluralism

2 - Impartial internationally (neutral)

1 - Citizenship

1 - Have Governor General

1 - Comes to aid of allies

1 - English language

1 - Economic position in world market

1 - Cooperative federalism

1 - Never go to war

1 - Push aside our natives

1 - Just laws

1 - Resource based economy


75 - Total

48 - Reference to United States

8 - Different from US

7 - Mosaic, Not melting pot of US

5 - Not rude, loud, arrogant like US

3 - Influenced by US

2 - Hate to be thought of as US

2 - Autonomy vs. US influence

2 - Similar to US

1 - A warehouse for US

1 - Friendlier than US

1 - Less violent than US

1 - More peaceful than US

1 - Safer than US

1 - Not overshadowed by US

1 - Don't have 4th of July

1 - No apple pie like US

1 - No all-American boy/girl like US

1 - Individualist vs. US

1 - Confused with US

1 - Better than US

1 - Conservative Americans

1 - Fear Americans

1 - Aligned with US foreign policy

1 - Dependent on US

1 - More altruistic than US

1 - Not alienated like US

1 - Not subjugated like US

3 - British influenced

3 - Seen as caring (friendly) by others

2 - Always behind compromise at UN

1 - Concerned for the world

1 - Are like no other nation

1 - Love hockey like no other nation

1 - Impartial when crisis elsewhere

1 - Self defined in terms of others

1 - Fight united for good (UN)

1 - Better than other countries

1 - Proud to speak before others

1 - Part of commonwealth

1 - Have British stiff upper lip

1 - Young vs. other countries

1 - Free like the western world

1 - Perspective of place in the world

1 - Separate from other nations

1 - Technology is behind others

1 - Politically, understanding of others

1 - More open to new ideas than others

1 - Like others who have embarrassed their natives

1 - Not a 'super power'

Symbols / Objects

29 - Total

6 - Canadian Flag (Mapleleaf)

4 - Hockey

3 - RCMP (Mounties)

3 - Beer

2 - Best bacon

2 - Beaver

1 - Best syrup

1 - Best whiskey

1 - Beachcombers

1 - David Suzuki

1 - Crazy Canucks - downhill skiers

1 - "Snowbirds"

1 - "eh"

1 - Lacrosse

1 - Lynn Johnson's comic strip


252 - Total

26 - Ethnic (racial) diversity, (mosaic)

13 - Peaceful (non-violent, no war)

8 - Patriotically passive (not nationalistic)

8 - Friendly (neighborly)

7 - Laid-back (easy-going)

6 - Different types of people

6 - Helpful (compassionate, kind)

6 - Have pride (in flag, country)

6 - Tolerant (of culture and people)

6 - Capitalistic

6 - Conservative

5 - Belonging (have a sense of it)

5 - Young

5 - Appreciate Canada's beauty

4 - Being born (living) in Canada

4 - Receive citizenship

4 - Independence (individuality)

4 - Unique Anglo-Saxon heritage

3 - Ethnic groups only self-interested

3 - Different regions

3 - Materialistic

3 - Fair (just)

4 - Quiet (calm)

3 - Focus on leisure (fun)

3 - Respect for law (others)

3 - Understanding

3 - Educated (intelligent)

2 - Accepting

2 - Open minded

2 - Retain ties to fatherland

2 - Competitive (too much)

2 - Natives (Eskimos)

2 - Seeking better life

2 - Wealthy

2 - Moderate lifestyle

2 - Strive for success

2 - Objective

2 - Unification (nationalist)

2 - Safe place (for children)

2 - Enjoy hockey

1 - Closed minded

1 - Predictable

1 - Love to compromise

1 - Gentlemen

1 - Love to be great footballers

1 - Speak English with no accent

1 - Love snow

1 - Love sun

1 - To know you are Canadian

1 - Interesting

1 - Government with no backbone

1 - Unable or unwilling to deal with social problems

1 - Success to excess

1 - Racial intolerance

1 - Consumer oriented

1 - Feeling unique

1 - Native language

1 - Spoiled

1 - Believe their technology is tops

1 - Cool

1 - Collected

1 - Unruffled

1 - Undistracted

1 - Don't like mosaic

1 - Brave

1 - Adventurous

1 - Followers, not leaders

1 - Stand for honesty and integrity

1 - Permissive

1 - Middle of the road

1 - Disharmony

1 - Say "Eh"

1 - Not outgoing

1 - Cultural & political influences

1 - Eclectic

1 - Simple

1 - Industry

1 - In awe of being little

1 - CBC B-movie productions

1 - Not physical (personally)

1 - Focus on art, not profession

1 - Self assured

1 - Headstrong

1 - Tension between French/English

1 - Trustworthy

1 - Neutral

1 - Cheerful

1 - Good (in general)

1 - Stand strong as a country

1 - Languages

1 - Ethnic food

1 - French Canadian

1 - 2 distinct cultures

1 - Family oriented

1 - Developed country

1 - Dedicated

1 - Wanting to belong to society

1 - Airforce with flawed designs

1 - Army with outdated equipment

1 - Navy that barely floats

1 - Argue against free-trade

1 - Short political memory

1 - Respect for the environment

Question 2

What does it mean to be Canadian?

407 - Grand Total


23 - Total

2 - Drive across the country

2 - Participate in society (vote)

2 - Outdoor activities

2 - Drink (lot of) beer

2 - Meet people from different places

2 - Skate

1 - Play hockey

1 - Ski

1 - Skidoo

1 - Hike in the mountains

1 - Drink whiskey shooters

1 - Stand at attention during anthem, but don't sing

1 - Live with others

1 - Wear mapleleaf on backpack while travelling in Europe

1 - Wear a touque

1 - Eat applejacks

1 - Eat back-bacon

Identity Crisis (questions)

21 - Total

5 - Trouble being immigrant Canadian

1 - Half and half Canadian

1 - Non-Canadian part is a struggle

1 - Traditional side is seen as strange by others

1 - Only immigrant - not Canadian

1 - Embarrassed when seen as immigrant

3 - There is no Canadian identity

2 - Native vs. non-native issue

1 - Don't feel Canadian

1 - Has less meaning than 20 years ago

1 - Many misconceptions

1 - Hard to identify

1 - Are we so different from others?

1 - It's frustrating

1 - Contempt

1 - Distress due to bilingualism

1 - History doesn't go back far

1 - Live in Vancouver: hate Toronto love Los Angeles

1 - Live in Montreal: hated by others, and confused by this

Nature / Geography

11 - Total

2 - Nature oriented lifestyle

2 - Spacious (not crowed by people)

1 - Opportunity to enjoy nature

1 - Cold

1 - Snow

1 - Land is not polluted

1 - Abundance of resources

1 - Appreciate natural beauty

1 - Enjoy place of natives


62 - Total

31 - Freedom (opportunity, choices, for work, for education)

8 - Multiculturalism (mosaic)

3 - Tolerance

3 - Democracy

2 - Neutral in international politics

2 - Peacekeeping (UN)

1 - Free from drafting for war

1 - Able to maintain culture

1 - Able to get money to spend

1 - Two official languages

1 - Metric system

1 - East bloc policy on natives

1 - Thick-headed government

1 - Unjust social stratification

1 - Entrepreneurs

1 - Unequal work value attributed to women

1 - We should control our primary resources

1 - People can but their ways into the country

1 - Good medical service


58 - Total

30 - References to US

7 - Not American (don't live in US)

5 - Less aggressive than US

4 - More refined (friendly) than US

3 - Similar to Americans

1 - Little sister to US

1 - Trading partner to US

1 - Resource based economy for US

1 - Geography unknown to US

1 - Developmentally delayed to US

1 - Insignificant to US

1 - Not as deep as US

1 - Not as political as US

1 - Not as social as US

1 - Not as intellectual as US

1 - Better than US at winter sports

6 - Well liked internationally

4 - Unique from others (culture, art, history, media)

3 - Luckiest in the world

2 - North American or Western

2 - Not a major player in world wars

2 - Minor problems compared to others

1 - Culture from Britain and US

1 - Don't have strife and bloodshed of others

1 - Less change for better than "east"

1 - No different than being Albanian

1 - Don't blow up social problems as much as others

1 - Better post-secondary education than Europe

1 - More beautiful than 3rd world

1 - Freer than most

1 - Raise children differently than Filipinos

Symbols / Objects

6 - Total

1 - Mapleleaf (flag)

1 - Beaver

1 - Bob and Doug

1 - Beer

1 - Back-bacon

1 - Dog sled


216 - Total

14 - Belonging (loyalty, respect)

11 - Pride (in Canada)

10 - Peaceful (non-aggressive, no war)

10 - Appreciate high quality of life

7 - Multicultural (multiracial)

6 - Friendly (neighbourly)

6 - Helpful (caring, cooperative)

6 - Diversity of people

5 - Happy (go lucky)

5 - Open minded (tolerant)

5 - Easy going

4 - Don't feel guilty about family roots

4 - Unified (nationalism)

3 - Polite (gentle)

3 - Not loud (enjoy quiet, solitude)

3 - Unique

3 - Self confident

3 - Luck to be Canadian

3 - Contribute to well being of country

3 - Being respected as a human being

3 - Individualism

2 - Outgoing (sociable)

2 - Keep political squabbles to minimum

2 - Must be white (assimilate)

2 - Competitive

2 - Enjoy outdoors

2 - Sensitive (kind)

2 - Living by higher principles

2 - We all are immigrants

2 - Feeling free and open

2 - Conservative

2 - Live in Canada

2 - Citizenship

2 - Living in a great country

2 - Many good jobs available

2 - Living by the law

2 - Loyalty to the family

2 - Respectful travellers

2 - Flexible

2 - Push over

1 - Honest

1 - Hardworking

1 - Non racist

1 - Not white-blue-eyed

1 - Not having to compromise

1 - Intelligent

1 - Not blindly patriotic

1 - Rational

1 - Angry

1 - Don't want more immigrants

1 - Secure

1 - Context of environment describes that individual

1 - Lame ass

1 - Not self exploitive

1 - Give credit where due

1 - Not hide behind mistakes

1 - Neutral

1 - Like to dispute anything PM says

1 - Sense of being protective

1 - No fear for life (no war)

1 - Spell words British way

1 - Loyal to Queen

1 - Support Canadian radio

1 - Concerned about current problems for Canada

1 - Lazy

1 - Least racially discriminating

1 - Interest in country

1 - Call winter caps toques

1 - Call sandals flip-flaps

1 - Poor political leadership

1 - Never being poor

1 - Having things easy

1 - Appreciation for regions

1 - Like small Disney-world

1 - Stand up against Vander Zalm

1 - Sharing heritage of Canada

1 - Poverty

1 - Enough to eat

1 - Technology of a high standard

1 - Willingness to be who you are

1 - Don't talk a lot about problems

1 - Being slowly priced out of reach

1 - Racial problems

1 - Accommodating

1 - National issues are self-centered

1 - Enjoy making jokes at politicians

1 - Ignore shoddy armed forces

1 - Accepting

1 - Understanding

1 - Education

1 - Grab opportunities

1 - Love hockey

1 - Good people

1 - Artistic

1 - Imaginative

1 - Try to understand the politics of football

1 - Sports league with 2 teams with the same name

1 - English and French

1 - Complaints

1 - Three political parties

1 - Don't care enough to rebel

Appendix C:

Most Common Responses

Question 1

What is Canadian Identity?

Frequency Statement

48 - Reference to United States

8 - Different from US

7 - Mosaic, not melting pot of US

29 - Freedom

26 - Ethnic (racial) diversity (mosaic)

20 - Unclear idea of Canadian identity (confused)

18 - Multiculturalism

13 - Peaceful

10 - Don't believe there is one (identity)

8 - Patriotically passive (not nationalistic)

8 - Friendly

7 - Laid-back

Appendix C - con't

Question 2

What does it mean to be Canadian?

32 - Reference to United States

7 - Not American

31 - Freedom

14 - Belonging (loyalty)

11 - Pride

10 - Peaceful

10 - Appreciate high quality of life

8 - Multiculturalism

7 - Multicultural (diverse)