Park Prisoners

Park Prisoners

The Untold Story of Western Canada's National Parks, 1915-1946

Book - 1999
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Between 1915 and 1946, the Canadian government put some ten thousand unskilled foreigners, jobless and homeless people, conscientious objectors, perceived enemies of the state, and prisoners of war to work in western
Canada's national parks. These men had committed no crimes, but because of war or
depression, they were seen as a possible threat to public order and a potential source of civil unrest.

Many of the Banff, Jasper, and other national parks' heritage buildings and roads were
constructed through the backbreaking work of the internees in these labour camps. More than 125 archival photographs illustrate this compelling history of how these men lived and worked, how they were treated, and the legacy they left in our national parks.

Publisher: Calgary : Fifth House, c1999.
ISBN: 9781895618747
Branch Call Number: 971/.06/Wai 6173cg 1
971.06 Wai
Characteristics: x, 294 p. : ill., maps.


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Dec 21, 2005

Although I knew that some prisoners were held in federal parks, I was stunned to learn what kind and how many. Much of the work done in building things like hot pools, and wharves were completed by prisoners from war, homelessness, and political. This volume gives an insider''s view to this situation and includes rare photographs. Most of the parks used were from Western Canada by design of the government but were unprepared in many cases to handle the scores of men that came West not by choice but by chance.

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