A personal ethnicity query.

Shawn Roske (sroske@chat.carleton.ca)
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 03:43:36 GMT

I am repeatedly asked the question "What is your enthic
background?", and I do not know how to respond. I wonder if this is a
common problem for Canadian's of 4+ generation immigrants. This is a
great dilemma to me, because no one will allow me the concession that
I'm of Canadian Enthicicity. No, I _have_ to be of some Old world
background. Of course, I have to concede this point when I'm
challenged with the "all NA's are immigrants except First Nations
peoples, and even they could be argued back to the 'heartland'", but I'm
still left without an answer.

My mother's grandparents were born one England and the other in
Ireland, and my father's both in Germany. I have no
participatory connection to either cultures, nor do I consider myself
as descending from one of either ethnicities. What's the answer? How
do I answer this question? It's often required that I say what
background I come from on various official documentations, ie.
university admin. forms, government immigration policies, ect., but I'm
confused as to what would be best to answer.

I realized I could simply claim some background at randomm,
but I'm not very satisfied by that. Are there any guidelines to
follow? Does anyone know the Canadian govt's policy on this?

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