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White Settler Reserve: New Iceland and the Colonization of the Canadian West

In 1875, Icelandic immigrants established a colony on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipeg. The timing and location of New Iceland was not accidental. Across the Prairies, the Canadian government was creating land reserves for Europeans in the hope that the agricultural development of Indigenous lands would support the state’s economic and political ambitions. In this innovative history, Ryan Eyford expands our understanding of the creation of western Canada: his nuanced account traces the connections between Icelandic colonists, the Indigenous people they displaced, and other settler groups while exposing the ideas and practices integral to building a colonial society.

Important places

Gimli (9)


Manitoba (275)


Canada (8,082)
Iceland (395)

Other geographical areas

Canadian Shield (805)
Central Lowlands (North America) (1,334)
Canadian Praries (1,770)
Western Canada (2,591)