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A New Iceland

"Due to harsh environmental and economic conditions in Iceland, for example volcanic eruptions, a considerable number of Icelanders left their homeland during the 19th century. Eventually, the main group of Icelandic settlers migrating from Ontario to Manitoba left Kinmount on September 25, 1875. One of the main reasons for the choice of Lake Winnipeg as the colony site was “the abundance of fish,” but according to the Icelandic people in Manitoba, “their first attempts at fishing on Lake Winnipeg were not successful.” For this reason, many Icelanders in their first years were hungry; moreover, their first “winter of 18751876 was one of the coldest on record in Manitoba, and the settlers’ clothes, including the leather shoes from Ontario, were not suitable for the rigorous weather.” However, immigrants eventually learned to handle the axe, how to prepare the soil, fish through ice and hunt game. They learned how to dry the land, build better houses, etc. They, the people from Iceland (or Vestur-Íslendingar, which means Western Icelanders in the Icelandic language) called their habitation New Iceland, and the region is the center of Icelandic heritage in Canada today." Wikipedia

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