Reconstituting rural communities and economies: the Newfoundland fisheries household resettlement program, 1965-1970

Withers, George (2016) Reconstituting rural communities and economies: the Newfoundland fisheries household resettlement program, 1965-1970. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In Newfoundland, the word 'resettlement' evokes strong emotions decades after the program was abandoned. Many people feel that a heartless government uprooted families who were living an idyllic lifestyle in remote communities scattered along the coast. My thesis is that households were not forced into slums by the state. Although they did not resort to violence, coastal people were not as apathetic or powerless as the literature on resettlement suggests. Although it was more coercive than the preceding provincial Centralization Plan, the notoriety of Newfoundland Fisheries Household Resettlement Program (FHRP) is due, in part to the dearth of historical studies of resettlement. Historians have left the field to social scientists and the artistic community to write the narrative that laments a lost heritage. The archival record is replete with evidence that coastal people redefined the objectives of the FHRP and pressured governments to amend the Resettlement Agreement. Through appeals to church leaders, provincial and national politicians, and the media they persuaded the Fisheries Household Resettlement Committee (FHRC) to approve moves that planners considered irrational, but which made perfect sense to the relocatees. When the FHRC agreed to concentrate a large number of fishers into a receiving community with scarce resources and employment opportunities, charges of coercion were heard in the capitals where lack of planning turned relocation into a debacle.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12329
Item ID: 12329
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 354-367).
Keywords: Resettlement, Newfoundland, Fisheries, Centralization
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: January 2016
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Newfoundland and Labrador--Rural conditions; Rural development--Newfoundland and Labrador--History--20th century; Newfoundland and Labrador.Household Resettlement Program; Newfoundland and Labrador--Social conditions

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