Between 1965 and 1975, thousands of American migrants traded their established lives for a new beginning in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. Some were non-violent resisters who opposed the war in Vietnam. But a larger group was inspired by the ideals of the 1960s counterculture and, hoping to flee the restrictive demands of their parents’ world, they set out to build a peaceful, egalitarian society in the Canadian wilderness. Even today, their success is evident, as these impassioned ideals still define community life. Welcome to Resisterville is both a look at an untold chapter in Canadian history and a compelling story of enduring idealism.
Kathleen Rodgers is an assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Ottawa.
Kathleen Rodgers’s sociological study of the impact of American Vietnam-era exiles on the creation of a countercultural haven in the West Kootenay Valley is a fascinating account of modern immigration history...Rodgers’s study provides future scholars with a rich and complex body of material to better understand a whole range of changes to Canadian society that ensued in the aftermath of yet another American invasion.
Deftly combining interviews, local newspaper reports, and archival and personal documents, Welcome to Resisterville is an exciting, original book that will appeal to a broad audience. It tells the intriguing story of the migration of American war resisters to BC, the welcome they received, and the vibrant counterculture that they helped form.