Vietnamese Boat People: The Stories of Vietnamese Refugees and their Journey in Seeking Asylum in Canada during the Late 1970s to the 1980s


  • Connie Tran Mount Royal Univeristy



In the years following the Vietnam War in 1975 and the especially during the year leading up to the Sino-Vietnamese War in 1978, more than one million people were forced to flee the war-torn countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.  The Vietnamese people who were displaced from their homes were placed in refugee camps all over south eastern Asia. These Vietnamese refugees were known as the “boat people".

This essay will explore the lives of these "boat people" during their times as a displaced person and their journey to Canada.  It will also examine the policies and programs that made it possible for the "boat people" to resettle in Canada, along with the public opinion surrounding these refugees. This will be done through the use of a variety of secondary and primary sources such as monographs, journal articles, news articles, government documents, interviews, and other sources.  One source in particular is an interview of a Vietnamese family and their journey as Vietnamese refugees to becoming Canadian citizens.