Every year, thousands of people from other countries come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many different talents and skills and the hope of contributing to their new society.

Your interest in reading this cultural profile may be due to your involvement with the HOST Program, where you have the opportunity to meet people from Haiti and introduce them to life in Canada. You may be an employer who is prepared to offer a job to a Haitian who is new to Canada. You may have Haitian students at your school.

About 50,000 Haitians have made Canada their home during the last 30 years. Canada is second only to the United States as a destination for Haitian immigrants. Most of those who come to Canada have settled in Quebec. Many people left Haiti in the late 1970s and 1980s because of political problems, poverty and the lack of job opportunities. About one out of every six Haitians lives outside of Haiti.
Did you know?

Haiti is the name given to the land by the former Taino-Arawak peoples, an indigenous group who originally inhabited the island. It means "mountainous country."

The decision to make a new home in a different country is not an easy one. People must leave behind familiar things. While Canada may seem quite different from Haiti, there are also many similarities. Haitians will have many of the same questions that you might have if you moved to a new town or city. For instance, they will wonder where to find a job, which schools their children will attend, where to find a doctor, where to shop and what their new community will be like. Even though you will probably find that you have a lot in common with your Haitian friends, you will have much to learn from them too.
Although this cultural profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Haiti.
Did you know?

Dany Laferrière, a Quebec writer, is originally from Haiti.