By almost any measure, Canada is a successful society. A member of the G8 group of nations, it routinely ranks among the five top-ranked countries in the UNDP’s annual Human Development Report. And yet Canada is also one of the world’s most socially diverse societies, made up of indigenous peoples, a historic French-speaking minority and generations of immigrants and refugees. Today, over 20% of Canada’s 35 million people are foreign born, originating for the most part in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Although challenges persist — notably in respect to the status and well-being of indigenous people — over the last 60 years respect for diversity has evolved into a core national value and a source of shared civic identity.