- CA MHCA Volume 1163-1398; 2332-2348; 2352-2383; 3391-3412; 3417-Volume 1163-1319; 3391-3402; 3417:1-6; 1364:1334-1346; 2332-2337;2339; 2341-2348; 2352-2355; 2357-2375
The records in these files cover a wide variety of subjects. From these records one can, in part, chronicle some of the early organizational difficulties which the Board experienced. Some of the material relates to the dissatisfaction felt by Mennonites in the United States with Canadian plans to settle all the Mennonites leaving Russia in Canada. Many of the U.S. Mennonites advocated investigating and pursuing settlement possibilities in Mexico.
These files contain a lot of information on the involvement of the Canadian railways in the settlement of Mennonites in Canada during the 1920s. There is extensive correspondence between David Toews and J. S. Dennis as well as between other Board and CPR officials. One folder contains correspondence with Canadian National Railway (CNR) personnel.
The collection also includes much correspondence with organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, which had an interest in the immigration and relief ventures of the Board. Among these are the Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario provincial governments, various federal government departments and officers, the American Relief Administration, the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities, the American Friends Service Committee, the German Consulate, the Europaeische Zentralstelle fuer Kirchliche Hilfsaktionen (European Center for Church Relief Projects), etc
Some of the material in the files deals with the conditions faced by the Mennonites in Russia between 1917 and 1939. Included are reports by relief workers who traveled and worked in some of the Mennonite areas. There is correspondence with relatives of people still living in Russia after 1930. Interestingly there are also translations of several Soviet newspaper articles about the Mennonite emigration.
A large part of the material in these files is made up of correspondence with the immigrants themselves. In some cases it deals with troublesome issues such as a recent Russian Mennonite immigrant who wanted to relocate in the United States. The Board was very much opposed to such a move because it felt that the credibility of the immigrants it was sponsoring would be seriously threatened in the eyes of both the Canadian government and the CPR. Another problem area which generated much correspondence was the attempt to get many of the immigrants to pay the debts (Reiseschuld) they owed for their trip to Canada. (Most of the immigrants had credit extended to them for their travel costs.)
This series includes records of the Mennonite Land Settlement Board (MLSB). The MLSB attempted to get the new immigrants settled on suitable farmland. Much of the correspondence is from immigrants who wanted to settle on lands being vacated by the Old Colony Mennonites who were leaving for Mexico. Many also obtained land through the CPR and from other large private landholdings.
Finally this sub-series contains a considerable amount of correspondence between the influential leaders in the emigration movement. Most notable among these are B. B. Janz, A. A. Friesen, and B. H. Unruh.
Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization - Immigration Movement I (1923-1930)