American Exiles beyond the Politics of the Draft

Nudity, Feminism, and Third World Decolonization in Vancouver, 1968-71

  • Henry Richard Lawrence John University of British Columbia


This article explores the role of American exiles living in Vancouver during the Vietnam War era in fomenting countercultural and political unrest between 1968 and 1971. Rather than focusing on the reactionary relationship between Americans and Canadian nationalists, which has been the focus of previous literature, this article broadens analysis to consider other strands of ideological debate and praxis- particularly Women's Liberation, countercultural sexual liberation, and an anti-colonial critique of the Canadian state- and the role these new political orientations played in connecting American exiles and Canadian activists in communities of shared political sentiment. This study combines oral interview, media analysis, and archival research for a multi-perspective inquiry into the most politically turbulent four years in Vancouver's post-war history.