A documentary film providing a new perspective on B.C. history through the moving story of a mixed Musqueam and Chinese family is receiving provincial funding so it can educate and inspire larger audiences.
At the Musqueam Cultural Centre, Minister Teresa Wat announced the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia will receive $20,000 to help complete the film, All Our Father’s Relations, a documentary film focusing on the shared history and reciprocal relationships between First Nations and Chinese Canadians.
All Our Father’s Relations follows the journey of four Musqueam elder siblings – Gordon Grant, Larry Grant, Helen Callbreath and Howard E. Grant – whose father came to Vancouver from Guangdong, China in search of work. Together they retrace his steps to his ancestral village of Sei Moon, Guangdong, which he left in the 1920s before marrying Agnes Grant of the Musqueam Nation. They also reflect on their experiences growing up on their family’s market garden at Musqueam Indian Reserve 2.
The film establishes the interconnected histories of Chinese Canadian and First Nations relations along the Fraser River in British Columbia and how the Musqueam Nation came to have a rich history of Chinese market gardening. The film will represent a valuable learning resource for generations of British Columbians and will add another perspective to the interconnected history of First Nations and early Chinese pioneers in B.C.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism –
“Our government is committed to recognizing the important legacy and contributions of Chinese Canadians to British Columbia as part of fulfilling recommendations made in the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report. Through the personal story of one family, this film highlights a rarely told chapter of B.C.’s history: the strong connections between Chinese Canadians and First Nations in British Columbia.”
Chief Wayne Sparrow, Musqueam Indian Band –
“The story of the Chinese farms on Musqueam territory is a significant part of our community’s history, and we recognize the importance of the reciprocal relationships of sharing that they represent. When we first welcomed the Chinese to Musqueam, they came to us with respect and a desire for a long-term relationship. We are happy to see that again today and hope that this history will serve as a lesson for us now and in the future.”
- Filming of All Our Father’s Relations began in 2013 when the Grant family visited their ancestral village in Sei Moon, Guangdong China.
- University of British Columbia alumni Sarah Ling and Alejandro Yoshizawa, who have collaborated with the Grant family on educational projects, recorded the original trip and collected additional footage at Musqueam Indian Reserve 2.
- The documentary will be at least 44 minutes in length and produced in English with Chinese subtitles (with versions in both simplified and traditional characters).
- The film highlights how historic relations between Chinese pioneers and First Nations were respectful and supportive of each other in the face of discrimination.
- The project has also received funding from Bing Thom Architects, from the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies at the University of British Columbia, and from H.E. Liu Fei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China.
- All Our Father’s Relations is expected to be submitted to film festivals across North America, including the Vancouver Asian Film Festival.
Chinese Legacy Initiatives
- The Chinese Legacy Initiative projects are the result of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultations, where many participants advocated the preservation of Chinese Canadian cultural history.
- The projects stem from the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and recommendations which also lead to the formal apology to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs in the legislature on May 15, 2014.
- The B.C. government’s implementation of recommendations in The Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and Recommendations is guided with advice from the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council.
- The advisory council also works with Chinese Canadian communities and other key partners to ensure that the projects are known and communicated throughout the province.
For more information about the legacy projects and the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/our-history/chinese-legacy-bc
View the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and Recommendations: www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/downloads/Chinese_Consultation.pdf
Embrace BC – Province of B.C. multiculturalism site: www.embracebc.ca