Grade 5 and 10 students can now learn more about an important chapter in B.C.’s history with a new curriculum supplement - Bamboo Shoots: Chinese Canadian Legacies in BC - launched today by Multiculturalism Minister Teresa Wat.
The supplement is focused on historical wrongs and the contributions of Chinese Canadians to B.C.’s cultural and economic foundation. It is intended to guide classroom discussions about the past and in doing so, prevent future discrimination.
Bamboo Shoots is a comprehensive, one-stop information resource that teachers and the public can access from any computer or mobile device. The supplement includes learning resources, tools and lesson plans for teachers to engage students in the issue of racial discrimination within a broad historical context.
Grade 5 students will learn about Chinese immigration to Canada – why they came, the challenges they faced and their contributions to B.C. and Canada. For Grade 10 students, these lessons will shift to Chinese railway workers and the status of ethnic minorities in Canada in general.
Inspiration for the project came from a provincewide consultation where British Columbians expressed a desire for a more comprehensive educational component focused on historical discrimination in B.C. Bamboo Shoots was developed with input from teachers and historians and can be adapted to any existing lesson plan. Teachers are able to introduce these important topics in a way that suits their classroom.
The completion of the curriculum supplement fulfils one of the major commitments made by government following a formal apology in 2014 by all members of the B.C. legislature to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and Asia Pacific Strategy –
“Education is the most important tool we have to fight against racism. British Columbia has an international reputation for its celebration of diversity, but it also has a dark history of discrimination that is often ignored. Bamboo Shoots will ensure students understand the many cultural and economic contributions early Chinese Canadians made to B.C., shedding light on that dark chapter to ensure it never happens again in our province.”
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“Educating young people about the history of the Chinese Canadian community in B.C. is a significant step towards reconciliation. We have enhanced the provincewide curriculum so students learn about the harmful decisions and policies of the past, and also hear about the positive contributions of the Chinese community. The Bamboo Shoots supplement can help teachers bring these historical topics to life.”
- Bamboo Shoots is the result of the Chinese Legacy Initiative to acknowledge the contributions of Chinese Canadians and the historical injustices they faced.
- The curriculum supplement material was developed in partnership with B.C. teachers, Open Schools BC, The Royal B.C. Museum and the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council.
- The Writing on the Wall, an interactive outreach kit containing historical documents, poetry archives and a brief video, was developed by the Royal BC Museum and can be shared with classrooms throughout the province by request.
- Bamboo Shoots adds an important dimension to the history of B.C. for students, including historical wrongs against Chinese Canadians and the contributions of the Chinese community to the development of B.C.
Chinese Legacy Initiative
- The Chinese Legacy Initiative projects are the result of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultations, where many participants advocated for the preservation of Chinese Canadian cultural history.
- The legacy projects stem from the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and Recommendations, which also led 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 (LIAC).
- LIAC works with Chinese Canadian communities and other key partners to ensure that the projects are known and communicated throughout the province.
For more information, please see the curriculum supplement website: www.openschool.bc.ca/bambooshoots/
To see photos from the Royal BC Museum’s outreach kit, The Writing on the Wall, go to: https://www.flickr.com/gp/36463010@N05/4Ug0a0
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