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Chinese historical wrongs achievements and progress

On May 15, 2014, the B.C. Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a motion apologizing to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs committed by past governments. On that same day, the Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Report was released, which contained recommendations for the B.C. government to implement eight legacy projects. All recommendations were accepted and $1 million was committed to fund the legacy projects.

Achievements and progress on the legacy projects are detailed below:

B.C.'s Chinese history education curriculum supplement

  • In July 2015, B.C.’s education curriculum was updated to include learning objectives related to historical wrongs against early Chinese Canadians and First Nations.
  • In September 2015, together with teachers, Open School BC and the Royal BC Museum, government introduced Bamboo Shoots: Chinese Canadian Legacies in BC, a comprehensive learning resource for Grades 5 and 10.
  • Bamboo Shoots focuses on the immense contribution the Chinese community has made in the development of B.C. and the impact of the injustices they faced.
  • This online teaching resource has been accessed more than 1,000 times. Grade 5 lessons have been downloaded 40 times and Grade 10 lessons 60 times in the first year alone.

Chinese historical places site recognition

  • From January 2015 to March 2015, the B.C. government called on the public to nominate places that were meaningful to Chinese Canadians from a historic perspective and released their recommendations in the Historic Places Nomination Report in May 2015.
  • The report created an inventory of 77 nominated historic sites that are accessible to the public online using an interactive map:
  • In January 2016, 21 of the 77 places were chosen for their outstanding heritage value and are being recognized on the B.C. Register of Historic Places and potentially the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  • The evaluation team was made up of members from the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council, Heritage BC, Heritage Branch and the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C.
  • In addition to the historic places project, $20,000 was also provided to the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. to help complete All Our Father’s Relations, a film about a rarely-told chapter of B.C.’s history of early Chinese and First Nation relations.

Fraser River pilot study

  • The Fraser Corridor Heritage Landscape Project report explores the rich cultural landscape of Chinese Canadian mining sites along the Fraser River dating from the 1800s.
  • Identifying the heritage potential of these places helps to reclaim an important part of B.C.'s history and recognize the contribution of Chinese Canadians in building B.C.
  • Published Oct. 9, 2015, the report is also illustrated by a video depicting some of these remote sites.

Royal BC Museum historical exhibit

  • Developed by the Royal British Columbia Museum, Gold Rush! El Dorado in B.C. exhibits the story of the Gold Rush in B.C. through interactive displays, rare artifacts and an international perspective.
  • The exhibit was on display at the Royal BC Museum from May 13, 2015 –to Oct. 31, 2015. It showcased the far-reaching impact of the gold rush, as class and racial barriers were broken down and people seized the opportunities for riches.
  • In the fall of 2015, two smaller exhibitions opened in China (in Guangdong province and its capital, Guangzhou). In April 2016, the Gold Rush! El Dorado in B.C. exhibition opens at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

Launch of new online resource

  • On May 15, 2015, the B.C. government launched an online resource on the first anniversary of the apology for historical wrongs.
  • This online resource provides information about Chinese legacy projects and their progress. It can be found at :

Chinese Canadian artifacts inventory

  • In partnership with the University of Victoria, the British Columbia Museums Association and B.C. museums created a digital inventory of Chinese Canadian artifacts in regional museums throughout B.C. to help preserve cultural history.
  • The B.C. government had a successful pilot project with museums in Cumberland and Nanaimo digitizing their Chinese Canadian holdings for the database.
  • Now, 16 regional and local museums are working toward digitizing their Chinese Canadian holdings across B.C.
  • The Chinese artifacts Inventory is expected to be launched later in 2016.

Discriminatory legislation review

  • On May 15, 2014, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia apologized for discriminatory and racist legislation enacted by past provincial governments in British Columbia against its Chinese Canadian community.
  • The B.C. government is now undertaking a detailed review of more than 160 pieces of B.C. legislation. Steady progress is being made and the review is expected to be completed in 2016.

Chinese Canadian celebration book

  • Chinese Canadians have made a tremendous contribution to the development of B.C., a contribution that will be recorded and shared in a celebration book.
  • The Government of B.C. is in the process of editing and finalizing the text of the book and anticipates launching it in the fall of fall of 2016. Copies will be available online.

Clan associations

  • Chinese Canadian clan associations have historically played a major role in the social, political and financial lives of Chinese Canadians.
  • Progress on this project includes:
    • Funding a University of Victoria research project preparing an inventory of existing historic buildings owned by clan associations throughout B.C.
    • Partially funding the City of Vancouver’s Chinatown Seniors Housing Feasibility Study, a component of the Vancouver Chinatown Society Legacy Project.
    • Funding a needs assessment study to understand senior housing and service needs in Victoria’s Chinatown.
    • Working with Heritage BC to identify Vancouver Chinatown’s intangible heritage values like folklore, traditions and language, ensuring the unique cultural significance of B.C.’s Chinatowns is celebrated.

Commemorative Monuments

  • The Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council is considering options for regional plaques and the possibility of larger monuments throughout B.C., signifying the positive contribution of Chinese Canadians to B.C.’s history, culture and prosperity.
  • A number of proposals for regional plaques in several B.C. locations are in development.

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