History has made…history.
British Columbia’s first online inventory of Chinese historical records and artifacts is now complete, allowing access to anyone who may want to learn more about the cultural history of Chinese Canadians in the province.
It contains more than 6,000 culturally significant artifacts from 16 museums throughout B.C., ranging from Chinese coins to scrolls, and photographs to historic texts.
"Each artifact tells a unique story of how Chinese Canadians helped shaped the province, and by giving these artifacts a home on University of Victoria's database, it exposes British Columbians to a history that many didn't know existed,” Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, said in a press statement.
This historical database is known as the Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project, and was compiled by the efforts of researchers from the University of Victoria, as well as the Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council and the B.C. Museums Association. The B.C. government provided $84,000 in financial assistance through the Chinese Legacy Initiative for this project.
The completed project will officially be unveiled tomorrow evening (July 7), giving the public unlimited access to an important part of B.C. and Chinese Canadian history.
“These objects scattered in dozens of smaller towns and cities will now be accessible to everyone,” said CCAP principal investigator John Price, who is also a UVic history professor, in a press statement. “It is an incredible resource and rich treasure chest of true historical significance."
The CCAP is one of eight legacy projects outlined in a consultation report released following a formal apology delivered in May 2014, which was given on behalf of all members of the B.C. legislative assembly to Chinese Canadians for historical wrongs committed by past provincial governments.
British Columbia is currently home to more than 460,000 Chinese Canadians, which makes up for 11 percent of the province’s population.
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