Diverse Voices & Portraits

Stories of diversity, discrimination & inclusion


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Portrait #37 -Roy

Roy

Roy learned about discrimination at a young age and it changed the trajectory of his life in significant and ongoing ways….

A few things of note:

The Celtic Shipyards were located at the southernmost part of Blenheim Street in Vancouver along the Fraser River.

In 1942, Hastings Park was used as a holding area for the Japanese before they were sent to internment camps in interior British Columbia. Located at Hastings and Renfrew Street it is the home of the Pacific National Exhibition and the Racetrack. In 1993 the Momiji Japanese Garden was built to commemorate the internment.

Although the houses at the internment camp in Bay Farm in Slocan BC could possibly house either one family or two – Roy stresses they were indeed VERY small.

The Naturalization Act (from 1915-1951) resulted in a formal contract between the Canadian Government and folks moving to Canada from elsewhere, guaranteeing that once these people swore allegiance to the British sovereign they would be granted the rights of someone born within the British Empire. This contract was broken during the Japanese Internment.

Tonari Gumi is Vancouver’s Japanese Community Volunteer Association

Nissei are second generation Japanese immigrants.


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Portrait #14 – “Bibi”

Bibi is from Amritsar India. Her family had a dairy farm there and she raised four children, one girl and three boys.

Bibi is from Amritsar India. Her family had a dairy farm there and she raised four children, one girl and three boys.

“Bibi” is an endearing nickname that the community has come up with for her – it means “mother”.

Bibi arranged the marriage of her one daughter after her husband passed away. Then this daughter had her own two sons and came to Canada, alone, as a nurse. She then applied for her husband and two sons to join her. Then she sponsored her mother (Bibi) and her younger unmarried brother to join them! This was 23 years ago!

Bibi’s other two married sons still live in India.