The University of British Columbia (UBC) has found a unique way to share significant events in Chinese-Canadian history.
Interactive kiosks that offer compelling stories of Chinese-Canadian communities, a searchable Chinese Head Tax Register of 97,000 digitized records and Gold Mountain Quest, an educational videogame have been installed at the university.
They tell the poignant stories of Chinese-Canadian sports heroes, the history of Chinese-First Nations marriages and families, and Chinese-Canadian veterans whose bravery helped win the right to vote.
“The stories celebrate the history of Chinese-Canadians without glossing over the discrimination and racism they struggled to overcome in Canada,” UBC History Prof. Henry Yu, who led the Chinese Canadian Stories (CCS) multimedia project, says on the university’s site.
A Head Tax of $50 was imposed in 1885 to discourage Chinese from coming to Canada. It was raised to $100 five years later increased to $500 in 1903.
In 1923, the government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act banning all Chinese immigration to Canada.
The kiosk project was organized through the UBC Community Learning Initiative and included work by UBC students from architecture, mechanical engineering, integrated engineering, sociology and the arts,.
The kiosk will be moved to other library branches to be displayed for six months, and a second kiosk will be on display at the Ottawa Public Library main branch and the Nepean Centrepointe branch in December. A third kiosk is currently at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.
The CCS project also showcases the work of 29 community groups from across Canada.