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Project Roots

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A typical Chinese Person


Presentations Start November 14th, 2006.

Our presentation is currently slotted for Nov. 22


Because the Presentaion is more Planning, please see separate presentation Planning Page Roots Presentation

Group Tasks

Kylie Toh

Discuss the historical, economic, social and cultural effects of immigration for the ethnic group in terms of loss and gain.


-Ethnic Culture

-Personal Belongings/Material Wealth


-Rebuild Life





-Personality Traits (Perseverence, determination, etc.)

-Future for next Generations

Chairman Sun

  • Username: Barbarossa
Describe the reception given to the groups by Canadians.
Don't Insult China! I'll come after you.
  • Britain signed the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 by which "their (British and Chinese) respective subjects...should enjoy full security and protection for their persons and their property within the Dominions of the other." Although emigration was not openly allowed, in 1860 China passed a law which stated: "Chinese choosing to take service in the British Colonies or other parts beyond the sea, are at perfect liberty to enter into engagements with British subjects for that purpose, and to ship themselves and their families on board any British vessel at any of the open ports of China." This was followed in 1868 by the Burlinghame Treaty between China and the United States which recognized: "The inherent and inalienable right of man to change his home and alliegance and also the mutual advantage of free migration and emigration of their citizens and subjects respectively from the one country to the other for the purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents." Thus the gates were opened for emigration from China.
  • Chinese immigration into British Columbia began in the 1850s with the discovery of gold in the Fraser valley. These Chinese came from the United States, drawn to California a few years earlier also because of gold. These early settlers worked the gold fields and when the gold was depleted they moved into other occupations such as gardening, farming, domestic service, road construction and then as railway builders.
  • In 1871, as British Columbia entered confederation, it had about 3,000 Chinese within its boundaries. The immigrants were mostly men and in 1871, when the first census was taken, there were only 53 Chinese women in the province. By 1879, the number of Chinese in the province was estimated by the BC Legislature to be 6,000.
  • Several companies actively recruited Chinese workers. In May,1882 the Escambia and the Suez brought 2,000 workers to Victoria. There were 8,000 Chinese immigrants in 1882 of which 6,500 arrived in the months of April, May and June. The numbers declined to 1,456 between Jan 1-June 30, 1884.
  • For several years there was a movement to stop the immigration of Chinese into Canada. In 1885 the Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration was presented. That same year an act was passed in the Canadian Parliament restricting the proportion of Chinese immigrants to one for every 50 tons of vessel tonnage. A head tax was also imposed.(9) On completion of the railway, in 1885, about 1,000 Chinese returned to China. Due to the restrictions placed upon Chinese immigration, records were kept of those who paid the head tax. These papers are available in the National Archives of Canada.
  • The migrants came mostly from the densely populated coastal provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. They traded poverty and social unrest at home for a life of hard labour and racism abroad. The first major wave of Chinese immigrants to North America was swept up in the gold rush. They began arriving in San Francisco - Gold Mountain in Chinese - in 1849. A decade later, California's gold veins were drying up as fast as anti-Oriental feeling was growing. When word filtered down of a gold strike in the Fraser River Valley in 1858, Chinese prospectors were among those who pursued the rumour north. They didn't know they would be allowed to work the mines only when white miners had moved on.
  • Chinese migrants also worked as cooks and launderers. Their reputation in both spheres harks back to the early mining and railway camps, where they filled the gaps in those lopsided communities - they could have the "women's work" and welcome to it. They toiled in fish canneries. Or they worked for wealthy white families. They often show up in early photographs - it was a status symbol to have a Chinese houseboy hovering at the edge of a family portrait.

  • But in 1885, after the last spike was struck at the end of the CPR track, many thousands of labourers were laid off. And at a Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, Chinese were often described as taking work away from white workers. Later that year, Canada imposed a head tax on Chinese seeking to enter the country. After the railway work ended, many Chinese drifted eastwards within Canada, and some returned to China.
  • On July 1, 1923, amid a post-war recession, Chinese became the only people Canada has ever excluded explicitly on the basis of race. For the next 24 years, virtually no Chinese were allowed to immigrate to Canada, and Chinese Canadians observed July 1 as "Humiliation Day", closing shops and boycotting Dominion Day celebrations.
  • In this era of discrimination, many Chinese created opportunities for self-employment. Family-run businesses, such as restaurants and laundries, sprang up both in small towns and in the Chinatowns that had emerged in the bigger cities across Canada. These small businesses became havens for Chinese people, both to operate and to work in. Discriminatory laws encouraged Chinese-only enterprises - in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario, for instance, Chinese employers were prohibited from hiring white females.
  • Vivienne Poy, the first Chinese-Canadian appointed to the Senate, devoted her February 1999 inaugural speech to the history of the Chinese in Canada. "During the Depression, the Chinese in Alberta received relief payments of $1.12 a week, less than half the amount paid to the rest of the population in need," she said. "Despite that, many prairie farming families owed their lives to the credits given to them by the Chinese store owners in their purchase of daily necessities during those difficult years."
  • The Chinese Exclusion Act - which contravened the United Nations charter of human rights that Canada signed after the war - was now out of step with the times. It was repealed in 1947, four years after the United States lifted a similar ban. In the next few years, most of the other legislation that discriminated against Chinese Canadians was dismantled. They had, for instance, been disenfranchised during the First World War. Before he died at age 94, Won Alexander Cumyow - that first Canadian-born Chinese baby, born in Port Douglas, B.C., in 1861 - got his chance to cast a ballot. Chinese Canadians regained the right to vote in federal elections in 1947.
  • In the 1950s, most immigrants from China were wives and children of men already settled in Canada, and Chinese communities started to become less overwhelmingly male. But against the backdrop of Cold War-era anti-Chinese feeling, immigration policy still favoured Europeans over Asians. It was not until 1967, when the points system was introduced for selecting immigrants, that Canada began admitting Chinese using the same criteria as for any other applicants. Changes to the immigration law in 1978 and 1985 promoted the arrival of wealthy entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Taiwan. They had to show a net worth of at least $500,000 and investment in a Canadian business venture of at least $250,000. The changes were introduced just as Hong Kong money was growing twitchy about the approach of the colony's July 1997 handover to China. In 1990, fully half of all business-category immigrants admitted to Canada came from Hong Kong or Taiwan.
  • The last national census, in 1996, put the Chinese Canadian population at more than 920,000, with 46 per cent in Ontario and 34 per cent in British Columbia. Highly educated and upwardly mobile, the recent arrivals have transformed Canadian society and the Chinese communities within it.

Spray bottle guy -- A.K.A asian person.

Describe the resulting effects of the immigration of this group on Canadian culture beyond a rise in population.
  • Chinese Food: Josephine Smart, a professor from the University of Calgary, has written on the evolution of Canadian Chinese cuisine. Her papers have examined the dynamics of localization and "authenticization" of Chinese food in Canada, and its implications for ethnic relations and the culture of consumption. Chinese restaurants generally use either one of the romanization systems for Cantonese or an ad hoc romanization rather than the Pinyin romanization of Mandarin Chinese with which non-Chinese people are now most familiar. This has the effect, intended or not, of lending a sense of exotic nostalgia to the dining experience.
  • World War II: Chinese contribution to the Canadian war effort was exemplary. They bought millions of dollars worth of government war bonds. More than five hundred were called into military service, some as officers. They did war work in shipyards and factories, exerted themselves to produce more food on their farms for Canadian troops, and served as air raid wardens. They also donated millions of dollars to the Chinese resistance against Japan.
  • Economic influence: As evidenced in their high proportion of business immigrants, immigrants from Hong Kong often invested large sums of money in Canada. This combined with a Chinese propensity to work hard and save produced an economic boom in Canada. Real estate prices in Vancouver and Toronto rose quickly as Chinese purchased more expensive homes, built Chinese shopping malls (Aberdeen Centre, Richmond, B.C.), established national media networks (Fairchild), purchased large oil companies (Husky), and sold Canadian real estate in Hong Kong (Pacific Place, Vancouver).
  • Recognition of cultural resources: Chinese culture has become more significant in Canada because of the higher profile of Chinese Canadians and the increasing importance of China in the world. There is broad interest in Chinese forms of alternative medicine such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. Mandarin instruction is widely available in community schools, universities and colleges, and in some K-12 curricula. The health benefit, along with the gastronomic attraction, of Chinese food is well known. Chinese forms of elder care have given mainstream care providers viable options to explore in order to improve their own services. The list of resources could be extensively expanded to include family values, martial arts, Buddhism, role of etiquette, graphic arts, Chinese cooking, and so on.
This was Li's proposed "new look" to boost the popularity of air canada over it's rival company, tim hortons.

  • Youth: Chinese Canadian youth are noted for their high rate of enrollment in post secondary education, especially in professional schools. Studies have also shown that their lifestyle choices tend to be more conservative compared with their peers. These two factors indicate that the influence of Chinese Canadians will continue into the future. <--- lmao lmao lmao.

Ken Jin

Discuss the historical, cultural and economic reasons why an ethnic group chose to leave the homeland.

- Cultural Revolution

- Educational Reasons

- Children

- World War II

Reason for early immigration (mid 1800s)

Chinese immigration into British Columbia began in the 1850s with the discovery of gold in the Fraser valley. These Chinese came from the United States, drawn to California a few years earlier also because of gold. These early settlers worked the gold fields and when the gold was depleted they moved into other occupations such as gardening, farming, domestic service, road construction and then as railway builders. Many of these early immigrants came from the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. They sailed to San Francisco but in May of 1858 reports of the discovery of gold sent some of them to Victoria. It is reported that the first Chinese arrived in Victoria on June 28, 1858. The trip was arranged by Hop Kee and Co. of San Francisco and some 300 Chinese were sent with Allan Lowe

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